Candidiasis, also known as a yeast infection, is an infection caused by yeast on the skin and/or in the mucous membranes.
Although yeast normally lives harmlessly in the digestive system and vaginal area, it can cause an infection when the skin is damaged, when conditions are warm and humid, or when a child has a depressed immune system. Antibiotics can also cause yeast to grow, as the normal bacteria in tissues are killed, letting the yeast grow unhampered.
The symptoms of candidiasis vary, depending on the location of the infection. What’s more, each child may experience symptoms differently. The most common symptoms may include:
Skin folds or navel
Corners of the mouth (perlèche)
The symptoms of yeast infection may resemble other skin conditions, so consult a physician for an accurate diagnosis.
In addition to a medical History and Physical Form of the child, a physician may scrape off a skin sample to confirm the diagnosis with a microscope or a culture.
Candidiasis is highly treatable with medicated ointments, and yeast infections in the vagina or anus can be treated with medicated suppositories. Thrush can be treated with a medicated mouthwash or lozenges that dissolve in the mouth. Severe infection or infections in immunocompromised children may be treated with oral anti-yeast medications.
The Division of Dermatology at Children's National Health System continues to expand services as more families seek our expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the skin, hair, and nails.
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Sometimes a mom’s intuition is all it takes to get her child to the right physician. When 8-year-old Xavion Chisley developed a fungal infection on his toe, his mother, Nikki, immediately took him to see a dermatologist who removed his toenail to treat the infection. However, when Xavion’s toenail grew back, the infection had not diminished but actually appeared to be spreading to his foot.
Read More of Xavion's Story
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