Yeast infection is common in children. It is a type of fungal infection. Mostly yeast like fungus called candida albicans is responsible for such types of infection. The Candida yeast flourishes in certain areas of the body, especially those areas which are moist. It includes skin folds, vagina, anus, thighs, buttocks, mouth and throat etc. Children are also susceptible to oral yeast infection, it is called thrush.
Most of the time, yeast infection in children occurs after a course of antibiotics. Use of antibiotics sometime causes imbalance between microbes living in the body, namely the fungi and bacteria, and this allows overgrowth of Candida yeast organisms.Yeast infection in children can be treated with home remedies and anti fungal medicines. But in children who have low immunity level, it may remain for a long time resulting in serious consequences.
Causes Of Yeast Infection In Children
Several causes are responsible for yeast infection in children.
- Antibiotics: antibiotics are main cause for yeast infection in children. Antibiotics act upon bacteria and kill them. They kill both, good as well as those harmful bacteria. The good bacteria are responsible for keeping the growth of yeast infection at bay. Once there is an imbalance of good bacterial flora in the body, Candida yeast cells gets chance to grow.
- Children wearing tight clothing: yeast thrives in moist areas. Tight clothing causes more perspiration and does not allow the sweat to evaporate. It keeps the skin area particularly the groin moist. Children wearing such clotting are at a risk of getting yeast infection in buttocks, folds of thighs and genitals in boys and girls.
- Diaper: infants wearing diaper are prone to suffer from yeast infection as a result of increased moisture on the skin.
- Pacifier and bottle feeding: child sucking an unclean pacifier for prolonged period of time or a bottle fed baby is at a risk of suffering from thrush, a type of yeast infection in mouth.
- Too much of sugar: children like to eat sweets and sugar. Eating too much of sugar can lead to yeast infection due to its acidic content. Especially when a child is suffering from yeast infection, he should avoid eating too much of sugar.
Yeast Infection In Children Symptoms
- Rash is one of the most common symptoms of yeast infection. Usually the color of rash is red. There is intense itching in the affected part. Due to scratching, the area becomes sore and burns. In girl the rash may be present on genital area and buttocks. In boys the rash may be observed around the groin area. The area appears wet and moist.
- A girl child may have discharge from the vaginal area which may be thick and cloudy. The discharge in most cases is not offensive.
- Yeast infection in mouth and throat is called oral thrush. It is generally present in babies and toddlers after a course of antibiotics. There is characteristic curd like patch present in buccal cavity, on tongue and sometimes in the throat.
Natural Remedies For Yeast Infections
- Diet: If the child is suffering from yeast infection, the first thing that parents should do is to restrict the child from eating too much of sweets. Instead children should be coaxed to eat more of vegetables, yogurt etc. Yogurt contains good bacteria, they are called lactobacillus acidophilus. They prevent yeast from spreading or rather the bacteria kill the yeast organisms.
- Yogurt: yogurt can be applied over the affected area as well as it can be ingested. But be sure that it is plain yogurt and not a flavored variety. Apply it with your finger or dab a cotton ball soaked in yogurt over the skin area. You can apply as many times as you wish. Once it becomes dry, wipe the area with wet cotton ball or a wet clean cloth.
- Yogurt can also be applied on oral thrush.
- Baking soda: mix a teaspoon of baking soda in two glasses of water and mix it well. Now soak cotton ball in the mixture and dab it on the yeast affected skin area. Gently rub the inside of mouth and tongue with a cloth dipped in the solution of baking soda.
- Certain homeopathic remedies such as sulfur, kreosote, calc carb, pulsatilla, kali bichrom are effective in treating thrush in children.
- Topically parents can apply Aloe Vera gel on the affected skin surface. It acts up on the infection as well as soothes the skin.