Can Adults Use Desitin for Yeast Infection? (Is It A Definite No?)

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Yes, adults can use Desitin to treat their diaper rash, mild skin irritations, and minor burns and scrapes, but it doesn’t contain any antifungal ingredients to fight yeast infection. It could at least relieve dryness, itching, and mild inflammation, but antifungal medications are mostly recommended for severe cases. Vusion, contains zinc oxide like Desitin, but it has miconazole which effectively fights yeast infections.

Desitin is basically the number 1 brand of baby diaper rash cream worldwide. If it’s safe and effective for infants and young children, it could work for adults, too!

Well, yes. Adults who also experience diaper rash and other skin irritations may find relief from Desitin. 

But, if we’re talking about jock itch or yeast infections, then maybe Desitin is not a very good choice. You can read more below about why Desitin isn’t for yeast infections.

What is Desitin and its uses?

Desitin is a topical ointment typically used to treat diaper rash in young children.

It contains zinc oxide and liver cod oil which locks moisture in the skin, relieving dryness, scaling, itchiness, and irritation. 

It’s an over-the-counter drug that can also treat insect bites and poison oak, ivy, and sumac rashes. 

In rash creams like Desitin, zinc oxide has weak astringent and antiseptic properties. Its main purpose is to create a protective barrier between your baby’s skin from the urine and stool on their soiled diaper. This prevents your baby from getting rashes.  

Zinc oxide ointments are safe for jock itch, but most formulations have little to no antifungal properties. 

It may help treat symptoms like inflamed skin but not for fungal-killing purposes.

However, you can supplement this Ointment with antifungal creams and oral steroid medications, if necessary and prescribed by your doctor. 

Desitin Maximum Strength Original Paste typically relieves your baby’s diaper rash within 12 hours. Because Desitin is not the most ideal antifungal cream on the market, it could take longer to treat itchiness and dryness due to fungal infection.

How to use Desitin?

Most mommies agree that Desitin is really effective in healing and keeping their baby’s diaper rash at bay. 

Of course, that should come along with some tender loving care.

So, it’s essential to take note of the following:

  1. Always keep your baby’s bum clean and dry as often as possible.
  2. Don’t rub the area to dry; instead, pat it gently with a soft towel or allow it to air-dry
  3. Apply a good amount or rub (without pressure) a thick layer of Desitin on the diaper area.
  4. Put on a new diaper on your baby, and be sure it’s not on too tight.
  5. Change your baby’s diaper frequently and apply the Ointment every time you change their diapers, especially at night.
  6. You can use as much Desitin as needed.

Make sure to follow the instructions on how to use Desitin, which are printed on a leaflet or attached to the product’s packaging. 

Destin products come in 3 varieties. 

DESITIN® Daily Defense Cream in a blue tube contains 13% of active zinc oxide and is for daily use. 

Desitin Daily Defense Baby Diaper Rash Cream with 13% Zinc Oxide, Barrier Cream to Treat, Relieve & Prevent Diaper Rash, Hypoallergenic, Dye-, Phthalate- & Paraben-Free, 16 oz

DESITIN® Maximum Strength Original Paste in a purple tube has 40% zinc oxide that will immediately help heal, soothe and prevent diaper rash. 

Desitin Maximum Strength Baby Diaper Rash Cream

Lastly, DESITIN® Multipurpose Healing Ointment contains 0% zinc oxide but has 71.3% white petrolatum. It helps soothe dry and chaffed skin, treat skin irritations, and relieve already affected skin. 

Desitin Multipurpose Baby Diaper Rash Ointment with White Petrolatum Skin Protectant, 3.5 oz (Pack of 3)

Most moms have noticed that their kids would react when putting Desitin on their bum. It could be that it burns on an already irritated skin!

Desitin Multipurpose Healing Ointment could be your best option among the 3 varieties when this happens.

Warning when using Desitin

Desitin is for external use only!

Avoid applying on your private part. Please contact your doctor immediately if you experience allergic reactions or when symptoms of bacterial or yeast infections occur.

Can adults use Desitin?

The short answer is yes! 

Although people typically use Desitin products for baby diaper rashes, there are several cases when adults have to wear diapers and get rashes from them. 

But as mentioned above, Desitin products can help with mild skin irritations like dryness, scaling, itching, chaffing, insect bites, and minor burns. 

It’s generally safe for both children and adults. 

However, if rashes or skin irritations persist, you should seek medical attention immediately. It could be an allergic reaction to one of the ingredients of Desitin.

Most adults use Desitin for the following:

  1. Heals skin from diaper rash
  2. Soothe dryness and chaffed skin
  3. Locks moisture that protects chafed, irritated and burned skin 
  4. Protects burns, minor cuts, and scrapes for a short term until you get proper medications
  5. Moisturizes the skin to prevent dryness due to cold weather and humid air.

Can adults use Desitin for yeast infection?

Unfortunately, no.

Desitin only contains zinc oxide, which doesn’t have antifungal properties. It’s only very effective in moisturizing and protecting your skin from irritants. 

Other than Desitin, many over-the-counter and prescription antifungal creams and oral drugs are effective for yeast infections.

Yeast infections can affect any age, so you should get a diagnosis from a healthcare professional once you experience severe and recurrent diaper rashes.

You can learn more below about yeast infection and ways to treat it.

Yeast infection vs. diaper rash

Most diaper rashes often come along with yeast infections.

The symptoms can be tough to differentiate. But, don’t worry, there are available treatments for a regular diaper rash that turned out to be a yeast rash!

Below is how can you tell If it’s a diaper rash or a yeast infection:

Diaper rash Candida diaper rash or yeast infection
Pink to dry reddish skin in mild rashesBright, red skin which may appear with dots or raised pimples
Rash typically clears up in 2-3 days with diaper creams or ointmentsStandard diaper creams don’t clear up the rashes
The skin may appear irritated, raw, inflamed, or burnt-looking (in severe cases)Rashes go beyond the main part of the rash and extend to skin folds.
Rashes may appear on the smoother surface of your buttocks, thighs, or genitalsRashes may appear in the skin folds of the legs, genitals, or buttocksRashes don’t appear in the oral thrushRashes may appear in the oral thrush

How to get rid of a yeast infection?

Most yeast infections can be treated with a combination of proper lifestyle habits and over-the-counter antifungal drugs. 

Your doctor may prescribe antifungal creams and oral medicines, mostly in severe cases. Zinc oxide in Desitin cannot effectively treat yeast infections. 

However, other medications combine an antifungal drug with zinc oxide like Vusion.

Below are things that can help you treat yeast infections.

1. Antifungal topical ointments and oral drugs

Ointments with azole antifungal agents like clotrimazole and miconazole are commonly used for treating fungal infections on the skin, oral thrush, and vagina. 

Prescription-strength antifungal medications like nystatin, fluconazole, or Lamisil may be prescribed in severe cases.

2. Vaginal suppositories

Boric acid suppositories effectively treat vaginal bacterial and yeast infections, especially when they’re recurring. 

Antifungal drugs like fluconazole or ketoconazole may also help. 

3. Probiotics

Most fermented foods are rich in good live bacteria, which may help fight bacterial and yeast infection and restore the bacteria-yeast balance in your body. 

Probiotics can be found in foods, oral supplements, and vaginal suppositories.

4. Coconut oil 

Be sure to buy only 100% pure, organic coconut oil. 

It has a strong antifungal property that effectively fights Candida albicans infections. 

Coconut oil soothes and heals dry and irritated skin.

5. Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil effectively fights harmful microorganisms like fungi, bacteria, and viruses. It treats recurrent vaginal bacterial and yeast infections. 

Dilute tea tree oil first with jojoba or coconut oil before applying it to your skin. 

Do not apply undiluted on the skin. It may cause further rashes and skin irritations.

Vaginal suppositories with tea tree oil are also available in drug stores.

6. Vitamin C and Vitamin E

Having a diet rich in essential vitamins and minerals will help boost your immune system, promote skin health, and restore the microbiome balance throughout your body. 

It’s best to keep your body healthy to overcome yeast infections and prevent them from recurring. 

7. Apple Cider Vinegar

Soaking in an apple cider vinegar bath may help fight the overgrowth of harmful microorganisms in your body, including yeast. 

Fill your bathtub with lukewarm water, add a half cup of apple cider vinegar, and then soak for about 20 minutes.

8. Garlic

Research suggests that garlic may prevent yeast overgrowth. However, it shows weaker antifungal properties than medications like nystatin (Nystop). 

You may, nonetheless, add more garlic into your diet but be sure to seek your doctor’s advice on this, as garlic could interact with some medications.

9. Hydrogen Peroxide

Applying hydrogen peroxide topically to the affected area may help fight bacterial and yeast infections. 

But, there’s still a need for more research on this claim. It’s naturally produced by the Lactobacillus bacteria, which stops pathogens like yeast from overgrowing in your vagina.


Does Vagisil wash help with itching?

Yes, Vagisil intimate area wash may help with minor itching and skin irritation on the area outside your vagina. 

Its main active ingredient is lidocaine, which numbs the skin underneath the affected area, resulting in relief from discomfort and itching.

It doesn’t contain any antibacterial or antifungal ingredients, so it won’t treat any vaginal infections.

Which cream is best for itching in the private part?

Well, there are many available options over-the-counter. You can talk to your local pharmacist or a gynecologist about this. 

Prescription medications may be necessary for severe cases of vaginal bacterial and yeast infections.

Typically, steroid and hydrocortisone cream alleviates skin itching, redness, and inflammation.


Adult people can use Desitin for diaper rash and mild skin irritations like dryness, scaling, itching, chaffing, insect bites, and minor burns. It can also be a good moisturizer during cold weather. 

Desitin is for external use only. It isn’t an effective treatment for bacterial and yeast infections in young children and adults.

Over-the-counter antifungal ointments and oral drugs are available to treat yeast infections. 

You can also combine medications with home remedies like soaking in an apple cider vinegar bath, using coconut oil and tea tree oil and adding more probiotics to your diet. These can help your body fight the overgrowth of harmful microorganisms. 

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Reana Jean Cuevas
Mabuhay! I'm Reana Jean Cuevas. A healthy body means living well with no worries-just happiness and more life adventures. Taking care of my body and well-being is an investment for my career and future. I was a volunteer at the Philippine Red Cross. I joined the training to become a first-aider and be able to provide other health and safety services in my community. I love discussing anything but mainly first-aid, home remedies, and women's health.

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