Here’s How to Tell If Your Toddler Has a Yeast Infection

Toddlers can also have a yeast infection, just like adults, but it isn’t easily detected since toddlers may not be able to tell you when they feel sick.

Yeast infection in toddlers is normally caused by prolonged contact with wet or soiled diapers. Urine can change the pH value of the skin and cause yeast to overgrow, resulting in a yeast infection.

An imbalance of bacteria and yeast can also cause a yeast infection. This can happen if your toddler is taking antibiotics. 

Yeast infections can cause a type of diaper rash called a yeast diaper rash, which is easily confused with diaper rash that is caused by irritation or allergy.

toddler on bed

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Yeast Infection vs. Diaper Rash

A yeast infection is often mistaken for a diaper rash, but they’re not the same. A diaper rash is normally a patchwork of inflamed and chapped area on your child’s skin. On the other hand, a yeast infection causes deep redness of the skin and bumps or red dots around the edges of inflammation.

Signs that point to a yeast infection include:

  • The affected area looks deep red with bumps around the edges.
  • There is irritation at the front and in skin creases or where the skin touches.
  • Yeast infections can’t be cured with diaper rash creams. 

Yeast Infection in Toddlers

A yeast diaper rash is not only found in the diaper area, but in other places on the body as well. Yeast tends to overgrow in moist areas and skin folds.

When checking for yeast infection in your baby, note that it can also occur in their:

  • Armpit
  • Mouth
  • Neck

It’s therefore important to change your toddler’s diapers frequently. Keep an eye on your toddler if they are going through potty training, since accidents may still occur. 

Are Yeast Infections in Toddlers Contagious?

Yeast infections are not typically contagious, but breastfeeding can cause transmission of the disease. It can spread from mother to child, and vice versa.

Treating Toddler Yeast Infections

One way to treat yeast infections on the skin of your toddler is by applying an antifungal ointment, like miconazole, on the affected areas. Your child’s pediatrician may also recommend oral antifungal medications, like fluconazole, for yeast infections in the mouth, which is called oral thrush. 

Generally, yeast infections improve within two weeks after treatment begins. You can also speed up your child’s recovery by reducing sugar intake (yeast feeds off sugar) and adding more vegetables to meals.

For that reason, it’s best to avoid putting yogurt on your toddler’s bottom since it contains natural sugars that can encourage yeast growth. Consider introducing probiotics into your toddler’s diet through Greek yogurt, which is low in sugar and rich in probiotics, since it contains bacteria that can help balance out the yeast.  

You should not use suppositories on your toddler without getting the instruction from your doctor to do so. You should consult your doctor before trying any treatment on your toddler. 

When to See a Doctor

Normally, yeast infections should resolve within two weeks of treatment, but in cases that last longer than this, take your toddler to the doctor immediately. Your child needs medical attention if they have any of the following:

  • A rash spreading rapidly across the diaper region
  • Frequent recurrences of yeast infections
  • Pus or fluid coming out from the bumps or red skin patches

Prevention

Ways to prevent yeast infections in your toddler include:

  • Increasing diaper changes and diaper-free times: Soiled and wet diapers can increase the risk of toddler yeast infection since yeast thrives in moist environments. Changing them frequently can help keep the diaper area dry.
  • Washing your child’s bottom with a mild soap after each potty change: Make sure you pat them dry with a clean, dry towel. Replace the towel every day to avoid bacteria from building up in the towel and causing complications.
  • Sterilizing pacifiers and bottle nipples in hot water after each use: Candida albicans dies in temperatures greater than 120 F. Therefore, it’s best for you to sterilize your child’s bottle nipples and pacifiers in hot water frequently.

Summary

If your toddler gets a yeast infection, you can treat it with antifungal creams and medications. Changing your child’s diaper frequently and keeping their tools like pacifiers clean are essential to preventing and treating their yeast infections. If you notice worsening symptoms, take your child to see their doctor.

A Word From Verywell

As a parent—especially if you are a new parent—you may be worried about yeast infections in your toddler. However, toddler yeast infection can be easily treated with the right antifungal ointments and oral medications. You may also try natural remedies like cooking healthier meals for your child and limiting their sugar intake. Nevertheless, if you notice any complications, don’t hesitate to consult your pediatrician.

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Article Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Kids’ Health. Diaper rash. Updated September 2019.

  2. Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care. Vaginal yeast infection (thrush): overview. Updated June 19, 2019.

  3. Horowitz BJ, Edelstein SW, Lippman L. Sugar chromatography studies in recurrent Candida vulvovaginitis. J Reprod Med. 1984;29(7):441-443.

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