Infants and toddlers can get yeast infections when they are in diapers or just starting to toilet train because yeast can grow in wet skin folds. The yeast infections that affect toddlers are caused by Candidas albicans, which is the most common cause of all types of yeast infections. Pediatricians can determine whether a rash on the groin or a thrush in the mouth of toddlers is yeast infection. To get a definite diagnosis a doctor may examine the scrapings of a yeast infection under the microscope.
A very mild antifungal cream may be used to treat yeast infection in toddlers. You should consult your pediatricians if your toddler has a yeast condition that doesn’t go away after a day or two with the usual treatment. Any diaper rash that doesn’t clear up within 48 hours after applying a diaper rash cream could be a yeast infection.
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Toddlers can get yeast infections for the same reason that adults do. All humans have harmless amounts of yeast (actually a fungus) in their bodies. It tends to live in the mouth, bowels, skin, and the vagina. Yeast thrives in warm, wet environments. A toddler’s diaper rash that is left untreated can easily become infected with yeast, even if your child is a boy. Toddlers taking antibiotics or breastfed kids whose mothers are on antibiotics are more susceptible to yeast infections. That’s because antibiotics kill the good bacteria in the body that keep yeast in check. Without these bacteria around, yeast can grow more abundantly.
If your toddler recently had thrush (a yeast infection in the mouth) he or she may end up with a yeast infection in the diaper area, too. That’s because yeast passes through your toddler’s digestive system when he eats and winds up in his stool, which eventually lands in his diaper, right next to his warm, damp, skin.
You can usually tell a yeast infection in the diaper area from a plain diaper rash because the rash may have multiple red bumps, pus-filled bumps or a scaling pattern on the infected skin. In addition, the rash may extend along the pubic area and onto the lower part of the toddler’s abdomen. A yeast rash tends to hang around for more than two days and doesn’t respond to any traditional diaper rash treatments.
Candidas albicans: The fungus that causes most yeast infections.