Learn whether can baby wipes cause yeast infection or not by reading every detail in this article along with certain measures to avoid yeast exposure.
Yeast is a fungus, naturally found in harmless amounts on the skin, and inside the body. Infection occurs when uncontrolled fungal overgrowth occurs. Yeast thrives in warm, moist creases like the mouth, intestines, groin, and armpit. In babies, the conditions created within a closed, wet diaper become the ideal environment for the fungus to increase, especially in warmer, humid weather due to increased sweating.
Yeast diaper rash manifests as a well-defined red ‘scaly’ skin lesion with dots or bumps, enclosed by raised borders and symmetrically distributed in the folds of the legs, buttocks, or genitals, with satellite spots scattered around the primary rash. The infected skin softens, disintegrates, and becomes inflamed with pus-filled pimples and blisters, leaving the baby in discomfort.
- Secondary yeast infection may take over pre-existing/untreated irritant contact dermatitis (regular diaper rash).
- The microbiome is the aggregate of all the microorganisms that co-exist in/on the body. Any stress that disturbs this delicate ecosystem can tip the scales in favor of yeast overgrowth.
- Antibiotic therapy or being breastfed by mothers on antibiotics can destroy the good bacteria that keep yeast in check.
- Oral yeast infection can pass through the baby’s digestive system and reach the diaper via the stool.
- The baby’s immature immune system leaves them vulnerable. Similarly, any medication/health conditions that suppress immunity.
- Diapers that are non-absorbent, too tight, or left on for too long after soiling.
- Diabetes and certain metabolic/hormonal disorders.
- Frequent diarrhea or acidic stools
Can Baby Wipes Cause Yeast Infection?
Disposable baby wipes are made up of a base sheet that determines the thickness, absorbency, and softness. The formulation consists of water, surfactants, preservatives, pH balancing agents, and skin benefit additives. As a rule of thumb, baby wipes are contraindicated during a yeast infection. There is a valid concern that the active ingredients can cause an allergic reaction or irritate an already compromised area.
Certain wipes may destroy the microbiome balance. Moreover, if the cleansing action isn’t thorough or the area isn’t adequately dried before diapering, using a wipe leaves the baby’s skin moist, dirty, and vulnerable to yeast infection. While baby wipes may not cause an infection, misuse can undoubtedly aggravate the condition.
New-born skin is sensitive, and product composition varies from brand to brand. It is crucial to select a gentle baby wipe that isn’t overloaded with harsh chemicals/artificial fragrances. Dampen a clean towel with warm water for a safe alternative.
Measures to Reduce Yeast Exposure
1. Maintain Cleanliness
Keep baby’s bottom dry and clean frequently check and change wet diapers, allow diaper-free time for skin to air dry. Use a towel to pat the area gently instead of rubbing it vigorously.
2. Avoid Antibiotic Overuse
Avoiding antibiotics builds up drug resistance and wrecks healthy microbial equilibrium.
3. General Advisory
Wash your hands and wipe down changing table before and after diapering. Avoid potential irritants in soaps, bubble baths, and harsh detergents. Don’t change diaper brands often.
4. Oral Thrush
To prevent oral thrush, properly clean, maintain, and replace pacifiers and bottle nipples
Treatment of choice is topical antifungal cream (clotrimazole, nystatin, miconazole) that you can rub into the skin 2-3 times a day. Doctors may also prescribe this alongside a mild corticosteroid, overlaid with barrier cream to improve efficacy. Doctors may recommend oral antifungal therapy (fluconazole) and IV medication depending on the severity of the infection.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
Add a cup of apple cider vinegar to baby’s bath water. Or dampen a cloth in 1:3 ratio of ACV and water to wipe baby’s bottom.
2. Tea Tree Oil
Add five drops to ½ cup boiled-then-cooled water. Use this solution to clean affected area. Mix tea tree oil with coconut oil to use it as a protective diaper cream.
3. Raw Garlic
You can add raw garlic to the baby’s diet or mash it to make a paste for application.
Note: These remedies are anecdotal; there is little scientific research backing them; watch out for signs of sensitivity/allergy.
Go To A Doctor If:
- The rash is persistent or doesn’t respond to standard treatment.
- Baby is constantly crying with fever or pain
- The rash is bleeding or infection persists.
- Is spreading with open sores/oozing blisters.
Yeast infection is recurrent; there may be an underlying cause for concern. Therefore, it is best to not avoid yeast infection and visit your doctor immediately.