by Magrietha Du Plessis
Posted on Tuesday 26th of May 2009
Are wondering why your child has developed a yeast infection. Is it dangerous?
1. Child Yeast Infection - Candida: 101
To start let us look at some basic yeast info and facts. Our adult bodies are home to a myriad of good and bad bacteria also something called Candida Albicans. Candida Albicans is one of the more than 200 varieties of Candida fungi living throughout our bodies. This particular species thrives in our mouth and gastrointestinal tract where it is moist and dark.
Children often get a yeast infection after a course of antibiotics. Antibiotics used to cure viral infections destroy the "good" bacteria that keep yeast in check throughout the gastrointestinal tract. This results in an overgrowth of yeast. This yeast overgrowth is what causes a yeast infection.
A child's yeast infection can range from the relatively minor, and more common, surfactant, such as oral or vaginal thrush and diaper rash, to the far more dangerous systemic yeast infection.
A systemic yeast infection migrates into the blood stream and organs by breaching the gastrointestinal system. It's not common in healthy children, but it can be very dangerous in those with an impaired immune system.
2. Why Oral Thrush?
When babies are in the womb, their immune systems have not yet been activated. During their voyage through the birth canal - where yeast resides naturally - they may capture the fungi in their mouths. Without a fully developed immune system to keep Candida in check, the results may be Oral Thrush.
Oral Thrush is considered to be a yeast infection of the esophagus - throat and mouth. Symptoms resemble white, curd-like patches and can be found on the insides of the mouth, tongue and back of the throat. It is not dangerous and can be easily treated with an anti-fungal antibiotic called Nystatin.
Physicians often treat child yeast infection with Nystatin. It is compiled of yeast and soil-based bacteria. It keeps the yeast infection from entering the blood stream and becoming a systemic infection.
3. Why Diaper Rash?
Oral Thrush can travel through a child's digestive system, resulting in a vaginal thrush or diaper rash. Using an anti-fungal cream, and keeping the area dry and clean through frequent diaper changes can help to eliminate the problem.
Remember, as with any other yeast infection, the area has to be kept clean and dry as yeast grows in damp conditions. For the keeping clean part, do not use scented wipes or any antiseptic wipes or soap as it kills the 'good' bacteria that keeps the yeast in check.
Only use white, unscented soap to wash your child or toddler with.
4. What Can I Do?
Keep in mind that diet plays a very big role in yeast infection. So, if your toddler is big enough to eat yogurt, try and include unsweetened and unflavored yogurt in his or her diet every day.
If your child has problems with yeast infection avoiding bread and all other kinds of food that contains yeast is also a good idea. Only include the yogurt as mentioned above.
Another important things to keep in mind is to avoid sugary foods and treats. Candida simply loves sugar and if you have a problem with child yeast infection you have to keep your child away from sugar.
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