So the next time you find your baby squirming while you change his or her diaper or see red spots on the bottom, watch out for a baby yeast infection. Not only is this condition quite difficult to treat but it can also cause immense irritation and pain to the baby.
Caused by the Candida albicans fungus which prefers warm, moist environment for growth, this infection is usually caused by soiled diapers being left on for too long. An untreated diaper rash or improper hygiene can also lead to the growth of this yeast infection in the child’s body.
Intake of antibiotics or feeding from mothers that are on antibiotics are some other causes of yeast infections in infants and toddlers. These antibiotics tend to reduce the good bacteria along with the bad bacteria from the body which in turn leads to infections and other health problems. Yeast infections can also be passed on from the child to the mother while breastfeeding.
Sometimes babies suffer from oral thrush which is a yeast infection that affects the mouth and is characterized by curd like deposits on the tongue and inside of the mouth. This is usually caused by unclean bottles and feeding spoons. When a child is affected by oral yeast infection then it is easy to get a diaper yeast infection as well. This is because this infection is highly contagious and passes on from the food that the baby takes in to the diaper area through the stool.
How To Identify Baby Yeast Infection
How do you distinguish between a minor diaper rash and a full blown yeast infection? Unlike a plain diaper rah which causes redness and mild rashes, yeast infection in babies can result in the diaper area looking extremely red and inflamed. You might also be able to detect small red lesions or tiny pimples in the diaper area especially the skin folds of the groin area. Moreover diaper rashes can usually be treated by using diaper rash creams and ointments. Usually yeast infections fail to respond to these treatments and persist for more than two to three days.
Treating Yeast Infection In Babies
Topical antifungal creams and medications are the best way of treating yeast infection in infants. Clotrimazole, nystatin and micnazole are some over the counter topical antifungal creams that can be used to treat diaper yeast infections in babies. If the rashes continue to persist or the symptoms are accompanied by pus, bleeding and fever then it is best to consult a pediatrician immediately as these could signal a bacterial infection.
Other than over the counter treatments, you can also try simple home remedies for treating baby yeast infection. Apply cooling aloe vera gel on the inflamed area or bathe your baby in warm water to which some apple cider vinegar has been added. One of the best remedies for yeast infections is yogurt. If your baby is less than six months old than apply some yogurt on the affected area. Older babies can be fed yogurt to reduce the symptoms of yeast infections.
It is easy to prevent yeast infections in babies and save your baby from the pain and irritation. Change your baby’s soiled diapers regularly and clean your child’s bottom properly after every bowel movement. Do not make the child wear tight diapers as it can impede the flow of air and cause infections. It is a good idea to let your baby play diaper less for some time as air exposure can reduce the incidence of diaper rashes. Just place him or her on a waterproof mattress and allow the diaper area to dry.
Photo Credit: Tonguefungi.com