What is Candida?

Candida is a yeast that can cause infections in various parts of the body. In newborns, candida can cause an infection in the mouth called thrush. Candida in the diaper area can cause a yeast infection that can look like a diaper rash. Candida can also cause a yeast infection in skin areas, typically the neck or in the armpits. 

How does a child get candida?

Candida is a normal skin pathogen. Candida grows well in warm, dark, wet areas. The mouth and the diaper area are typically warm, dark, wet areas. We typically keep candida in check by having a healthy and strong immune system. Newborns have not had a chance to form a strong skin barrier and it is easy for them to have yeast infections. 

Changing diapers as soon as they get soiled will keep the diaper area dry and thus can prevent yeast infections.

Cleaning pacifiers and the nipples on bottles daily will help prevent thrush. 

A course of antibiotics can also alter the normal flora of the body and can allow candida to grow and cause an infection. Ask your pediatrician if a course of probiotics while on an antibiotic is a safe method to prevent yeast infections.  

Recurrent yeast infections may be a sign of a weakened immune system. Talk to your pediatrician about recurrent yeast infections and checking the status of the immune system.