Yeast Infections

Also known as: Candidiasis, thrush, oral candidiasis

What are yeast infections?

Candidiasis is the scientific term for an infection caused by the yeast-like fungus Candida albicans. Normally it lives on/in the body and is harmless; often being found on the skin, vaginal area, and gastrointestinal tract. When it overgrows (for a number of reasons) it can cause an infection of the skin, vagina, stomach, urinary tract or mouth with a variety of symptoms.

What causes thrush/candidiasis?

While a fungus (Candida albicans) is the cause of candidiasis, children are at increased risk in hot humid weather, when the fungus is allowed to contact irritated skin (like poor hygiene in the diaper area or genitals) or when they are taking antibiotics or corticosteroids.

Medical conditions that prevent the child from fully fighting an infection (immune system abnormalities) may also place a child at risk for developing a candida infection.

What are the signs/symptoms of candidiasis?

Depending on the body area involved, a Candida infection may can cause:

  • Rash
  • Itching
  • Blisters
  • Pimples
  • Cracks or white patches on the tongue, in or around the mouth
  • Creamy white vaginal discharge
  • Redness and pain in the case of a vaginal yeast infection.

What are the care options for yeast infections?

Treatment depends on the severity of the infection and where it occurs. A variety of antifungal medications are available as ointments, mouth washes, lozenges, vaginal suppositories, pills, creams or oral anti-yeast medications depending on the location and nature of the infection.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: January 29, 2021 04:05 PM

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