Every baby has a sore bottom. A little powder or children’s cream on it and then it should get better. But what if this is not the case and the redness increases? Then it may be that your baby has a diaper fungus, also called diaper thrush.
In this article, you will learn how diaper fungus develops, how to prevent it and how to treat it.
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What Exactly Is Diaper Fungus And How Do You Recognize It?
Diaper fungus is a severe inflammation of the skin in the diaper area. Unlike normal soreness, the skin is not only very red but also cracked, swollen and may be covered with red, scaly pustules. These pustules usually have a white head and begin to bleed when touched.
Even the mucous membranes of the mouth can indicate diaper thrush: If you notice white coatings there that are not easy to wipe away, this is also an indication of the fungal infection.
If you notice this, it is better to see a doctor quickly, because the fungus also causes severe itching, which should not torment your darling for long.
How Does Diaper Thrush Develop?
The reasons for the development of diaper thrush can be different. A sore bottom is usually the starting point for the development of the diaper fungus.
A sore bottom, in turn, can be due to a lack of hygiene in the diaper area: If the baby wears a wet diaper for too long, this is very damaging to the delicate baby skin, and the uric acid attacks the PH value of the skin. So again the natural acid mantle is impaired and the foundation for a sore bottom is laid.
Now bacteria and fungi can penetrate the skin more easily because in the moist diaper area they find the optimal breeding ground to settle and grow. They can spread throughout the genital and lumbar area and even affect the legs and abdomen if the diaper sore is not treated.
Another reason may be a general intolerance of the diaper itself. Too much acid in the food can also cause redness and inflammation. If this is left untreated, it can lead to small tears and bloody sores on the baby’s bottom, which can also be signs of budding diaper dermatitis.
Another cause, especially in very small babies, maybe that they contracted it during birth from their mother, who has or had vaginal fungus. That is why your gynecologist will check you for it regularly during your checkups.
How Can Diaper Fungus Be Treated?
You should go to the doctor and have the affected area examined. Usually, zinc ointment is used, which dries out pimples and thus removes the breeding ground for the fungus. Zinc oxide is a natural substance that occurs in the body has antiseptic effects and promotes wound healing.
You should also make sure to change your diaper more often and keep the acid contained in stool and urine away from the irritated skin as much as possible. After washing, it is important that you dry the entire bottom and especially the skin fold well.
Also try to leave your baby without a diaper as often as possible, so that fresh air can get to the sore spots.
If it is a really bad fungal infection, the doctor can also prescribe antifungals (fungistatic agents) and in isolated cases even creams containing cortisone.
In any case, avoid greasy creams, oils and lotions, because these give the fungus new breeding ground to grow.
Is Diaper Thrush Contagious?
No, don’t worry, the Candida fungus is everywhere – on our skin, in our intestines and in the environment. You cannot protect yourself from it. But infection only occurs when the skin barrier is disturbed and the immune system is weakened.
How Can You Prevent Diaper Thrush?
You can easily prevent diaper fungus with some measures:
Change Diapers Frequently
As already mentioned, wet diapers favor the formation of fungus, because the uric acid attacks the PH of the delicate baby skin. Therefore, it is important that you change diapers frequently.
The conventional disposable diapers have little breathability and the temperature inside the diaper is one degree higher. Both factors contribute to a warm and humid diaper climate that supports fungal growth.
Eco-diapers can also be a good alternative, as they are mostly biodegradable and also more breathable than traditional diapers.
Babies love to be naked! Therefore, try to leave your baby without diapers as often as possible. For example, it can be while romping or playing on a washable pad or towel.
Healthy baby skin does not need oils, powders or lotions. Cosmetics such as shampoo or bath additives are also not necessary in the first months or years of life. The cosmetics industry tries to convince you of the opposite. But in the end, every substance ensures that the healthy skin barrier does more harm than good.
If your baby really has skin problems, then additional care products are needed. Apart from natural oils and fats, you can also try treating the affected areas with breast milk, because it has an antibacterial effect and is completely natural.
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