Topical antifungal creams are the most likely form of medication a doctor will recommend. While these are available over-the-counter, it is important to discuss the right type to purchase and the frequency and amount of application. Creams like clotrimazole are often suitable for use in an infant. This antifungal cream is applied to the affected area at least once per day, such as before bed, for about seven to 10 days. Vaginal antifungal suppositories should never be used in an infant unless suggested by a health care provider, which is unlikely.
Oral thrush is another common type of yeast infection that occurs frequently in babies, especially during the first 6 to 12 months of life. This yeast infection appears as white or yellowish patches in a baby’s mouth. They may appear on the tongue, gums, roof of the mouth or the inside of the cheeks. Patches caused by a yeast infection in the mouth cannot be wiped away easily, unlike formula or breast milk that may coat the tongue. With thrush, bleeding may occur if the patches are wiped off. A baby may experience some discomfort or difficulty eating as a result of oral thrush, leading to poor feeding or fussiness during feeding. An antifungal solution may be prescribed to treat oral thrush.
As well as the above symptoms of thrush, vulvovaginal inflammation can also be present. The signs of vulvovaginal inflammation include erythema (redness) of the vagina and vulva, vaginal fissuring (cracked skin), edema (swelling from a build-up of fluid), also in severe cases, satellite lesions (sores in the surrounding area). This is rare, but may indicate the presence of another fungal condition, or the herpes simplex virus (the virus that causes genital herpes).
“For the last five months my daughter has had a yeast diaper rash off and on. We have tried everything — Nystatin, Lotrimin, Diflucan — to kill the yeast externally, Griseofulvin to kill the yeast internally, and now we’re on a mix of Questran/Aquaphor ointment. It takes about a week to get rid of it with ointments and meds, but then it always comes back! Sometimes it’s only a few days later; sometimes it’s a few weeks later. I’ve given her probiotics and yogurt every day for the past five months, and it hasn’t made one bit of difference. The pediatrician now wants to refer us to a dermatologist. I just...think it’s an internal problem — that her body is overproducing yeast.”
A systemic yeast infection refers to invasion into the bloodstream with subsequent spread throughout the body. This type of yeast infection is very rare in babies, typically occurring only in those who have existing health problems. Infants who are born prematurely or with a low birth weight, have a weakened immune system or who are already hospitalized for another reason are at increased risk. Other risk factors include bladder catheterization and long-term antibiotic or chemotherapy treatment. Signs and symptoms may include a low or high temperature, poor feeding, irregular breathing and low blood pressure. Although rare, systemic yeast infections are very serious. They are a major cause of death in settings such as the neonatal intensive care unit, according to a March 2011 article in "Early Human Development."
“If you've been clinically diagnosed by a physician with a yeast infection on ... prior occasions, and the symptoms that you have are consistent with the symptoms that you had before, I do think that it's reasonable to try some of these over-the-counter remedies,” Chantel Cross, M.D., assistant professor of gynecology and obstetrics at Johns Hopkins Medicine, tells SELF.
A yeast infection results from an overgrowth of yeast (a type of fungus) anywhere in the body. Candidiasis is by far the most common type of yeast infection. There are more than 20 species of Candida, the most common being Candida albicans. These fungi live on all surfaces of our bodies. Under certain conditions, they can become so numerous they cause infections, particularly in warm and moist areas. Examples of such infections are vaginal yeast infections, thrush (infection of tissues of the oral cavity), skin, including diaper rash, beneath large breasts, and nailbed infections.
Genital yeast infection in men: Men may develop symptoms of a genital yeast infection after intercourse with a woman who has a vaginal yeast infection. However, yeast infection is not considered to be a sexually-transmitted disease (STD) because women can have the yeast normally in the body and do not acquire it from an outside source. Most experts do not recommend treatment of male sex partners of women with candida yeast infection unless they develop symptoms. Symptoms can include itching and burning of the penis as well as a rash on the skin of the penis.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.