Thrush and Other Yeast Infections in Children (cont.)

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How do children (and adults) acquire thrush?

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Outbreaks of thrush in child-care settings may be the result of an increased use of antibiotics rather than newly acquired Candida infections. In children (and adults) taking antibiotics or steroids (such as cortisone-related asthma medications), the balance of microbes in the mouth can be disturbed. This may cause an overgrowth of Candida, which in turn results in oral thrush.

How does yeast affect diaper rash?

Candida may infect an infant's diaper area and worsen a diaper rash. This is because yeast can grow very readily on irritated, moist skin. The infected skin is usually fiery red with areas that may have a raised red border.

Can thumb sucking cause problems with yeast?

Children who suck their thumbs or other fingers may occasionally develop Candida around their fingernails. This causes redness at the edges of the nails.

Can a nursing mother acquire yeast infections from her infant?

Nursing mothers are at risk for developing Candida infections on their breasts (this is called mastitis) and can be treated with the same medication that is used for infants.

What is the treatment for thrush and other yeast infections?

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Oral thrush and yeast infections, such as Candida diaper rash, are usually treated with the antifungal antibiotic called nystatin (Mycostatin), either by mouth or in a topical cream. Luckily most Candida are very sensitive to nystatin and resistance is rare. Brand names for nystatin preparations include

  • Mycostatin,
  • Mycostatin Filmlok,
  • Mycostatin Pastilles,
  • Nystatin Ointment,
  • Nystat-Rx,
  • Nystop,
  • Pedi-Dri.

For children with diaper rash, diapers should be changed frequently and the child's skin gently cleansed with water and a mild soap, rinsed, and patted dry. Barrier creams or ointments such as Desitin or A&D are helpful. While cornstarch may be recommended for mild diaper rash, it should not be used for children with significantly inflamed skin. High-absorbency disposable diapers may help keep the skin dry. Plastic pants that do not allow air to circulate over the diaper area should not be used, although the diapering system should be able to hold urine or liquid feces.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/24/2014

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Yeast Infections in Children - Symptoms Question: What were your child's symptoms associated with thrush or another yeast infection?
Yeast Infections in Children - Treatment Question: What kinds of treatment, including medication, were used for your child's thrush or other yeast infection?
Yeast Infections in Children - Causes Question: What was the suspected cause of your child's thrush or other yeast infection?
Yeast Infections in Children - Child Care Question: Did you keep your child at home (out of child care) when he or she had thrush or another yeast infection? Why or why not?