Have you ever noticed any white patches inside your baby’s cheeks? If you have, there is a chance your infant might have thrush.
Thrush looks like patches or spots of thick cottage cheese or curd stuck in your infant’s mouth. It appears on the roof of the mouth, inside the cheeks, on the tongue and even in the nappy area. Here is an overview of thrush for your better understanding to handle the condition in your baby.
What Is Thrush In Infants?
Thrush is a yeast infection caused by a single celled organism, Candida Albicans that usually lives on the skin, gut and mucus membranes. Babies’ mouth is prone to infection when the fungus spreads in the mouth. Thrush is of two types –
1. Oral Thrush
2. Nappy Area Thrush
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What Causes Thrush In Infants?
Both types of thrush hold the similar causes. Here are the causes:
a. Candida levels aggravate in the baby due to reasons like:
- Immature immune system, wherein the baby will not develop the resistance towards infections
- Baby is on antibiotics that deprive the healthy bacteria levels in the body therefore allowing Candida to spread.
b. Mother also plays a major role in passing the infection to her baby:
- On antibiotics, she can pass the infection while breastfeeding.
- Thrush present on the nipples or milk ducts while breastfeeding.
- Vaginal thrush can occur when giving birth to her baby.
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Symptoms Of Oral Thrush In Infants:
Here are the symptoms you should look out for, in case you think your infant has thrush, which forms in mouth and nappy area as well.
a. Oral Thrush:
- White coating on the baby’s tongue, inner cheeks and roof of the mouth.
- Fussiness while feeding, not ready to latch on breast or bottle teats.
- Clears once anti fungal agents are applied.
b. Nappy Area Thrush:
- The yeast infection can pass through a baby’s digestive system along the bottom, causing nappy rash.
- Red spots near the anal region that looks like pimples.
- Red and shiny rash near the creases of the nappy area.
- Quick nappy flare ups that develop on nappy changing.
- Irritability and restlessness when the nappy is wet.
- Clears when anti fungal creams are applied.
- Develops in a few days of oral thrush onset.
If you have seen any of the above symptoms in your baby, you should consult the doctor. The doctor will then take a sample of the infected tissue and check further.
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Treatment For Thrush:
Thrush can be treated in a number of ways. If you think that your infant might have thrush, you should go to the pediatrician immediately so that this problem can be addressed at the earliest. At the most, the pediatrician will prescribe an antifungal ointment.
a. Infant Oral Thrush Treatment:
Apply the gel in all the affected areas of the mouth using a clean finger. Always use clean fingers while treating the baby. It may take a week for the infection to clear.
b. Nappy Rash Treatment:
Antifungal creams should be applied 2 to 3 times a day along with nappy change. Application can be continued for a few days even after the skin turns dry.
[ Read: Baby Neck Rash ]
Prevention Of Thrush:
Thrush cannot be prevented among infants, since it primarily develops because of the yeast. To control the spread of the thrush, and to prevent it in the future, you should sterilize your baby’s pacifier and bottles constantly. If you are breastfeeding, let your nipples air dry between feedings, so that thrush can be prevented.
Thrush is not dangerous, as it is common among infants. So do not worry about how this problem will affect your bundle of joy. A quick visit to the doctor may be all it takes for the problem to go away, so be vigilant and take care!
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