Yeast Infection in Toddlers – Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

5 min read

Written by Editorial Team

Editorial Team

Yeast infection in toddlers

Yeast infection or Candidiasis in toddlers is caused by yeast known as Candida. The infection causes some discomfort, itching, and rashes. Normally yeast lives on in the body and causes no harm. It can be found on the skin, in the digestive system, and in the genital area.

When a toddler has a weak immune system, or when the skin is damaged, or when it is warm and humid, an infection can be caused. Sometimes if a toddler is taking antibiotics, it may also be a reason for yeast infection. Poor hygiene or too much time between diaper changes also causes an infection.

In This Article

What Are the Causes of Yeast Infection in Toddlers?

Yeast infection usually happens in warm and moist parts of the body. Mostly in the mouth and other moist areas the infection presents itself. The folds of skin around the armpits, mouth, diaper area, and chin are often moist and can cause yeast infection and rash.

Mostly, the area of skin beneath a diaper is easily susceptible to yeast infections. When a wet or soiled diaper is left unchanged for a long time, an infection occurs. Yeast infections happen with the usage of both cloth and disposable diapers.

Sometimes an infection occurs in the digestive system of toddlers due to excess yeast in the body. It is believed to be caused when yeast leaves the body as it passes through the digestive system. When a toddler is on antibiotics, it causes an imbalance between bacteria and yeast in the body. The antibiotics are useful in killing the harmful bacteria and during the process antibiotics may also kill the good bacteria which normally help the body function. Hence, this allows the yeast to grow and thrive in their absence.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Yeast Infection in Toddlers

Swollen nails are a sign of yeast infection

Toddlers may not communicate well, so you may not be aware that a problem exists. Toddlers are always on the move, not stopping for diaper changes and having a wet or soiled diaper easily causes a yeast infection. The infection takes place in the body and catches you unawares.

A yeast infection seems very red, and appears on your toddler’s skin with small, red dots or bumps. Toddlers experience some discomfort, itching, soreness, and irritation of the skin. The symptoms of yeast infection mainly depend on the location of the infection-

  • Nappy Area- Rashes in and around the nappy or diaper region
  • Navel Area- Skin eruptions or rashes along with itching
  • Genital Area- Redness occurs in the skin, and it is accompanied by itching and burning sensation
  • Mouth- The tongue and inside of the cheeks get white patches. Also, the skin appears chapped and red patches can also be seen
  • Nail- If infection occurs in nails, they appear swollen and are painful to touch

Mostly rashes appear where the skin folds and they are visibly red in color. Toddlers experience pain and discomfort during this period.

Diagnosis of Yeast Infection in Toddlers

Candidiasis or yeast infection may seem like any other skin problem. But, it is safer to consult your pediatrician for medical advice if you see an infection on your toddler’s skin. Yeast infection is easily curable though it may appear to be a serious infection.

Creams and ointments are prescribed specifically for infections in the diaper area, skin folds, mouth, genital areas, and nail. Thrush or mouth infections heal with routine mouthwash or lozenges. A yeast infection severe in nature heals with an anti-yeast medicine. A few skin tests are run for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

What Are the Complications of Yeast Infection?

Complications of yeast infection

Normally, yeast infection is not serious but is very uncomfortable though. In many cases, an antifungal treatment will clear up the symptoms. When a yeast infection is left untreated, it may lead to health problems like-

  • Skin infections
  • Fatigue
  • Oral thrush
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Invasive Candidiasis

When you notice signs of rash not getting cleared by creams or ointments and the rash increases in size or causes extreme discomfort for your toddler then you should visit your pediatrician. Sometimes the toddler’s rash turns into an open sore, bleeding is frequent and often the rash starts to ooze yellow or clear fluid, then it is definitely the symptoms of an infection and you need to immediately visit your pediatrician.

Tips to Prevent Yeast Infection in Toddlers

Sterilize pacifiers and bottle nipples periodically to prevent yeast infection

Yeast infections are normally not a serious condition for most toddlers, but it can still cause discomfort. Adopting a few practices will help prevent yeast infection. Some things you can do to avoid infection are-

  • Sterilize pacifiers and bottle nipples and replace pacifiers on time to avoid yeast growth on older pacifiers
  • Use antibiotics only when necessary and as per your doctor’s prescription and avoid prolonged use
  • Change diapers often to keep the diaper area clean
  • Dry the skin with a clean towel and change towels often
  • Use mild skin care products for your toddler’s bath
  • Dress your toddler in loose, single layered clothing during hot or humid weather

What Are the Treatment Options For Yeast Infection in Toddlers?

treatment options for yeast infection include antifungal medicines

Pediatricians can diagnose yeast infection from signs and physical examination of your toddler. They may recommend an antifungal medication in the form of ointment, cream, or pill. For a severe infection in diaper area, they may prescribe a steroid ointment to fight the infection. Doctor may give oral antifungal medicines for uncomplicated yeast infection. In cases of complicated yeast infection, intravenous antifungal medications may be required.

It is common for toddlers to experience yeast infection and it is easily curable. Yeast infection which is severe or chronic will take longer to heal. If there is a recurrence of the infection, or if the infection worsens then you should consult your pediatrician without delay. There is a great possibility that a yeast infection heals on its own, to an extent this depends on each individual. Sometimes some rashes or infection may just be a sensitive reaction to material, soaps, creams, and even food.

All in all, there is nothing to be afraid of or panic if your toddler gets an yeast infection. Just be sure to keep a check on any rash or blisters on your little one’s body. Also, remember that good hygiene goes a long way in safeguarding against yeast infection.  


1. Is it a Diaper Rash or a Yeast Infection?

Diaper rash is a condition where the toddler’s skin turns chapped and inflamed in the diaper region. Yeast infection appears on the skin with a deep red tone. It may be abrasive, and bumpy to touch. A diaper rash occurs in one spot along the diaper region whereas a yeast infection appears on folds near the groin, legs, and genitals.

2. How Long Does a Yeast Infection Last in Toddlers?

Yeast infection normally improves within two weeks after starting the antifungal treatment. Sometimes the infection disappears within three days. Some moderate infections clear within a couple of days.

Editorial Team,

With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.

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