Thrush, or Candida albicans, is a fungal infection and can be found in your baby’s mouth, nappy area or under the chin. Thrush can also be found on breastfeeding nipples and in the vaginal area. The fungus known as Candida lives on our skin and usually causes no harm, but when conditions are favourable, candida thrives and causes havoc. Favourable conditions include warm, moist environments.
Candida grows from the base of the tongue forward and can be seen as large white patches on your baby’s tongue, inner cheeks and inner lip area that cannot be wiped away. The white growth often has red patches and not to be mistaken for a milky tongue. Your baby may have difficulty feeding but some are not affected. Oral thrush can re-infect nipples when feeding unless nipples are being treated as well.
Treatment of oral thrush
- Wash hands well
- Wash bottles, teats to prevent re-infection
- Ask at the pharmacy or your doctor for appropriate treatments usually in the form of oral gels or drops
Nappy area thrush
A thrush nappy rash spreads in red patches and often does not go away with the constant application of barrier creams.
Common causes of thrush infections in the nappy area
- Any thrush infection can develop if either you or your baby are taking antibiotics
- Babies left in wet or dirty nappies for long periods
- Non-breathable nappy over pants
- No known reason at all
Treatment of thrush nappy rash
- Clean area with water every nappy change
- Pat or air dry in the sunshine
- Give regular sun kicks without nappy on
- Apply a thin layer of antifungal cream from pharmacy twice a day and a barrier cream over the top and at every nappy change