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Infant thrush and fungal and candida infections

Posted by Karen Faulkner on
Infant thrush and fungal and candida infections
This follows on from my nappy rash blog from a week ago. Infant thrush, fungal and candida infection is common and not very pleasant. It can be passed from baby to mum and vice versa.

Thrush is a fungal infection and can be passed from mouth to napkin (the bottom) via the gut.  So if baby has napkin thrush, look in baby's mouth and on the bottom. Check your nipples if you are breastfeeding. 

Nilstat for oral thrush

It needs to be treated, because if left unchecked, it will make feeding unbearable. It can cause severe nipple pain, which can cause women to give up on breastfeeding. Napkin thrush can make nappy changing a nightmare.

It needs the application of antifungals three times a day. In the case of mouths and nipples, apply after feeds and use the product for at least 2-3 weeks.

Thrush loves a moist, warm and dark environment to grow and thrive ... hence nipples (wet breast pads), mouths and napkin (bottom) areas.

It needs to be treated, because if left unchecked, it will make feeding unbearable. It can cause severe nipple pain, which can cause women to give up on breastfeeding. Napkin thrush can make nappy changing a nightmare.

It needs the application of antifungals three times a day. In the case of mouths and nipples, apply after feeds and use the product for at least 2-3 weeks.

dummies

A product that can be used on nipples for breastfeeding mums is Daktarin Gel. Available over the counter at your local pharmacy.

Use Nilstat in babies' mouths. New South Wales Health does not recommend Daktain Gel for oral baby thrush as a baby had a 'choke' incident when too big a blob of the gel was used. See this media article http://www.thewomens.org.au/ThrushinLactation. Nilstat is available over the counter at the pharmacy.

If bottle feeding, it is wise to check teats and make sure bottles are thoroughly sterilised...and dummies too.

So what does baby oral thrush look like?


In baby's mouth, look for white spots/plaques that cannot be removed.It appears on the tongue, inside the cheeks and on the gums or roof of the mouth. Thrush is very different to a normal milk coating of the tongue.

oral thrush

Nipple thrush - it can be very red around the areola and feels like needles piercing behind the nipple. Very different to the nice tingly feeling of a letdown reflex!

Napkin thrush looks very red and inflamed on the bottom, or alternatively can be small dots around the anal sphincter. I think if in doubt see your doctor or child & family health nurse.

candida nappy rash

 

How do you treat baby thrush?


Antifungals are the treatment of choice. They can be bought over the counter at your local pharmacy or on prescription from your GP.

The usual treatment for oral thrush in babies and children is Nilstat suspension.

Nipple thrush it is Daktarin Gel.


Napkin thrush use either Clonea, Canestan, Daktozin or Hydrozole if it is very inflamed. If using Hydrozole, it is important to be aware that it contains a mild steroid. So only use sparingly, 3 x a day for a maximum of 3 days, then switch to either Clonea or Canestan.

Or my particular favourite is to use Dermaid 1% over 3 days, apply 3 times a day and use Daktozin in between times. Apply the Daktozin liberally and you may need to use up to 3 weeks. Dakotan is similar to Bepanthem with added anti-fungal.

http://www.thenappylady.co.uk/news/nappy-rash-advice.html

Change nappies more frequently, even up to 12 times a day until clear. Urine and faeces irritate broken skin.

Dab nappy area with a damp j-cloth/chux wipe or cotton wool and warm water. Avoid nappy wipes as these are too harsh and make the baby go 'ouch'!

If using cloth nappies, switch to disposable nappies and a nappy liner until it has cleared. Disposable nappies will suck away the wee and poo away from baby's broken and inflamed skin.

If you wash the cloth nappies at 40C then zap on high in your microwave for 60 secs. This is more likely to destroy the candida spores. Better still wash your cloth nappies at 60C to destroy those fungal spores.

http://www.thenappylady.co.uk/news/nappy-rash-advice.html

In between times of applying the anti-fungal gel, use a really good barrier cream such as Bepanthem, Daktozin or zinc and castor oil. Never use Sudocrem as it dries the wound too quickly. We need a moist environment for optimum wound healing during napkin thrush.

nappy or napkin thrush

It will often occur during teething, periods of illness and diarrhoea.It can also occur after antibiotic treatment.

It's really important to get on top of it early and treat for long enough. If you just stop after it's cleared and don't keep on for the 2-3 weeks , then infant thrush may come back really quickly.

Check with your doctor, GP or Child & Family Health Nurse if you need to confirm it is infant thrush and/or if it is not improving despite treatment.

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