Can You Put Yogurt on a Baby Yeast Infection?
Treating a baby yeast infection can be an uncomfortable process. While there are antifungal medications your doctor can prescribe, you may also hear that yogurt can help treat the infection. But is yogurt really a safe and effective option? Here’s what you need to know.
What Is a Yeast Infection?
A yeast infection, or candida, is caused by an overgrowth of the naturally occurring fungus Candida albicans. It’s most common in the mouth and vagina, but it can also affect the diaper area.
In babies, diaper rash caused by yeast is especially common in the warm, moist conditions created by wearing cloth diapers and plastic pants. Typical symptoms include:
- Red, pustular (filled with pus) lesions
- Itching or burning
- Rash in the diaper area, which may spread to the torso, legs, and arms, if the diapers or plastic pants rub against the skin
- White patches resembling cottage cheese
Can Yogurt Help?
For many years, yogurt has been touted as an effective treatment for yeast infections. While scientists are still studying the effectiveness of yogurt, some studies suggest that it may help to prevent yeast infections.
A 2014 study of 25 healthy pregnant women found that a daily probiotic supplement of lactobacilli was significantly more effective than placebo at preventing vaginal yeast infections. The participants took either the probiotic supplement or placebo for the 10 weeks of their second trimester.
While the study didn’t use yogurt as the probiotic, it does suggest that a probiotic supplement could help prevent yeast infections.
Can I Give My Baby Yogurt?
It’s safe to give your baby plain yogurt, as long as they’re 12 months or older.
Yogurt that contains live active cultures, like Greek or Bulgarian yogurt, may be especially effective.
When applying yogurt to your baby’s diaper area, make sure to:
- Choose a plain, unsweetened yogurt.
- Apply an unscented diaper cream to the area first.
- Spread a thin layer of yogurt over the rash.
- Cover the area with a cloth or disposable diaper, and change it often.
- Wash off the yogurt when you change the diaper.
Yogurt may be a safe and effective way to help prevent baby yeast infections. While it hasn’t been proven, it may also help to treat yeast infections in babies 12 months and older. However, it’s a good idea to speak with your doctor before you give your baby yogurt for a yeast infection.