Thrush - Oral Infection in Infants

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Thrush – Oral Infection in Infants

Thrush – Oral Infection in Infants

Thrush is an infection of the mouth observed usually in infants caused by a type of yeast known as Candida fungus. Thrush is not just limited to mouth; it can also cause diaper rash in infants or vaginal yeast infections in women. Body requires some amount of fungus which is controlled by immune system along with some “good” bacteria. If the immune system is extremely weak, or not yet fully functional which is usually the case in infants, Candida can have an overgrowth and ultimately lead to the infection known as, “Thrush”.

What are the Symptoms?

In the initial stages of oral thrush it may be difficult to diagnose; however, as time passes, the following symptoms may grow:

–          Dry cracked skin at the corners of the mouth.

–          White lesions on the tongue, cheeks, gums, or tonsils.

–          A creamy, white material, slight bleeding on the surface of the lesions.

–          Infants may face difficulty during feeding and may observe irritable behaviour.

Preventions

Even though it is common in infancy, you can help prevent by taking the following preventive measures:

 –         Formula feeding or using pacifier? Clean the nipples and pacifiers in hot water after each use.

–          Storing milk and prepared bottles in refrigerator prevents yeast from growing..

–          Breastfeeding with sore and red nipples? May be you and the baby are passing it back & forth. Talk to your doctor for using an antifungal ointment while baby is treated with antifungal solution.

What is the Treatment?

Consult your doctor if you suppose your baby is experiencing above symptoms and might have thrush. The doctor will prescribe an oral antifungal treatment such as miconazole gel or nystatin suspension. Apply the gel to the infected part in your baby’s mouth. Maintain high level of sanitation and always clean your hands with anti-bacterial solutions after treating your baby. It may take a week of treatment of the infection.

Depending on your baby’s age, doctor might suggest adding yoghurt with lactobacilli to your child’s diet. The lactobacilli are the “good” bacteria that can hep eliminate yeast in your child’s mouth.Doctor may recommend treatment for mother in case you are breastfeeding even though you may not have any symptoms. This will avoid passing the infection again to your baby when you breastfeed her.

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