Thrush and Other Yeast Infections in Children
David Perlstein, MD, MBA, FAAP
Dr. Perlstein received his Medical Degree from the University of Cincinnati and then completed his internship and residency in pediatrics at The New York Hospital, Cornell medical Center in New York City. After serving an additional year as Chief Pediatric Resident, he worked as a private practitioner and then was appointed Director of Ambulatory Pediatrics at St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
- What are yeast infections?
- Why do yeast sometimes cause symptoms?
- How do babies get yeast infections?
- What is oral thrush? What are symptoms and signs of oral thrush?
- How do children (and adults) acquire thrush?
- How does yeast affect diaper rash?
- Can thumb sucking cause problems with yeast?
- Can a nursing mother acquire yeast infections from her infant?
- What is the treatment for thrush and other yeast infections?
- Should a child with yeast infection be kept out of child care?
- Are there other names for yeast infection?
- Find a local Pediatrician in your town
What are yeast infections?
What are commonly known as "yeast" infections are caused by various species of a yeast-like fungus called Candida, particularly the species Candida albicans. Yeast organisms are part of the germs (including bacteria) that are normally found on various parts of the body and which ordinarily cause no symptoms.
Why do yeast sometimes cause symptoms?
Certain conditions, such as antibiotic use, may upset the balance of microbes in the body (particularly between the bacteria and fungi) and allow an overgrowth of Candida. Yeast also can thrive in chronically moist folds of skin, such as in the groin.
Yeast infections may flare up and then heal in most people. However, in newborns or individuals with impaired immune systems, yeast can cause more serious or chronic infections.
How do babies get yeast infections?
Many infants acquire Candida infections from their mothers during the process of birth. Yeast exists naturally in the mother's vagina. When the child is delivered through the birth canal, the baby comes in direct contact with the yeast.
Many babies who escape this infection at birth soon acquire Candida from close contact with other family members.
What is oral thrush? What are symptoms and signs of oral thrush?
Thrush is yeast infection of the mouth and throat. Thrush can also be associated with yeast infection of the esophagus. Thrush appears as creamy white, curd-like patches on the tongue and inside of the mouth and back of the throat. As mentioned above, in individuals with impaired immune systems, yeast infections are more common. For example, in a noninfant population, thrush may be a sign of underlying HIV infection.
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