66 answers

Severe Diaper Rash/Yeast Infection in Toddler That Won't Go Away!

Hi everyone,

This request is my desperate attempt to find some help! My 19-month-old daughter has had a constant diaper rash of varying degrees since we switched her to whole milk just before she turned one. First it was just an eczema spot or two on her bottom. Then we switched to soy milk. No change. Then we switched to sweet acidphilous and still no change. She loves milk, so we've just dealt with it. But still the rash worsens and worsens. She was on Nestle Good Start formula until age one with no apparrent milk allergy, by the way. Also eats cheese and yogurt with no reaction that I can tell.

Today she has the WORST diaper rash she has ever had. The pediatrician gave Nystatin. No effect after 2 weeks of near constant use. We went to a dermatologist last week who prescribed Diflucan orally for 10-days and econozole cream 2x a day as needed. After the first night of treatment she awoke with a 102 fever and no other symptoms & hasn't had the fever since. After the second day of treatment, we discovered she had broken out in a head-to-toe rash of tiny bumps. The pediatrician and dermatologist both said discontinue meds & give Benedryl orally, but did not offer suggestions for how to get rid of this terrible diaper rash in the meantime. Over the last several months we have tried all of the following - usually only one at a time, sometimes doubling up or making a salve of a few ingredients (ALL OF THESE UNDER HER PHYSICIAN'S RECOMMENDATION/GUIDANCE):

* Nystatin (on at least 3 occasions where rash developed into yeast - usually after antibiotic use - as is the case currently - she finished a round about 10-days ago)

* Lotrimin cream - no help
* triamcinolone steroid cream for eczema spots - absolutely no effect
* Hydrocortizone cream
* Triple Paste
* Magic Butt Cream
* Mylanta
* Benedryl Cream
* A&D Ointment
* Aquaphor ointment
* Desitin
* Balmex
* Silvadine Cream (sp?)
* Vaseline - gobs and gobs of it
* Cornstarch

Her rash now looks like she has been badly burned. Angry red with the small red yeast bumps in groin area and going up her back & lower abdomen. Flat-coin shaped red areas at first on her bum and going up the back of her leg. Some small circles that when examined closely are made up of small clusters of tiny bumps. Now the coin-shaped circles have joined together to make one large red mark...some spots look as though tiny blisters had formed and burst...almost like when you get a sunburn. Her pee pee is raw and wrinkled looking. We are currently doing the following:

* letting her roam free without diapers pretty much all day - diapers only at nap and bedtime - I even let her run around in the sun yesterday hoping it would help.
* at nap & bedtime putting econozole cream on her and glooping tons of vaseline on her.
* I have switched her diapers to the new Huggies organic "hypoallerginic" brand - jury's still out on that one
* using occasional cornstarch over econozole or vaseline to prevent diaper friction
* NO WIPES AT ALL - using a bulb syringe filled with warm water to wash off bottom and patting dry gently with towel
* I ONLY use non-dyed, non-scented laundry detergent, shampoos and soaps on her
* I have limited her milk consumption, as well as cut juice completely out. Also serving only bland foods that have never seemed to bother her before like toast, bananas, etc.
* I have asked pediatrician to refer us to an allergist.
* Baby shows no signs that rash is bothering her save for crying at changing time and trying to scratch at herself occasionally.

Please someone help me fix my poor baby. Why won't this go away? What am I doing wrong? I am seriously about to fire my pediatrician.

Thanks in advance for your help

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks so much to everyone for your responses. My oldest daughter never had any of these problems and now my youngest comes along with these issues! Yesterday I called both the pediatrician and dermatologist for advice and SURPRISE, neither of them called me back. I guess I am becoming "That Mom." I hate that, but this is my kid, right? So I suppose I did what many other moms would do - I turned to Facebook! I put out a call to all of my local friends to refer me to a "SPECTACULAR" pediatrician and a local allergist as well. I had several responses, so I am going to call to make some appointments today.

As far as my little one goes, I have kept her on the econozole, but taken her off the diflucan and today her all-over body rash looked a little better. I went to the store and stocked-up on original Desitin (41% zinc oxcide = smells terrible) and Aquaphor ointment. Last night after her bath and a good air-dry, I put the econozole on her and then slathered her with (no kidding) about 1/4 of the tub of Aquaphor. Then right before I put her down for the night, I changed her and slathered her with a ton of the Desitin. This morning, while the rash was still there, it was more pink in color, rather than dark red, so I consider that a small victory. I also put her back to her original diapers (Pampers Cruisers) and bought a larger size so she'd have a bit more room to breathe. I also bought some of those Gerber cloth training pants - basically cloth diapers in underwear format. They'll be a little big on her, but we'll see. I have also stopped all apples, applesauce, juice, anything acidic and have limited her milk consumption. Poor baby ate a turkey hot dog, some goldfish and a banana for dinner last night, but I'm really trying to keep it bland until we know what's causing this.

Keep the advice coming. You guys have helped me so much. I hope maybe once I know what's up that perhaps I can help other Mom's who have had no other luck elsewhere.

*** UPDATE #2, 6/17/09 ***

After nearly three weeks on econozole cream, the yeasty part of my daughter's rash is gone. The horrible, red, angry splotches have been reduced to pink ones, but they are still there, so I continue to treat her with the econozole cream 2x a day (so the yeast won't recurr) and will probably stop that at the end of this week. I still slather her (and I do mean SLATHER) with Aquaphor at every diaper change and it helps. We've also started Aveeno oatmeal baths at least 2x a week. Here's the crazy thing though...

When I started all this, I was convinced that the yeast was from the antibiotic and the rash was from a food allergy. Well, I'm absolutely convinved now. I took everything acidic out of her diet when all this started. I suspected we had an acidic food reaction going on, so I eliminated all juice, fruit, ketchup, etc. from her diet for 2 weeks. Last week we started slowly reintroducing foods one day at a time to see where the reaction might be. My husband gave her pizza. My mother-in-law gave her a McD's cheeseburger and I gave her some pineapple chunks - rash came back (big red splotches). THEN, one night my older daughter was eating spaghetti-oh's for dinner and the baby wanted a bite. She stuck her spoon in & proceeded to get it all over herself. When I took her out of her chair to bathe her, I noticed where she had dropped a spoonful on her leg, it BURNED HER. Now, I remember my older daughter having a similar reaction to ketchup and bbq sauce when she was about this age, but not like THIS. It left a bright red mark on her leg. SO, Once again, I cut out all tomatoes and pineapple, apples (poor baby loves applesauce) and rash died down once again. After doing some research on low-acidic fruits and veggies, I gave her some pears last night (told her they were apples) and we'll see how she reacts today.

Does anyone have any low-acid food suggestions? I have to feed the poor kid something other than yellow foods. (crackers, mac & cheese, cheese, yogurt, etc.)

We have an appt. with an allergist on the 3rd. Thank goodness! Finally getting somewhere on this...couldn't have done it without all you Moms out there! Thank you all so very much!

Featured Answers

Actually all 3 of my kids did this with fruit, especially pears. Take her off all fruit (including tomatos and tomato products) except bananas for 2 months and see if it makes a difference. NO more diaper rashes for me once I took them off all fruit, fruit products and fruit juices until almost age 2.

1 mom found this helpful

Hello, try using Dreft for detergent. Bath her in water only and see if that helps or can use centerphil. My friends baby used to itch down in her private parts each time she had a bubble bath and since using centerphil, she is now no longer itching.

Good luck

There is a special paste that was developed at Vanderbilt called Happy Heiny. You can only get it from a pharmacy that can mix their own concoctions, but it works like magic... seriously!

More Answers


I just wanted to say that it is possible for your daughter to be allergice to both cow's milk and soy milk. My son was having to battle sever diaper rash and also ear infections. I took him to an ENT/Allergist and they asked if he was drinking cow's milk and I told them I started giving him cow's milk right around 11 months which is when all of this other stuff started. They said cow's milk caused the fluid build up behind his ears which lead to infections and then it also caused severe diaper rash. They told me to put him on soy and I told them I couldn't because I knew he had an allergy to that because his face would break out all over when he got soy-based formula. The doctor told me it made sense that he was allergic to both the cow's milk and soy because the protein in both are harsh on their little bodies. He told me to get rice milk or coconut milk and within a few days of taking my son (who is 14 months old) off of cow's milk his bottom got better and no more ear infections. In fact he doesn't even have fluid behind his ears which was a chronic thing for him. My son loves the vanilla flavor Rice Dream (rice milk) and he really really loves the coconut milk but we give that only occasionally. My advice is to take your daughter to a pediatric allergist and determine whether it's an allergy/intolerance to cow's milk. If it is the doctor will probably recommend rice milk or coconut milk with the addition of a good daily multivitamin. Other than that the only possibility I can think of is maybe she is allergic to the diapers you use and you should change brands or diaper her with cloth diapers. I had to diaper my oldest with cloth diapers. It's easier to during the warm months than it is during colder months. I hope you find out what's going on and your little gets comfortable soon.

1 mom found this helpful

My 13 month old daughter was never prone to diaper rash but recently when she has gotten what sounds similar to your daughter after she had a bad case of diarrhea. The only thing that cleared it up was a prescription ointment that is a combo of nystatin and triamcinolone acetonide. I know you said you tried each seperately. Originally we were given just the nystatin and it didnt work at all so maybe you need to try the combo ointment like we did. Also, when I see that it is getting bad I let her soak in the tub with a small amount of white distilled vinegar. It doesnt clear it up completely but it definitely seems to soothe some of the pain and lessen the redness. I really think these things might help your daughter as they did mine.

1 mom found this helpful

First, you are not doing anything wrong. Second, don't be afraid to fire your pediatrician. Third, I think you've been given some excellent advice to wade through and try. Unfortunately, a lot of this is trial and error. I have one daughter who has yeast infection issues and one with eczema issues so I have been there trying to figure out what works for them. I have found that CeraVe lotion works better than Aquaphor on irritated skin. For the yeast infection, Vagisil has helped my daughter. The yeast infection doesn't go away, but the irritation and discomfort are helped. I find that my children's skin irritations increase when they have had to be on antibiotics. I try to avoid them and found a pediatrician who doesn't recommend them for every little thing. I have added an infant probiotic (the opposite of an antibiotic!) to their diet. Udo's Choice is the brand I use. I buy it at Earth Fare. It's a white powder. You put a little in a drink or something it can dissolve in. It doesn't really taste so I"ve sometimes sprinkled it on foods too. When they have had to be on antibiotics, I increase the probiotics. None of the things I"ve suggested keep the yeast infections from occurring, but they help keep them to a minimum and keep the discomfort down. Although I do have to say that when I keep up on the probiotics, my oldest doesn't get the yeast infections very often. Good luck finding out what is irritating your child so much and hang in there. I know it's a frustrating road.

1 mom found this helpful

My heart goes out to you. When my son was little he had a rash that did not want to go away. My daughter also developed external itching and rash after a round of antibiotics when she was four and although we tried a lot of products and many frustrating months we finally got over it.

It could be an allergy. I know that you mentioned that you are washing her clothes in hypoallergenic products, but I knew of a mother who told me that her children even had reactions to some products that are hypoallergenic. I think that she found with one child she could use seventh generation products and with the other child I believe that she had success with shaklee products. She had a lot of allergic reactions to different foods, chemicals, plants and so did her children. I really felt for her and admired her because she was so dedicated to discovering what products worked for her and what products worked for each of her children - I also felt horrible, because when I last spoke to her she had to wash her children's and her clothes separately and with different products and I know that that must be incredibly time consuming and costly.

On one of my children I had success with a product called Boudreau's Butt Paste. On the other child Arbonne baby products worked well. I did not know about Arbonne when my first child was little and was having trouble - so did not try it on my oldest.

Have you tried cloth diapers? I think that it is good to see an allergist. I would also recommend journaling what your baby is eating and everything that your daughter is exposed to for the time being. I know that it is time consuming and very inconvenient. Could your daughter be having a reaction to a preservative or food coloring used in a food that she is eating now that she wasn't eating before she switched to milk?

You might also try calendula lotion or aloe vera. Another thought could she be having a reaction to the combination of certain chemicals or ingredients? I know this is a lot to digest and I know that it is very frustrating - especially since it sounds like you have been treating this problem for at least 10 months or more. Good luck and I hope that you are able to find the right path to bringing your daughter comfort soon.

You are not doing anything wrong - you are learning about your child and how her body responds to different foods and chemicals in today's environment and doing everything you can to heal her and keep her healthy.



After I logged out I was doing something else, but still thinking of your precious baby and her situation. It seems to me that somewhere a few months ago I came across information that indicated that honey can be beneficial for some skin problems. I don't know quite why I am reminded of this now - but thought that you could get some honey from a local beekeeper and apply some to the affected area and see if this helps. It might at least be worth looking into and seeing if you can find any other information or giving it a try. If you try it and see improvement let everyone know.

1 mom found this helpful

Actually all 3 of my kids did this with fruit, especially pears. Take her off all fruit (including tomatos and tomato products) except bananas for 2 months and see if it makes a difference. NO more diaper rashes for me once I took them off all fruit, fruit products and fruit juices until almost age 2.

1 mom found this helpful

This sounds exactly like what both my son and daughter went through. With my son he actually started bleeding because I was making it worse with the various diaper creams. The only thing that worked was CLOTRIMAZOLE CREAM. Yes, it's for 'jock itch' which is actually a fungus/yeast problem. You must use the CLOTRIMAZOLE cream, and NOTHING ELSE (no powder or starch or vaseline or anything) and you will probably need to use it for about 3-4 weeks, EVEN IF THE RASH GOES AWAY. If this is 'yeast/fungus' infection, then it will respond well within a couple of days and usually within a day. However, if you are using any diaper ointment/creams on a yeast infection it will either get MUCH worse, or just 'not go away'. You should continue cleaning with water only, no wipes, and if possible, wash her bottom off in the tub with CETAPHYL CLEANSER every time she poops. CETAPHYL is a non-soap cleanser recommended by dermatologists. CETAPHYL is found with facial cleansers and the CLOTRIMAZOLE cream is found where you buy foot creams and foot powders (usually where you find the Dr. Schols foot pads). I used the generic CLOTRIMAZOLE and it worked fine. Also, when bathing, don't use soap or baby washes (at least until it goes away) The cetaphyl works great for skin problems like rashes, eczema, acne, anything where soap is too harsh. ( I also use it daily on my face.) I hate that this sounds like I'm 'telling' you what to do with your child, but I was in your shoes before I figured it out and this made a HUGE difference! Also, I found out when my daughter at watermellon or oranges she broke out in the rash. Good Luck, I hope you figure it out and she is better soon!

1 mom found this helpful

To stop this out of control rash, you must first tame the out of control yeast in your child's gut. Research candidiasis on the internet or go to your local health store (Whole Foods, Vitamin Shoppe) and find the book "Prescription for Nutritional Healing" by Phyllis A.Balch. Unfortunately, the antibiotics the doctors prescribed have only aggrevated your daughter's problem by killing not only the bad bacteria but also the good bacteria in her gut and therefore allowing yeast to multiply. So basically, you have to starve the yeast in her gut by not feeding her ANY foods with sugar or yeast for several weeks or possibly longer. Also check out www.feingold.org. Your daughter sounds like she has a milk allergy and may have other sensitivities as well. Feingold is a 30yr old non-profit organization whose purpose is to inform the public about artificial ingredients in our food supply that cause many different allergies and health problems in our bodies. Also, you could try to put some plain yogurt on her bottom. It would also help to feed her plain (no sugar) yogurt with some additional pro-biotic pills (buy refridgerated only and break them open into the yogurt.) You can also purchase some colloidal silver (a natural antibiotic) and put it on her bottom. I have lived with yeast problems all my life, so trust me on this - it works.
Best wishes.

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter has a severe yeast rash (2 years old) and this is what finally after 30 prescriptions of nystatin:

Mix equal amounts of:
neosporin with pain releif
monistat 7 cream (has to be the 7 day monistat)
hemorrhoid cream (the pharmasist gave us one that was behind the counter and for the life of me I cannot think of the name of it. Its in a plain looking white and red box, its 9.99 a tube, you have to ask for it. I am thinking it was something like Nupracacaine... I got it at walgreens, ask the pharmasist they will know. I promise you this should work, it was a miracle after I used it 2 times..

I hope this helps your poor baby, I would also ask the pharmacy if this recipe is ok for her age.

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