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Infant yeast infection usually occurs after the infection has been transmitted from the mother during natural childbirth, or sometimes even through breast feeding. Infant yeast infection is usually located in the mouth, in the form of a thrush, but it can also affect the diaper area and is often mistaken with diaper rash. As in the case of adults, yeast infections in babies appear due to an overgrowth of Candida Albicans, a type of fungi that exists on the human body under normal conditions. Infants that have undergone antibiotics treatments run a higher risk of getting a yeast infection, through the same mechanism that can affect adults. Antibiotics can destroy the healthy bacteria in our bodies, creating an imbalance and leaving way for the Candida to develop freely.
Infant yeast infections that take the forms of oral thrushes can present themselves as sore, white-yellowish patches located in the child’s mouth, especially on the gums and tongue. Genital yeast infection in babies can appear when fecal matter (where the Candida can reside) comes in prolonged contact with the infant’s genitals. The Candida thrives in damp, warm areas, so an unchanged diaper provides the perfect environment for it to develop. Genital yeast infection in babies can take the form of a persistent rash covering the vagina or penis and surrounding areas. The rash associated with infant yeast infection can usually be accompanied by small blisters, most of the time pus-filled, and it will not go away under regular diaper rash treatment. Any parent is concerned with their child’s wellbeing, and infant yeast infection can create great discomfort and pain for the child, which should not be taken lightly.
The recommended course of action in case of suspicion that your baby has a yeast infection is to immediately see a doctor. Your doctor can recommend a treatment for infant yeast infection, which will most often come in the form of an antifungal cream, and can also offer some advice on avoiding the return of the infection.
Yeast infection in babies can be recurrent, especially if the baby has to follow frequent antibiotics treatments, but as a general rule for the prevention of infant yeast infection, an extremely good hygiene of the child must be kept. In order to prevent the apparition of yeast infection in babies, the diapers must be changed as frequently as possible and the child must be bathed as often as necessary, so that they can always be clean and dry. The fastening of the diaper should be loose enough to allow some kind of ventilation. The use of plastic covers over reusable diapers is strongly advised against, because they create a good setting for the development of infant yeast infection by keeping humidity in and preventing air circulation. You must also avoid unnecessary antibiotics treatment for your child, and avoid harsh soaps and shampoos that can alter the natural balance of your child’s bacterial flora. Seek as much information about infant yeast infection from your doctor, and remember that good hygiene and care are the first steps towards keeping your child healthy and happy.