Mushrooms on the rise

wantedon 05/21/2014 | 12:38

As studies have shown, the frequency of yeast infection, especially oral yeast infection, has increased in recent years. Babies, young children, and older people with weakened immune systems are particularly affected by yeast infection. The highly contagious disease is usually harmless and can now be treated very well with medication. How can you tell if your child has thrush and how is the treatment going?

Recognize yeast infections in children early

Candidiasis is a yeast infection, also called candidiasis in medical jargon, that mainly affects babies and young children. It is caused by a yeast called Cadida Albicans and is generally completely harmless. Although nearly one in two people carry yeast in small amounts in their mouth, other mucous membranes, and on their skin, yeast infection usually only appears when the immune system is weakened and the yeast multiply strongly. In young children, this is often the case as a result of treatment with antibiotics or cortisone, which can temporarily weaken the body’s own immune system, often leading to an outbreak of oral yeast infection.

How does the doctor treat candidiasis?

Treatment for thrush depends on the parts of the body affected by the yeast infection. In most cases, it involves the mouth, but yeast infection can also appear on the skin, in the vagina, in the intestines, or even throughout the body. In general, the antifungal, an antifungal agent, is always used in therapy. The active ingredients nystatin, natamycin, amphotericin B, ketoconazole, and fluconazole are used. The medicine is given with a mouthwash, suppository, ointment, juice, or tablets, depending on the parts of the body affected. Infusion treatment is only given in very rare cases, when thrush infection has spread throughout the body.

How can you tell if your child has thrush?

Candidiasis usually causes localized symptoms, but it always only affects the mucous membranes or the skin, so you can often recognize the disease yourself. White deposits on the mucous membranes are usually one of the most obvious signs of yeast infection. In oral yeast infection, the evidence is often accompanied by bad breath, a sensation of hair, pain, and swelling in the lymph nodes. In the case of candidiasis in the genital area, the infection is also manifested by evidence, but also by swelling, itching, and crumbling whitish discharge. If the above symptoms apply to you or your child, you should see a doctor so that the yeast infection can be treated early and does not spread further.

The doctor can determine for sure if your child has oral yeast infection through an exam.

Candidiasis: the diagnosis in the doctor.

Your doctor can reliably determine if your child has thrush based on their external appearance and a smear. The sample taken is then examined under the microscope to reliably detect the yeast that triggers the yeast infection. In very rare cases, when the fungal infection has penetrated deep into the tissue and internal organs are affected, a tissue sample and imaging methods such as ultrasound and X-rays are also used. However, this is very rare. Depending on the area affected by the yeast infection and the extent of the infection, different treatment methods are followed which, however, lead to healing in almost all cases without problems.

Risk of thrush infection

Any form of thrush, whether in the genital area or in the mouth, is contagious. Babies, young children, and the elderly with weakened immune systems can become infected with the fungus especially easily. Candidiasis is transmitted through a droplet or smear infection, for example through saliva that is exchanged when kissing or using the same cutlery. The situation is similar when you become infected with thrush in the genital area, which can be transmitted through intimate body contact. If you or your partner suffer from yeast infections, therefore, you should always use a condom during sexual intercourse and ensure good intimate hygiene.

Causes of the outbreak of thrush

Candidiasis is caused by various fungal infections of the genus Candida, the most common being Candida albicans. This fungus is not only found in sick people, but also in the skin of healthy people and it is not actually harmful. Thrush infection only manifests under certain conditions, such as a weakened immune system. If this is the case, yeast fungi will proliferate, which are ultimately responsible for the onset of the infection and typical symptoms.

Candidiasis is caused by yeasts, which can also be found on the mucous membranes and skin of healthy people. Only when the body’s immune system weakens will yeast multiply and disease break out. Treatment of thrush varies depending on the region of the body affected by the infection and almost always does not present any consequential harm to the patient. If you are not sure whether you or your child have thrush or if you have any questions about it, your doctor will be happy to help.

Image Source: Thinkstock / iStock / Hongqi Zhang