Medical Conditions



Candidiasis (Yeast Infection)

What is candidiasis?

Candidiasis, sometimes called moniliasis or a yeast infection, is an infection caused by yeast on the skin and/or mucous membranes. Although yeast is normally a harmless inhabitant of the digestive system, diaper region, and vaginal area, it may cause an infection when the skin is damaged or when conditions are warm and humid, or when a child has a depressed immune system. In some very sick children it can infect deeper tissues or get in the bloodstream and cause serious illness. Antibiotics and corticosteriods can also cause yeast to grow, because the normal bacteria in tissues are killed, letting the yeast grow unhampered.

What are the symptoms of candidiasis?

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

LocationSymptoms / signs
Skin folds or navel
  • Rash
  • Patches that ooze clear fluid
  • Pimples
  • Itching or burning
Vagina
  • White or yellow discharge from the vagina
  • Itching
  • Redness in the external area of the vagina
  • Burning
Penis
  • Redness on the penis
  • Scaling on the penis
  • Painful rash on the penis
Mouth (thrush)
  • White patches on the tongue, top of the mouth, and inside of the cheeks
  • Pain
Corners of the mouth (perlèche)
  • Cracks and/or tiny cuts at the corners of the mouth
Nail beds (peronychia)
  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Pus
  • White or yellow nail that separates from the nail bed

The symptoms of candidiasis may resemble other skin conditions. Always consult your child's doctor for a diagnosis.

How is candidiasis diagnosed?

In addition to a medical history and physical examination of your child, your child's doctor may scrape off a skin sample to confirm the diagnosis with a microscope or a culture.

Treatment for candidiasis

Candidiasis is highly treatable with medicated ointments. Yeast infections in the vagina or anus can be treated with medicated suppositories. Thrush may be treated with a medicated mouthwash or lozenges that dissolve in the mouth. Severe infection or infections in an immunocompromised child may be treated with oral anti-yeast medications.

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Online Resources of Dermatology

Last reviewed: 2/1/2013