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Difference Between Nappy Rash And Thrush: A Genuine Fact Sheet

Difference Between Nappy Rash And Thrush: A Genuine Fact Sheet

When a baby arrives in a family there are so many things and problems that emerge to get solved. Parents must know about healthy diet, sleep, playtime, and the cleanliness of the baby. They must know about the difference between nappy rash and thrush to seek the best prevention.

The diaper rash occurs from moisture or dirt if it remains long on the baby’s skin. And thrush is a sort of yeast infection caused by an imbalance of healthy bacteria or bacterial infection. Diaper rash can disappear within a couple of days if treated properly. But the thrush takes a long to get disappear with a strong chance to appear again.

This blog will elaborate on the difference between nappy rash and thrush. It will explain the causes of diaper rash and thrush. Lastly, suitable treatment and home remedies would be discussed to treat them.

Parenting or rearing a child opens the door to a new world. As a baby is born the parents also get born that day because before that they were a couple. So both parents and the baby have to explore a new world and new things. This blog will help a lot of those parents who really need to know about the difference between nappy rash and thrush.

Nappy Rash/ Diaper Rash

  • Nappy rash is very common in infants. The diaper rash makes the baby’s skin in and around the diaper area red, dry, and scaly.
  • Sometimes the rashes appear on a larger area and become spotty.
  • Most diaper rashes are sore and itchy for the baby.
  • Diaper rash makes the infants irritated and unsettled.
  • Diaper rashes appear on the buttocks, around the genitals, and on the upper parts of the legs.
  • If looked after properly, the nappy rash can disappear in a couple of days.
  • The baby cries a lot during the process of diaper change, cleaning, and washing due to irritation in the diaper rashes.

Causes of Nappy Rash

Nappy rash is very irritating and problematic for infants. It disturbs the baby’s sleep, comfort, playtime, and even food intake. Therefore, it is very important for the parents to know the causes of diaper rash to avoid them. Also knowing the causes of the diaper rash will help the parents to take the best prevention, advice diagnosis, or treatment. Knowing about the diaper rash in detail would guide clearly about the difference between nappy rash and thrush.

Contact with wee or poop

If the baby’s skin remains in contact with wee or poo for long then a diaper rash can take place. Because the wee and the poop are waste of the body it contains harmful germs. It is imperative for the baby to pass wee and poop in time to have a healthy digestive system.

Just like it is important to pass wee and poop from the body it is also important changing diapers in time. Otherwise, the germs which are contained in wee and poop can harm the skin of the baby. And this can become a strong cause of diaper rash in the diaper area.

Nappy rubbing

The skin of the baby is very soft and sensitive. The latest evidence-based research has proved that if the diaper is not according to the baby’s skin it can cause a diaper rash. Because the baby keeps moving his legs while laying, crawling, or walking. And the hard or inelegant material of the diaper keeps rubbing the soft skin of the baby. This rubbing process can cause a nappy rash. Therefore, it is very important to select the diapers carefully.

Careless cleaning process

Sometimes the caregiver does not wash the baby properly. And some waste remains in contact with the baby’s skin. Sometimes it gets delayed to change the nappy of the baby in time both reasons can cause the nappy rash easily.

Baby wipes

It is very common to use baby wipes to clean the baby before changing the nappy. Because it is considered that they gently clean the diaper area. If the wipe is alcohol-based then it can cause a diaper rash or diaper dermatitis. Sometimes the wipes do not suit the baby’s skin and cause a diaper rash.

difference between nappy rash and thrush
Try to use alcohol and fragrance-free wipes.

I personally used the baby wipes for both my kids but they did not suit them and caused the diaper rash. So, I stopped using them and wasted the remaining wipes.

Some other reasons

Sometimes the soap, detergent, or bubble baths that parents use for cleaning the baby and his belongings are of low quality. The chemicals used in the making process of this cleaning kit are harsh. If the baby is on medication such as taking antibiotics or laxatives these can cause a diaper rash.

Laxatives are a type of medicine that parents use to treat constipation. Hot weather and sweating can also cause diaper rash. If the baby’s diaper is not breathable this can also become a clear cause of the diaper rash.

 difference between nappy rash and thrush,
Timely nappy change is important to avoid nappy rash.

Treatment for diaper rashes

Nappy rash can easily be treated at home with the help of some careful steps and home remedies. Some easy tips are as follows.

  • Try to keep your baby dry and clean.
  • Change your baby’s wet or dirty diaper in time.
  • Clean or wash the whole nappy area properly and dry it before applying the nappy.
  • Use alcohol and fragrance-free wipes.
  • Dry your baby softly with a soft cotton towel. Do not rub the baby vigorously.
  • Arrange some diaper-free time for the baby. So that the baby’s skin gets fresh air.
  • Make sure the nappy size and the stuff is suitable for the skin of the baby.
  • Apply some ointment or petroleum jelly to the diaper rash after the prescription of your child’s doctor.
  • You can apply some ointment with zinc oxide after medical advice diagnosis to treat diaper rash.
  • You can also apply cornstarch or fragrance-free powder to the baby’s skin to keep it dry or less moisture after medical advice.

Nappy Thrush/ Yeast Infection

Any person who uses a diaper or nappy can get nappy thrush but it mostly appears in infants. It is a kind of fungal infection caused by Candida Albicans that can be of red or purple color. Nappy thrush or yeast infection can cause shiny, cracked, puss-filled pimples or skin breaks in the diaper area. Typically, yeast infection takes two to seven weeks to disappear. If yeast infections are not treated in time then yeast overgrowth can cause yeast diaper rash.

Nappy thrush or yeast infection irritates an infant a lot. Therefore, parents must know the difference between nappy rash and thrush.
Nappy thrush or yeast infection irritates an infant a lot.

Yeast infection mostly appears in the skin folds. Such as in the groin, legs, and genitals where the skin remains in the contact with the skin. A kid can develop yeast infection easily because his immune system is still under development. And they are not strong enough to fight yeast infections.

Yeast infection mostly takes place when the baby is under medication. If the baby is taking antibiotics then they can affect the levels of good bacteria in the body. This disturbance can allow fungal infections to develop and cause yeast infections.

Causes of nappy thrush

There are two types of thrush, oral thrush/mouth, and nappy thrush. Oral thrush appears in and around the mouth of the baby. Whereas nappy thrush emerges in and around the region of the nappy. Both thrushes occur due to the imbalance in the level of healthy bacteria in the body of the baby. Let’s explore in detail the causes of nappy thrush or yeast infection as it will also help us to determine the difference between nappy rash and thrush.


Taking antibiotics is quite helpful to fight any disease and these are totally safe. But sometimes the body of the baby gives an allergic reaction to the antibiotics. The baby can experience vomiting, indigestion, bloating, and abdominal pain. Ultimately, the healthy bacteria in the body get imbalanced and the body expresses it in the form of yeast infection.

If the baby is under medication and taking a high dose of antibiotics it can cause nappy thrush. Sometimes mother takes antibiotics and the baby develops nappy thrush. This happens mostly in those babies who are breastfed. The effect of antibiotics gets transferred to the baby’s body by milk and the baby develops yeast infection.

Fungal infection

There are so many species of fungi and they live in the human skin, plants, and dirt. It is also known as mycosis, which is a type of skin infection or disease. It occurs due to fungus. The baby’s skin is so sensitive and his immune system is not fully developed so he is at higher risk to get a fungal infection and develop a yeast infection or yeast diaper rash.

Carelessness about hygiene

It is very important to deal with a baby with extra care. Whoever takes the baby in his hand, cleans him, or feeds him must wash his hands properly. Sometimes a person is a carrier of infection. When he deals with the baby without using sanitizer or washing hands, he transfers the infection to the baby.

A mother has arranged careful hygienic measures for cleaning the baby. As she knows the difference between nappy rash and thrush.
A mother has arranged careful hygienic measures for cleaning the baby. As she knows the difference between nappy rash and thrush.

Sometimes parents lay the baby on the floor and he gets infected. The toys are the favorite soothers and teether of a baby and a kid love to put them in the mouth. These toys can also transfer the infection to the baby. And the baby develops nappy thrush/yeast infection.

Treatment for nappy thrush/yeast infections

  • Sterilize, the nipple of the milk bottles, and the feeding equipment.
  • Wash the clothes, towels, toys, and other belongings of the baby properly which continuously remain in contact with the baby.
  • Avoid kissing the baby with oral thrush.
  • The use of anti-fungal cream can block yeast overgrowth and convert it into yeast diaper rash.
  • We can treat yeast infections with antifungal cream and antifungal medication after professional medical advice.
  • Wash your hands carefully before and after cleaning and feeding the baby.
  • The peer-reviewed studies proved that the best treatment for yeast infection is keeping the infected area dry. It can help to heal yeast infections soon.
  • Give your child some diaper-free time. So that the skin can breathe in the fresh air and can naturally air dry itself.


In a nutshell, the difference between nappy rash and thrush may not appear clearly in the beginning. But within a day you can easily determine whether it is diaper rash or a yeast infection. I am sure, this blog helped you a lot to determine the difference between nappy rash and thrush. It has also educated you about taking preventive measures and treating both nappy rash and thrush.

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About The Author

Qurratulain Nabeel

This is QURRATULAIN - an M.Phil in Applied Psychology. Being a mother of two I tried to put my knowledge into practice, which proved very beneficial for me. By using the platform of I am so pleased to share my experience with people all around the world.

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