Yeast infections: thrush and diaper rash

Thrush is the name for a yeast infection that usually shows up on the tongue and in the diaper region.  It's caused by candida, and can affect any warm moist area.

Candida is found normally on the skin, in the mouth, gut and vagina.  It's kept in check by the presence of good  bacteria.  Most kids will get thrush or yeast diaper rashes because we got rid of the good bacteria.  That happens because of antibiotics mom gets during delivery or antibiotics given to the baby afterwards.  Antibiotics kill good bacteria as well as the bad and don't touch the yeast, leaving them to have a party.

It also happens during C-sections when the baby doesn't get the good bacteria from the vaginal canal to colonize their gut.


Thrush shows up as grey white patches in the mouth, specifically on the tongue, the sides of the cheeks and the inside of the lips. If it's just on the tongue, it's more likely to be due to a build up of milk since thrush mostly occurs on the cheeks and lips too.  Thrush usually can't be wiped off, whereas a "milk tongue" from a build up of milk, will wipe off.

If you think your child has thrush, then call the office and we'll get some Nystatin oral suspension called in for you.   Boil everything that comes in contact with the baby's mouth, including pacifiers and bottle nipples.

If you are breastfeeding, thrush on your nipples feels bad-- like needles poking you.  It should hurt in between feedings and your nipple will be a bright pink/red color and might itch.  You should be treated too.  Call your OB or call us to ask us for advice.  There is no need to "pump and dump" when you or your child is being treated for thrush, whatever you are treated with including Diflucan, or Nystatin..

You should also be treated even if you are not having symptoms but your baby has thrush.  I'm telling you, it hurts like crazy, so you should be treated even though you don't feel the searing pain yet.

Yeast Diaper Rashes

Yeast in the diaper area is beefy red, usually in areas when the skin folds are and around the genitals.  You can get "satellite" pustules away from the worst part of the rash.  The kids will usually have a diaper rash, mostly associated with antibiotic use or with prior skin breakdown from diarrhea or something, that doesn't clear with normal diaper rash creams.  Try to keep the area dry-- yeast loves warm, moist areas- with frequent diaper changes. Then we recommend an over the counter lotion like Lotrimin.  If that doesn't work, then call us.