Really, that yeast rash is a bugger. Especially when using cloth diapers. Yeast sticks around and can be very difficult to evict. I have had my fair share of yeast rashes in the last two years I have been changing diapers. So far Eliana has had two yeast rashes, (one of those included thrush in her mouth while breastfeeding, ow!) and now Isabelle has contracted her second yeast rash. What is it with yeast rashes and my babies?
How to tell whether your little one has a yeast rash may seem like rocket science but in all actuality it is pretty easy to spot. The easiest way to tell is if the rash doesn’t go away after treating with a diaper rash ointment or remedy. Yeast is not affected by regular diaper rash creams. Another distinguishing characteristic about yeast is the pimple-like dots it leaves behind. If your baby’s bum look pimply or looks red and has red dots appearing away from the main rash, you are dealing with a yeast rash. But fear not! With some diligence it will go away.
First thing first is to treat the rash. The doctor will prescribe an anti-fungal cream to apply to the rash. I am familiar with using Nystatin twice a day for seven days. However, yeast can develop an immunity to prescribed antifungals. Also, for those using cloth diapers or those wanting to take a more natural approach, you can make your own anti-fungal cream that is both natural and as far as I’ve experienced, cloth diaper safe.
I simply fill a jelly jar with coconut oil and add 5 to 10 drops of grapefruit seed extract, depending on baby’s age, and apply it to the the diaper area during every diaper change. Make sure to cover more than just the rash, since there may be yeast that is not visible. Both coconut oil and grapefruit seed extract are natural antifungals.
The only issue I have found with this solution is grapefruit seed extract can cause the skin to become very dry. Perhaps alternating coconut oil with the extract and then without the extract can help re-moisturize baby’s skin or using shea butter after the natural ointment could help. Also, if baby is at least six months, you could add in a few drops of tea tree oil for an extra oomph.
Keep treating the rash until at least three days after the rash has subsided, since yeast can hang around and come back if not completely gone. Please note, I am no scientist here, I am simply a mother sharing my experiences and do not know the exact ratio recommended for dilution of essential oils.
One of the most important things when dealing with a yeast rash is to treat anything and everything the yeast comes in contact with. That means the changing pad cover, the diaper, the baby tub and anything else that has touched baby’s tush. To treat these things, wash them in the washer with 15 to 20 drops of grapefruit seed extract. Vinegar in the rinse cycle can help too.
If you are using cloth diapers, make sure to wash using the hot cycle. I have heard that washing in warm will only feed the yeast but hot water will kill it. Make sure to keep using this washing method until a few days after the yeast is gone. I usually will still use grapefruit seed extract in the wash for a week after just to play it safe.
Another wonderful trick to use is the sun. Hang the laundry affected out to dry in the bright sun, this will help even further to kill the yeast. If you are unable to sun-dry clothes, heat from the dryer should be sufficient enough.
If you are also dealing with thrush and breastfeeding, you have my deepest sympathy. Eliana had thrush when she was four months and Isabelle had it at only a week old. I won’t go into how to treat thrush this time around but I will suggest to wash all of your clothes in the manner above while treating the thrush and take probiotics (especially if you are breastfeeding).
Do you have any other tips on treating a yeast rash naturally?