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Yeast Infection (Candidiasis)

What is a Yeast Infection? (Candidiasis)

Candidiasis, also called moniliasis or a yeast infection, is an infection of the skin and/or mucous membranes caused by the common yeast species Candida, most commonly Candida albicans. Although yeast is normally found on the skin, digestive system and vaginal area, they may cause an infection under certain conditions:

  • When the skin is damaged or subject to prolonged warmth and moisture
  • When the body’s normal bacteria and yeast have been altered, such as when you take antibiotics
  • When a child has a depressed immune system

Signs and Symptoms of Candidiasis

The symptoms of candidiasis vary based on the location of the infection. The following are the most common symptoms of a yeast infection. However, each child may have different symptoms. Symptoms may include:


Symptoms / Signs 

Diaper Area
  • Red, scaly rash in the diaper area
  • Red, scaly, sometimes pustular bumps in the diaper area
  • Itching or burning
Skin Folds or Navel
  • Red, moist rash in the affected area
  • Red, scaly, sometimes pustular bumps in the affected area
  • Itching or burning
  • White or yellow discharge from the vagina
  • Itching or burning in the vaginal area
  • Redness in the external area of the vagina
  • Pain with urination 
  • Red, scaly rash on the penis
  • Red, scaly, sometimes pustular bumps on the penis
  • Itching or burning on the tip of the penis
  • May sometimes spread to the scrotum, groin and thighs 
Mouth (Thrush)
  • White “cottage cheese-like” patches on tongue and inside of the cheeks
  • Red patches inside the mouth
  • Mouth and throat pain
  • Trouble swallowing 
Corners of the Mouth (Perlèche)
  • Redness and cracks and/or tiny cuts at the corners of the mouth
  • Pain
Nail Folds
  • Redness, pain and swelling around the nail
  • Affected nails may become thickened, discolored, and sometimes fall off

The symptoms of candidiasis may look like other skin conditions. Always check with your child's doctor for a diagnosis.

Diagnosis of Candidiasis

A healthcare provider will examine your child and may perform a gentle skin scraping from the affected area. This sample will help confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment for Candidiasis

Candidiasis is highly treatable.

Infections involving the diaper area, other skin folds, corners of the mouth, penis and nail folds are usually treated with a medicated cream or ointment.

Yeast infections in the vagina or anus can be treated with medicated suppositories or a medicine by mouth.

Thrush may be treated with a medicated mouthwash or with lozenges that dissolve in the mouth.

A severe infection in an immunocompromised child usually requires treatment with an oral anti-yeast medication as prescribed by your healthcare provider.

Last Updated 11/2022

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