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Health Information For Parents
Oral thrush is a very common yeast infection in babies. It causes irritation in and around a baby’s mouth.
Oral thrush (also called oral candidiasis) can affect anyone, but is most common in babies younger than 6 months old and in older adults.
A baby with oral thrush might have cracked skin in the corners of the mouth or white patches on the lips, tongue, or inside the cheeks that look a little like cottage cheese but can’t be wiped away.
Some babies may not feed well or are uncomfortable when sucking because their mouth feels sore, but many babies don’t feel any pain or discomfort.
Oral thrush is caused by the overgrowth of a yeast (a type of fungus) called Candida albicans.
Most people (including infants) naturally have Candida in their mouths and digestive tracts, which is considered normal growth. Usually, a healthy immune system and some “good” bacteria control the amount of this fungus in the body.
But if the immune system is weakened (from an illness or medicines like chemotherapy) or not fully developed (as in babies), Candida in the digestive tract can overgrow and lead to an infection. Candida overgrowth also causes diaper rash and vaginal yeast infections. Babies can have oral thrush and a diaper rash at the same time.
Candida overgrowth also can happen after a baby has been given antibiotics for a bacterial infection because antibiotics can kill off the “good” bacteria that keep the Candida from growing. Oral thrush also can happen after the use of steroid medicines.
See your doctor if you think your baby may have thrush. Some cases go away without medical treatment within a week or two, but the doctor may prescribe an antifungal solution for your baby’s mouth. This medicine is usually applied several times a day by “painting” it on the inside of the mouth and tongue with a sponge applicator.
Depending on your baby’s age, the doctor also might suggest adding yogurt with lactobacilli to your baby’s diet. The lactobacilli are “good” bacteria that can help get rid of the yeast in your child’s mouth.
If your baby keeps getting oral thrush, especially if he or she is older than 9 months old, talk with your doctor because this might be a sign of another health issue.
Oral thrush is a common infection in babies, but you can help prevent it:
To prevent diaper rash, change diapers often.
Diaper rash is a very common infection that can cause a baby’s skin to become sore, red, scaly, and tender. In most cases, it clears up with simple changes in diapering.
Diaper rash is a common skin condition in babies. In most cases, the condition clears up quickly with a few simple changes.
Vaginal yeast infections are common among growing girls, and can cause some pain and discomfort. They usually clear up quickly with proper medical treatment.
Germs are the microscopic bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa that can cause disease.
By the time you hold your new baby for the first time, you’ve probably chosen your little one’s doctor. Learn about your newborn’s medical care.
Here are answers to some questions about common breastfeeding concerns – from biting to spitting up.
Read about how to manage common formula-feeding concerns, from spitting up and fussiness to gas and milk allergies.
Here are answers to some common questions about preventing and reducing breastfeeding discomfort, such as nipple and breast pain.
What are vaginal yeast infections? Can anything be done to prevent them?
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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