The organism Candida albicans causes thrush, which is a yeast infection primarily of the mouth. In infants, thrush is often accompanied by a yeast diaper rash. Infants are more susceptible to thrush because their young immune systems are not yet fully developed to fight off the yeast. Thrush may cause some pain for the infant, but in most cases it is easily treated and sometimes requires no treatment at all.
Drs. William and Martha Sears states that thrush in infants is characterized by white patches in the mouth that cannot be wiped off. It is often accompanied by a yeast diaper rash that has red, raised bumps around the periphery. Infants could also be fussy during feeding or refuse to feed.
Your infant’s doctor can prescribe antifungal treatments. These treatments include a medication to be spread inside the infant’s mouth and another for treatment of the diaper rash.
Gentian violet can be used as an alternative treatment for thrush in infants. Use an ear swab to paint the liquid in the infant’s mouth. Acidophilus can also help alleviate thrush.
Any treatment of infants for thrush requires thorough cleaning of infant supplies including pacifiers, bottle nipples, toys and cloth diapers. Gently but thoroughly clean the infant’s diaper area at every diaper change.
Treatment of the Mother
In breastfeeding infants, the mother will also often have thrush. Treatment of the infant will also require treatment of the mother. The mother can get medication from her doctor and use the alternative treatments. She should wash all items that come in contact with her breasts, such as rags or breast pads, in hot water.