Yeast Infections in Infants and Babies

Adults are not the only ones vulnerable to yeast infections and thrush. Infants, babies and children are sometimes more susceptible to developing candida symptoms for a variety of reasons. Some of these yeast infection symptoms come from many of the same cause that are found in adults. Still, there are many contributing factors specific to babies and children that can make them even more vulnerable to both acute and chronic episodes of yeast infections.

In this section, we cover many of the specific causes of candida and thrush that are primarily associated with younger children and infants. Many of these symptoms are unavoidable and are a general part of being a baby (such as diaper rash). But understanding the symptoms now and recognizing them at the beginning can prevent its spreading and development into a chronic condition.

Diaper Rash

A diaper rash can be the result of a variety of different conditions from eating foods that cause sensitivities in the infant to surface skin dermatitis to bacterial infections. Although symptoms may vary, the typical diaper rash presents as a red scaly rash that is inflamed. It will likely appear where the diaper touches the baby’s skin.

In more severe cases of diaper rash, the skin may have blisters or lesions and the rash may spread outside of the diaper area if left untreated.

The infant experiencing the diaper rash may be irritable or restless, depending on the severity of the rash and the baby’s individual level of sensitivity. He or she may cry when being changed and cleaned, as any friction on the irritated skin can cause intensified pain and discomfort.

Urine and feces as well as friction and moisture aggravate a diaper rash, therefore, frequent changing, gentle cleansing, and barrier ointments are important in helping the rash to heal. Additionally, the rash can be the result of ill-fitting diapers, soiled diapers that are left on for extended periods of time, or baby wipes to which the baby is allergic.

In some cases, there may be conditions in other areas of the body that may correspond with the diaper rash, giving an idea to the cause of the skin problem. For example, a rash caused by the overgrowth of candida albicans will present itself simultaneously with oral thrush. With seborrhea dermatitis, the baby may also have cradle cap or rashes in the folds of skin.

Diaper rashes that do not heal, seem severe, or present with other conditions or illnesses, should be treated by a medical professional. However, the following points give a few tips on proper diaper changing to help heal or prevent rashes:

•  Change the infant’s diaper at the first sign of wetness or feces.

•  Wash the diaper area during the diaper change, using a mild soap or just warm water as well as a soft touch; be sure to gently rinse and dry thoroughly.

•  Make sure the diaper area is completely dry before putting on the new diaper.

•  Use a barrier cream to protect the skin from moisture and friction.

•  Use perfume- and dye-free wipes, diapers and soaps to avoid further irritating the baby’s delicate skin.

Diaper rash and thrush

While one typically thinks of infant thrush as being a condition of the mouth and tongue, it can in fact present itself as a red, scaly, inflamed diaper rash that causes great discomfort for the child. Recognizing the white spots of oral thrush in the mouth and the accompanying diaper rash are two signs pointing to candida albicans overgrowth in the system and should be seen by a medical professional.

The fungus known as candida albicans is actually a healthy bacteria that serves a purpose in the flora of the intestines and mucous membranes. However, if the immune system is weakened it can overgrow, causing problems ranging from yeast infections to dandruff to diaper rashes.

Newborn babies have under-developed immune systems that make them more susceptible to this fungus overgrowth. If your baby has the symptoms of oral thrush, such as curd-like spots in the mouth, and a diaper rash, it is likely thrush is the reason for the skin problem.

The following are common symptoms of a thrush-related diaper rash:

•  A red rash with scales and lacerations.

•  A rash that is found in the crevices of the groin and buttocks, where fungus and yeast are most likely to grow.

•  Small red spots surrounding the larger patches of red rash.

•  A clearly defined border of the rash.

It is always wise to seek medical attention if you believe your child is suffering from thrush. A doctor will likely prescribe a cream or ointment to heal the condition.