Child care

What is Infant Thrush?

Thrush in infants is a common problem caused by yeast known as Candida albicans. This typically harmless fungus lives in many parts of the body, but can lead to soreness, irritation, difficulty swallowing and malnutrition.

Thrush grows a milk-like curd inside the cheeks. This problem is most common in infants less than 2 months old, although it can occur at any age. Yeast tends to overgrow when there is an imbalance of good to bad bacteria in the body. This article talks about various causes and treatments of infant thrush. Read on for more information.

Symptoms of Infant Thrush
The following are a few symptoms of infant thrush:

  • Thrush in infants appears in the form of white coating on the tongue and cheeks. White coating found only on the tongue is not a symptom of thrush unless it is also present on the inside of the cheeks and other mouth tissue.
  • Symptoms of thrush also include crying while breastfeeding, or when sucking on a bottle or pacifier.
  • If you notice thrush in your babyai??i??s mouth, you can try to remove the white coating with a soft, damp cloth. You may notice redness, and even bleeding, once the thrush is removed.

The above symptoms may make your infant cranky, but it is not a serious problem.

Causes of Infant Thrush

  • Candida yeast can occur inside the body. Healthy bacteria help prevent the blooming of Candida yeast into an infection.
  • The symptoms of Candida are not seen until there are hormonal changes, a weakened immune system or after antibiotic use.
  • Antibiotics destroy the good bacteria inside the body, which leads to Candida over growth.
  • Infants can get this infection from their mothers, or vice versa.
  • A baby can contract Candida during birth while passing through the birth canal, which can lead to infant thrush.
  • Babies with thrush can pass this infection to their motherai??i??s breast while feeding.
  • It is possible that babies can contract thrush from sucking excessively on bottles or pacifiers. Some babies are more susceptible to thrush than others.
  • Although thrush is a concern, it is common in infants during the first few months.
  • Experts advise providing your baby with sterilized water after feeding to clear out the milk residue. Also, ensure nipples are dried between feedings. If your baby is on antibiotics, there is an increased risk of developing thrush.

Treatment for Infant Thrush
The following are a few measures you can use for tackling infant thrush:

  • A mild oral infection of yeast generally clears up in a few days and you should not have to visit your babyai??i??s pediatrician.
  • If infant thrush is making it difficult for your baby to eat you should visit the pediatrician immediately.
  • Oral thrush medications for thrush include nystatin and miconazole. Nystatin is inserted into the mouth and rubbed gently on the affected areas.
  • Bifidus and acidophilus powders are home remedies you can use to help restore the balance of good bacteria.
  • Dietary changes are also a suggested remedy for infant thrush, and sugary foods should be prohibited.

References

http://kidshealth.org/parent/infections/skin/thrush.html

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/oral-thrush/DS00408

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