Although they are far from life-threatening, fungal infections can cause a lot of pain and discomfort to our little ones. That’s why early detection and proper treatment of these infections are vital. However, the skin of newborn babies is susceptible to rashes and irritations, so it can sometimes be hard to make the distinction between a regular diaper rash and a more serious fungal infection.
So, how can fungal infections in babies be recognized?
Skin Irritation and Rash
As fungi thrive in moist, warm areas, it’s not unusual for a baby’s skin (especially in the diaper area) to be crawling with Candida. The problem arises when the yeast penetrates the baby’s superficial skin tissue and causes an infection. Although similar to a diaper rash, a yeast infection will have red spots around the edges and won’t go away after using diaper rash cream.
Oral thrush is one of the most common fungal infections in babies since they are at especially high risk of developing oral thrush, due to their weaker immune systems. A white coating on your baby’s tongue or inside the mouth is a classic sign of oral thrush. Although they may not feel it or be bothered by it, they may refuse to feed due to discomfort in the mouth.
Fungal infections in babies rarely lead to serious complications, but they should by no means be ignored. If left untreated, Candida growth can lead to a systemic infection, especially in babies who already have a weakened immune system. If you suspect your baby may be developing a yeast infection, contact your pediatrician so he or she can prescribe you the proper medication.