Worst baby yeast infection ever (but her face is healing!!)

Mama and Fi

Mama and Fi

EDITED TO ADD:  See very long comment by me on 04/21/10 for updated baby yeast infection regimen.

I took this on Sunday, as I stayed home to help Fiala recover from the worst case of yeast infection I’ve ever seen, which has made her red and swollen from the top of her bum all the way around to her belly button, with “satellite” patches that extend even further.  As of yesterday, we are now using prescription Nystatin to help it further heal… but my regimen of taking care of her bum pretty much takes the entire day.  HOWEVER, her face looks beautifully clear, does it not?  It is now Tuesday late afternoon, and she hasn’t had Protopic or any medication since Saturday morning, and it still looks great.  Previously, even on our dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-free, soy-free diet, I was still having to faithfully use Protopic 2x/day, or her face would break out in lesions.

I feel like saying, “Told you so!” to the first allergist we saw, who was extremely skeptical that Fiala could be healed simply by altering her diet (and mine, as she is nursing).  The allergist she has now is not suggesting that we do anything OTHER than alter the diet (other than the steroid cream on her legs), and he wants to see us in a couple of weeks to gauge her progress.

Her legs are still bad, and the allergist prescribed — yet another — topical steroid, but I decided, instead, to be more generous with the triamcinolone on her legs, just until they are healed… then, I think/hope, given the evidence on her face, we should be able to stop it altogeterh.

OK.  Yeast diaper rash care.  On Saturday, I could tell that the normal regimen of bare-butt therapy just wasn’t cutting it, so I Googled, and decided to use pretty much anything and everything that sounded safe.

We are:

  1. Giving her a probiotic capsule (broken) and mixed with a small amount of water, daily.
  2. Rinsing her bum in water EVERY time she pees.
  3. Having her bare as much as possible, which is most of her waking time.
  4. Keeping her in an uncovered cloth diaper the remainder of the time.
  5. Changing her as soon as she pees.  Yes, this makes for a good 15-20 diapers a day.
  6. Putting her (bare-butt) in sunlight for at least 15 minutes a day.
  7. Smoothing on liquid Mylanta with a cottonball, and letting it dry to a milky white.  (I’m not entirely sure how this works, as urine is not acidic, but it really seems to help.  Edited to amend: Urine IS acidic.)
  8. We’re now using Nystatin powder, but before that I had used miconazole (didn’t help) and Lotrimin AF (clotrimizole), which was actually helping.
  9. Using pure aloe vera gel during the time when its between applications of the antifungals, and letting it dry.
  10. SLATHERING on zinc oxide cream (I’m using Aveeno) when she goes down for a nap/nighttime.

The Nystatin is definitely helping, but I think we could have beat it using just the above over-the-counter regimen.


About Karen Joy

I'm a partially-homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 19, 17 and 15 years old, and three girls: 11, 8, and 3. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I very casually lead a very large group of homeschooling families in the Phoenix area. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on August 25, 2009, in Allergies, Babies, Cloth Diapering, Medical Stuff, The Kids. Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. Karen, you are closing in on the mother of the year award! So glad she is doing so much better! Kathy

  2. Hello, I found your blog through a friends blog (just lurking around:))
    I could not help but share a product with you that worked wonders with my son when he had bowel surgery, and had a very severe rash ever. It is called Ilex cream and you can order it online http://www.medconbiolab.com/
    We used this cream night and day, and it was the ONLY thing that worked for us, after trying so many products. HOPE this helps!!

  3. glutenfree4goofs

    Shoot, you should potty train her while you are at it! 🙂 I have a friend potty training her infant (mind you it’s her first child)! I had to laugh because it really is an excercise in potty training mommy not baby since they baby can’t get to the potty on her own for at least another year and it is only a matter of “catching” the potty. Who has time for that? If you did though I guess it couldn’t hurt. Ha ha!

    • I know of a couple of people (through the bloggy world, not IRL) who have done this… Can’t remember the name for it. I have actually tried holding her over the toilet, which she thinks is great fun for some reason, but it hasn’t worked… I haven’t read up on how to really do it, though. Not sure if I want to be running to the toilet (or sink, as some use!) 20x/day.

  4. Dear karen,
    I am dealing with this same situation with my 1 year old daughter. The doctors are giving me solutions. I am a vegan and breastfeeding mom. She eats no other foods but breastmilk. I do infant potty train and have since 2 weeks old so she never sits in a diaper. I have cut out yeast products, fermented products, white rice and potatos from my diet. But we are getting no relief. Did you ever find out what was causing your daughters yeast infection? How is she doing today? Have the yeast infection reoccured?? She reponds to medicines for a couple of days and then it gets really bad again. Could this be caused by allergies other than foods. Something in my house??? We have several large parrots and am thinking maybe they are causing some problem. I don’t know. I am desperate. Thanks so much for posting this article. It was the only thing on the internet that I could find that I could relate to.

    • Oh, Robyn, I’m so sorry for you. Fiala is 18 months, and we have had some heart-rending health issues with her, but I think of all of them, the yeast problem was the most difficult. For us, though Fiala continues to have multiple, severe food allergies, her struggle with yeast was not diet or environment-related; it was “simply” from her having to have antibiotics to curb a staph infection on her skin, which — even though I gave her lots of probiotics — unbalanced her system.

      She has had very tiny reoccurences of yeast infection, but I either quickly treat it with gentian violet and/or bare-buns-in-the-sun, and that nips it in the bud.

      What treatments are you using on her now? How long has it been going on? Was she ever on antibiotics?

      • Thank you so much for writing back Karen. First off let me say how beautiful Fiala is. My little girls name is Poetry and she is number 6 for me.I have them from 20 years all the way down to 1 year. But, I have never dealt with anything like this before. The doctor is being of no help at all. Poetry has never been on antibiotics. So all I can figure out is that something in the environment is causing the imbalance. I have ideas…but I can’t find any info to support them.We foster large parrots for a rescue and I was thinking maybe something from them was causing the imbalance. We are also dealing with a very leaky basement and mold from the dampness. Do you think either of these 2 things could be a factor? I am going to take her to a specialist but am unsure what type to take her to. You mentioned an allergist but I was thinking a dermatologist. What do you think? Thank you again for all your advice. I truly appreciate it.How long did it take for Fiala to recover? I am so glad she is doing better now.She is a doll!

        • Oh, a mom of six! Yay! Blessings to you. If your oldest is 20, then you’re likely in your early 40s or thereabouts??? A huge part of me wants baby #6… I don’t quite feel like we’re done… but when I was pregnant with Fiala, I was only 35, and my body did not weather it well. I was so ill and it felt like every piece of me was falling apart. I’m not quite 37 now… As it stands, my husband and I are in agreement that if we accidentally conceive, then it will totally be all right, but we’re not TTC, and we are taking some (non-hormonal) steps to prevent that. But, two of my five were conceived under similar circumstances, so we’ll see what God has in mind. 🙂


          Yeast infection is a fungus, and mold in your basement is a fungus. I don’t know if they’re the same fungi… but it stands to reason that it may at least be a factor. Some babies’ immune systems seem oddly susceptible to certain infections — be they bacterial, fungal, or both — so perhaps the fungi spores that are infecting Poetry are the same that are infecting your home.

          Not to pester you, but would you mind telling me what you’ve tried (OTC, conventional prescriptions, folk remedies, et al) on her? I do have some suggestions, but I think I’d rather know what you’ve done (that hasn’t worked) first.

          For a doctor, yes, a dermatologist would be better. We just happened to already be going to an allergist, so I asked him about it. He prescribed nystatin, which did not work, btw.

          I think, altogether, it took 3-4 weeks for her to recover from the worst of it. It was a long time. All of my care, for weeks, every diaper change, was centered around caring for the tender, infected skin. 😦 Since you do EC, it’s likely that you’ve spared Poetry from the worst of it! At the height of infection, Fiala lived pretty much naked from the waist down, and in an immediately-changed COTTON cloth diaper the rest of the time.

          Fiala *is* a doll! I heartily agree with you! 🙂 She is so darling and light-hearted and cute… she’s such a huge blessing to our family. God knew just what we needed!

  5. Hi again. You are so sweet. Thank you. Yes I am 40. And, these pregnancy was a lot harder for me as well. I just seem to feel bad all the time. I guess it is the age.We were planning a home delivery but she became lodged under my pelvic bone so we went to the hospital. Upon delivery there was a loud pop. My tailbone broke. So recovery was difficult. So we like you are not sure we would like more children but are not using anything hormonal to prevent it and never have.

    As far as Poetry…When she first started getting a rash I thought she just had a diaper rash because she was on a potty strike and kept peeing on the floor. I thought maybe I just wasn’t wiping her off good enough. So I just used Zinc Oxyide cream to treat that. After I realized it was a yeast infection I used Clotrimazole. We used it for over a week. At first it seemed to help some but then it got worse again. I then went to the doctor who said basically he had no idea and prescribed the Clotrimazole for 2 more weeks. I used it awhile longer with no results. I then switched to Miconazole which again semed to help. We have been using it for about 5 days and today it looks worse than ever. It is going down her legs now. I have been switching my diet a bit. But, to be honest as a vegan I have a pretty healthy diet. I have given up carbs like white rice, pasta, and potatos. I have also stopped eating fermented foods and any foods containing yeast. I never eat refined sugars. She has never been on antibiotics and does not wear a diaper except at bedtime. But, she almost never wets at night. We are about 3 1/2 weeks into this and she looks absolutely terrible. My poor sweetie!

    I am afraid it might be the birds. We adore our birds!There is a fungus found in their poop that can be inhaled. It usually cause no symptoms and if symptoms do occur it is in the lungs. However, it can cause skin leisons. But, they do not look like a yeast infection at all.

    I just wish I knew what to do to help her. I will do anything.

    Thank you so much everything. It is such a blessing to talk to someone who not only understand about the yeast problem but also my life style choices. I am smiling……

  6. One more thing…This started out on Poetry’s face.She did not have thrush inside her mouth. Do you know why it is on the face??

    • Very first: GENTIAN VIOLET. It’s a MUST. You can get it over the counter at a pharmacy. Call to make sure it’s in stock. It should cost you $4-8 for a 2 oz bottle. You might want to invest in some disposable gloves, because it WILL stain you bright purple. Well, it’ll stain Poetry bright purple, but that’s the point. Depending on how widespread it is, either soak a Q-tip or a cotton ball with gentian violet, and dab it on. Under your daughter, lay down some old towels or cloth diapers that you don’t mind getting all purple, in case of drips and smudges. You can use gentian violet around and in her mouth, too, AND cover your areolas/nipples with it. It’s not attractive, it’s messy, but it WORKS, and it’s safe. Use the gentian violet once or twice a day. I put it on in the morning, and by evening, it’s partially worn off, which is important if you don’t want bun-shaped stains on the bottom of the tub. If it’s super bad, put gentian violet on again after bath time. Basically, as long as the purple remains, it’s effective. If she is VERY severe, there may be a tatooing effect. Fi had gentian violet “tatoos” for a few weeks, but they eventually disappeared. (BTW, Fi also had yeast on her face, but not the classic cotton-mouth thrush IN the mouth, just like Poetry!)

      SUN. Direct sunlight will kill yeast. If it’s warm enough where you live, and you have a fenced yard (or some other private outdoor space), let her run around without a diaper in the sun. Lay out a blanket, and encourage her to just bask in the sun.

      EVERY TIME she pees, RINSE HER OFF with fresh water. We just held Fiala under the kitchen faucet. Urine is acidic, and you can’t let it sit on her skin, as the yeast will grow in an acidic environment.

      Mylanta. Not kidding. I’m not sure if it’s the alkalizing effect of it, or what, but it really helps. Get regular liquid Mylanta (“Classic Mint”), soak a cotton ball with it, and dab it on every area that has yeast. It will start out clearish; let it dry to a milky color before covering her with anything.

      I found that Clotrimizole was much more effective than Myconizole, too. However, gentian violet is FAR more effective than either.

      Also, fresh aloe is supposed to work wonders for the itch of yeast infections. (It didn’t for us, because it turns out that Fiala is allergic to everything in the lily family, including aloe and garlic.)

      So, yes. She’ll be a mess with purple skin that’s covered with milky white stuff, but she should be healed within 3-5 days, maybe even sooner if it’s not super-severe. (The purple will take a few days to wear off…) It will feel like ALL you’re doing is caring for the yeast infection, but this too shall pass, right?

      Give her a bath daily (if you can), and use a bit of REAL soap (like Kirk’s Castile, or any old-fashioned or French-milled soap — the kind that starts with a fat or oil and is saponified with lye). All soap is alkaline, but real soap is better. However, it will sting the very tenderest spots, so lather up a wash cloth, dab the lather on, and rinse her fairly quickly. Most lotions have an alkalinizing effect, so don’t withhold lotion if you usually use it on her.

      For diet/food: First off, as bacteria is the “opposite” of fungus, and fungal infections are an outgrowth of too little of the natural bacteria in the digestive system which normally keep the fungus in check. So, she needs (you do, too) lots of good bacteria. BabyLife by Solaray is a good, vegan probiotic. It comes with a scoop. It’s about $20 a bottle, but it has more than 100 servings. Put a scoop in her water (or whatever else she drinks), every time she drinks. You should be taking it, too.

      You may know this, but look up “alkalinizing diet” or “alkaline foods” or “alkalinizing foods”. These will help get rid of acid and increase good bacteria. You may be on a really limited diet until the yeast is kicked!

      Then… let me know how it worked for Poetry (and you)!

      (p.s. I don’t know anything about parrots… but if you get the yeast infection kicked, and stay on an alkalinizing diet for a few weeks afterwards, and the yeast STILL returns, then I’d start looking at the parrots as a possible culprit. AND, no matter what some health websites may say, do NOT stay on an alkaline diet forever. Too much alkaline will increase the bacteria, which will then make you/her susceptible to bacterial infections, like staph in ears and/or skin. Once a few weeks have passed, return to a normal diet, including those fermented foods, which are great for you!)

      Last thing, totally unrelated. We’re not vegan, but Fiala (and another of my children) is allergic to eggs and dairy. We’re already gluten-free due to celiac disease (3/7 of my family have it). I am crafting a wholegrain vegan g.f. bread, but am not 100% happy with it. Are you gluten-free? Do you bake? If you do, and if you’re willing, I’d like to send the recipe over to you to let you have a gander at it for your thoughts, and even to try it out and lend your suggestions for improvement, if you care to. NOT pressuring you to eat bread, but the yeast in bread and the yeast in yeast infections are NOT related. They’re both fungus, and maybe cutting out yeast will help your body not be overwhelmed with fungus in general, but bread should be safe to eat… though I understand if you’re not feeling ready for bread yet, just to be safe!!

  7. Thank you so much for such a long letter. I know how busy you must be. I went to the drug store today and ordered the Gentian Violet. It will be here tomorrow. Yeah….. The cloth diapers she does have I dyed purple so nowhere butt will match her diapers…LOL I have another question for you. Her little butt and face is so dry and peeling. I have been using organic coconut oil but her skin is still so dry. Any advice?? Did Fiala’s skin get really dry?? I would absolutely love to try your bread. My 16 year old son loves to cook. I will put him in charge of baking it and I will eat it. Sounds like a great idea to me.I can’t lose. How old are your other children? How many boys and girls. I have 3 and 3 ages 20, 16, 13, 9, 5, and 1.I hope you are having a good day. I send my warmest wishes and lots of appreciation.

    • Well, we still have ongoing skin problems — severe eczema — with Fiala, related (it appears) from severe food allergy problems. Her skin was best when we were both on a total elimination diet, when we were literally only eating lamb, buckwheat, garbanzo beans, cabbage, and blueberries. And olive oil. And salt. That’s it. But, five months of that, and we were both ready to stop. She’s been weaned since January (much earlier than I weaned baby #4!) and continues to have skin problems, but she’s up to 30 or so foods now.

      I tried just about everything under the sun for her skin, including organic coconut oil. Turned out she was allergic to coconut. There are two things that have worked the best. Both are messy, and I do them just at bedtime; it especially works well immediately after a bath. For a while, I used some homemade salve that I made from beeswax & olive oil. I don’t remember the proportions! (Sorry!) I *think* it’s 1:2, so 1 oz beeswax for every 2 oz olive oil — melt the beeswax, stir in the olive oil, pour into a glass jar and when it cools, it will have a spreadable consistency. HOWEVER, once I ran out of that, per a doctor’s suggestion, I just started using plain ol’ Vaseline.

      I have also heard that pure shea butter works well for very problematic skin, as does emu oil. However, I have used neither.

      If she’s just peely around the yeast infection areas, that is from her skin healing. It will peel as it heals, and that’s a good sign.

      I actually “finished” my bread recipe… the 18th time was the charm! I’ll be posting the recipe soon.

      I have three boys and two girls. My boys are (almost) 13, 10, and 8, and my girls are 4 and 18 months. 🙂 I like the spacing on your children! That was my “plan” but it didn’t work out that way. Good thing, though, because if I had had my way, I likely would have run out of time to have five, and I so can’t imagine life without Fiala, our youngest. They’re all treasures, but she is special. 🙂

  8. Wow! We seem to have much in common including a broken tailbone with baby 4 (though it was not from an injury and the dr reckon no way from having a c-sect which I tried to labour with all 6 pgs). I’m a mother in her 40s. Have 5 children plus one more(DD died at full-term). My most recent baby is 14 weeks. Around 4-6weeks she had nappy rash which then seemed to be on belly button. Tried various fungal cream including the Nyastin or whatever the active ingredient is. The one that seemed to ease but not totally eradicate was Daktozin, I believe. Around the age of 6 weeks, she started with a rash, one hot day, where she was overdressed. The rash looked like heat rash, but it seem to be more prolific. Next day, took her to dr who claimed it was an excessive milk pimples. Sounded odd to me and so I let a few days past. The pimples seem to combined and it became large raised patches. Diff dr said it was eczema. Comm nurse was aghast and mystified and sent us to emergency dr who thought it could be the cradlecap or fungus so referred DD to dermatologist. First one said some form of dermatitus or eczema. I said not good enough (I had googled and had an indication that it was psorasis). Dermatologist consultant agreed it was psorasis and suggested a myriad of synthetic creams/lotions&potions. Then DH was diagnosed with septecemia & then ended up with a very high BGL (probably from the antibiotics and anti-inflamm). Our family has gone through alot of sicknesses including candida or thrush, cysts, diabetes, strep, staph or golden, etc etc. How could a baby who is not exposed to anything other than my milk get this wierd stuff without some other exposures??? So I googled many of these things. I noticed common thread. Our pH is out of whack. So poor bub who has only been in this world (outside womb) for such a short time has been effected by my milk because of the highly acidic content of my body. Needless to say, we are about to go overseas and need to fix immune system. So started pH water, food, probiotic/acidopholus, and additional minerals and vitamins to assist with the pH balancing as we are so far gone. Had blood tests and acid test done before this pH and will be doing more as the lifestyle change progresses. I can keep you posted if you’re interested.

  9. hello quick question did you used the Nystatin cream on her face ?

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