If your infant is extra fussy during feedings and you notice white patches in her mouth, she may have an oral yeast infection known as thrush. You've probably experienced a vaginal yeast infection at some point in your life, so you can imagine the discomfort your little one is feeling. What exactly is thrush, and how can you help your baby feel better? Here’s the deal.
Candida is a fungus that aids with nutrient absorption and digestion when in proper levels in the body. When it overproduces, typical candida symptoms may appear. In the digestive tract, if left unchecked, it breaks down the walls of the intestinal lining and penetrates into the bloodstream. This releases byproduct toxins and other toxins from your system, causing leaky gut syndrome.
Oral candidiasis is called thrush. Thick, white lacy patches on top of a red base can form on the tongue, palate, or elsewhere inside the mouth. These patches sometimes look like milk curds but cannot be wiped away as easily as milk can. If the white plaques are wiped away with a blade or cotton-tipped applicator, the underlying tissue may bleed. This infection also may make the tongue look red without the white coating. Thrush can be painful and make it difficult to eat. Care should be given to make sure a person with thrush does not become dehydrated. Thrush was formerly referred to as moniliasis, based upon an older name for Candid albicans (Monilia).
In addition to symptoms of vaginal yeast infections, such as burning or itching at the labia, a woman may experience sudden nipple pain that lasts through the feeding, or itchy or burning nipples with a candida albicus overgrowth that has also infected the nipples in the form of thrush. Affected nipples may look red, shiny, flaky or even have small blisters. "The Breastfeeding Answer Book" advises to watch for traces of white fungus in the folds of the nipple or breast, or cracked nipples. An infected breast-fed baby may also have white patches on his gums, cheeks, palate or tongue. Also, diaper rash, gassiness or general fussiness are all signs of thrush and that the yeast has spread to the baby.
Candida organisms naturally live on the skin, but breakdown of the outer layers of skin promote the yeast's overgrowth. This typically occurs when the environment is warm and moist such as in diaper areas and skin folds. Superficial candida skin infections appear as a red flat rash with sharp scalloped edges. There are usually smaller patches of similar appearing rash nearby, known as "satellite lesions." These rashes may cause itching or pain.
This fungal overgrowth can happen for many reasons. Things that increase your estrogen, such as pregnancy, combined hormonal contraceptives, and hormone therapy, can raise the glycogen (a type of sugar) in the vagina. Wouldn’t you know it: Yeast happen to love sugar. Uncontrolled diabetes can also contribute, due to the excess sugar circulating in your blood. Antibiotics that disrupt the balance of Lactobacillus bacteria, which can prevent yeast overgrowth, are another factor, according to the Mayo Clinic. There are also lifestyle-related reasons, like spending too much time in damp workout clothing or swimwear, or wearing non-cotton underwear that doesn’t allow for much airflow.
Some people worry that using actual yeast infection medications will further upset the microbial balance in the vagina, leading to more discomfort. But Leena Nathan, M.D., an ob/gyn at UCLA Health, says this concern isn’t necessary because these drugs are only affecting your yeast overgrowth. “It's OK to go ahead and treat it and not worry about trading one [infection] for another,” she tells SELF. You might experience side effects such as a bit of burning or irritation, and if you choose vaginal suppositories they could weaken the latex in condoms (so use a different form of contraception if necessary)—but antifungals aren’t going to somehow create a different vaginal infection.

It goes without saying that the need to wear a diaper is probably the major contributing factor. Cotton underwear is much better suited to breathing and preventing the environment in which yeast thrive -- dark, warm, and moist skin surfaces. Cloth diapers and nonabsorbent disposable diapers both contribute to a favorable environment for yeast growth. Many specialists believe that a yeast infection in the infant's mouth (thrush) is a risk factor for the development of yeast diaper dermatitis. Lastly, recent receipt of oral antibiotics may also encourage overgrowth of intestinal yeast.
Moist diaper environment. Yeast occurs as a natural commensal on the body of humans (which is harmless in most cases unless the growth of yeast exceeds the normal range). Typically fungus thrives in wet and warm places such as bowels, vagina, skin and mouth. If a child has diaper rash (which is left untreated) then it can easily trigger yeast infection, regardless of the gender of baby. Moist diaper environment is perfect breeding ground for yeast infection.
To tell whether or not your baby’s white tongue is caused by milk or this kind of fungal infection, try to wipe it off gently using a soft, damp cloth or a gauze-covered finger. If the tongue is pink and healthy-looking after wiping, no further treatment is necessary. If the white patch doesn't come off very easily, or it does and you find a raw, red patch underneath, it's likely thrush, and you should contact your pediatrician.
If this is your first yeast infection, you may have to go see your gynecologist. “Patients will call and say, ‘I’m not sure what’s wrong; can you diagnose me?’ But it’s difficult to make a diagnosis over the phone unless a patient has a documented pattern of recurrent yeast infections,” Dr. Atashroo says. Find out the 10 foods you should eat for a healthier vagina.

Symptoms of vaginal candidiasis are also present in the more common bacterial vaginosis;[45] aerobic vaginitis is distinct and should be excluded in the differential diagnosis.[46] In a 2002 study, only 33% of women who were self-treating for a yeast infection actually had such an infection, while most had either bacterial vaginosis or a mixed-type infection.[47]

Let’s say you’ve had a diagnosed yeast infection in the past, you self-treated a recent one in the last month or two, and it seems like the infection didn’t go away—or it went away but now it’s back. That might mean the treatment simply masked the symptoms rather than eradicating the overgrowth completely. “If your symptoms aren't better and they don't stay better, then you really have to go in and get checked,” Dr. Eckert says.
Hydrogen peroxide is a bacteria and yeast-killing antiseptic, according to lab studies. While it won’t work on every species of yeast, some women swear by using hydrogen peroxide topically when they get a yeast infection. Make sure that you dilute hydrogen peroxide before applying it to your genitals, and don’t use it for more than five days in a row.
It could infect your partner – Choosing to opt out of treatment when you have a sexual partner can cause problems for both of you. Yeast infections can be transmitted back and forth through genital contact. Without treatment and with continued sexual contact, your partner may develop a yeast infection. The infection may continue to be transmitted until one of you seeks treatment.
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Maintenance plan. For recurrent yeast infections, your doctor might recommend a medication routine to prevent yeast overgrowth and future infections. Maintenance therapy starts after a yeast infection is cleared with treatment. You may need a longer treatment of up to 14 days to clear the yeast infection before beginning maintenance therapy. Therapies may include a regimen of oral fluconazole tablets once a week for six months. Some doctors prescribe clotrimazole as a vaginal suppository used once a week instead of an oral medication.


To tell whether or not your baby’s white tongue is caused by milk or this kind of fungal infection, try to wipe it off gently using a soft, damp cloth or a gauze-covered finger. If the tongue is pink and healthy-looking after wiping, no further treatment is necessary. If the white patch doesn't come off very easily, or it does and you find a raw, red patch underneath, it's likely thrush, and you should contact your pediatrician.

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Hydrogen peroxide is a bacteria and yeast-killing antiseptic, according to lab studies. While it won’t work on every species of yeast, some women swear by using hydrogen peroxide topically when they get a yeast infection. Make sure that you dilute hydrogen peroxide before applying it to your genitals, and don’t use it for more than five days in a row.

More than 20 types of Candida can cause infection with Candida albicans being the most common.[2] Infections of the mouth are most common among children less than one month old, the elderly, and those with weak immune systems.[4] Conditions that result in a weak immune system include HIV/AIDS, the medications used after organ transplantation, diabetes, and the use of corticosteroids.[4] Other risks include dentures and following antibiotic therapy.[4] Vaginal infections occur more commonly during pregnancy, in those with weak immune systems, and following antibiotic use.[10] Individuals at risk for invasive candidiasis include low birth weight babies, people recovering from surgery, people admitted to an intensive care units, and those with an otherwise compromised immune systems.[11]


Moist diaper environment. Yeast occurs as a natural commensal on the body of humans (which is harmless in most cases unless the growth of yeast exceeds the normal range). Typically fungus thrives in wet and warm places such as bowels, vagina, skin and mouth. If a child has diaper rash (which is left untreated) then it can easily trigger yeast infection, regardless of the gender of baby. Moist diaper environment is perfect breeding ground for yeast infection.
Vaginal candidiasis is usually treated with antifungal medicine.3 For most infections, the treatment is an antifungal medicine applied inside the vagina or a single dose of fluconazole taken by mouth. For more severe infections, infections that don’t get better, or keep coming back after getting better, other treatments might be needed. These treatments include more doses of fluconazole taken by mouth or other medicines applied inside the vagina such as boric acid, nystatin, or flucytosine.
Another possibility: Your “yeast infection” is persisting because it’s actually a different condition, such as bacterial vaginosis or trichomoniasis. This is why it’s especially important to prioritize heading to the doctor ASAP if you’re pregnant and your self-treated yeast infection comes back. Some issues that can masquerade as yeast infections can be dangerous during pregnancy. For example, bacterial vaginosis can increase the risk of preterm labor, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

An overgrowth of candida albincans---the fungus responsible for yeast infections---can lead to vaginal yeast infections and also thrush in the breastfeeding mother. Found in the vagina, nipples, mouth and baby's diapered area, candida albicans thrives in moist, dark environments. Though candida albicans is always present in the body, illness, pregnancy or antibiotic use can cause an surplus of this yeast. When a nursing mother develops a yeast infection, chances are this infection will be present in other ares of the body, such as the nipples, which can lead to an infection in baby as well.
If you need to take antibiotics, you may wind up with a yeast infection. The use of antibiotics will frequently tip the balance among the normal microorganisms of the vagina, allowing harmful bacteria to dominate vaginal flora. Antibiotics suppress the growth of protective vaginal bacteria, which normally have an antifungal effect. Before rushing to the drugstore for an over-the-counter treatment, it's wise to consult your health care professional. Many self-diagnosed yeast infections turn out to be other vaginal problems.
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Such a diaper rash can begin with softening and breakdown of the tissue around the anus. The infected area is red and elevated, and fluid may be visible under the skin. Small, raised infected red bumps (satellite pustules) appear at the periphery of the rash. These satellite pustules are characteristic of Candida diaper rash and allow yeast diaper rash to be easily distinguished from other types of diaper rash such as a contact (irritant) diaper rash. Yeast diaper rash can appear on the thighs, genital creases, abdomen, and genitals.

Taking steps to reduce moisture in the genital area can reduce the chances of developing a yeast infection. Wearing cotton underwear or underwear with a cotton crotch, wearing loose-fitting pants, and avoiding prolonged wearing of wet workout gear or bathing suits are all measures that can help control moisture, and may help reduce the chance of getting a yeast infection.
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