How to Treat Thrush in Children


Thrush or Candida albicans, is a fungal infection which can occur in babies’ mouths or in the nappy area, particularly the anus. It’s caused when the fungus which normally lives in natural balance in the intestines with other bacteria, prolifer­ates, causing infection in the gastro-intestinal tract. This tends to occur when the natural balance is upset by the use of anti­biotics, or if your child’s immune system is low after illness. If the mouth is affected, you will see small white patches covering the inner cheeks, the top of the mouth and tongue. Unlike similar looking milk patches, it is difficult to rub off these patches or they may leave raw, bleeding areas under­neath. Thrush in the genital area may look like nappy rash, but will not respond to the usual treatment.

What you can do

Giving live yoghurt will help to bring the body’s natural bac­terium back into balance. Change the nappies regularly and immediately after passing stools to minimize the spread of infection. Keep the nappy off and leave the area exposed for as long as possible. Stick to mild foods that are easy to swal­low until the infection has cleared up and avoid all sugary and yeasty products.

Treatment

Naturopathy

If thrush has developed after taking antibiotics, a naturopath may recommend supplements such as aci­dophilus and bifidus to help replace the useful bacteria in the body. Other causes may be food sensitivities or excess fruit juice. Stress can also play a part as this depletes the body of vitamin C and the B vitamins, leaving an environment where the fungus can thrive. So a diet high in vitamins A, B, C and E may be prescribed and supplements such as mineral salts.

Homoeopathy

A homoeopath may recommend Borax for oral thrush. For genital thrush, Mercurius or Rhus tox. may be given if the skin is very itchy and blisters have formed.

Herbal medicine

For oral thrush, a herbalist may recommend a Calendula tincture, which has antiseptic and antifungal qualities, and can help to stimulate the immune system to fight off infection. For the nappy area, Calendula or Marigold cream may prove effective if gently rubbed on the area. A herbalist may also recommend mixing a little Myrrh tincture into the Marigold cream to help recovery and advise Echinacea to help boost the immune system.

Aromatherapy

If your child suffers from oral thrush and is old enough to rinse with a mouthwash without swallowing, an aromatherapist may recommend swilling a combination of well-mixed Tea-Tree and Myrrh oils in a glass of water. Tea-Tree has great antifungal and antiseptic qualities and will also stimulate the immune system to combat infection, while Myrrh can work particularly well against oral infections. Massaging oils such as Tea-Tree, Chamomile, Lemon and Thyme into the nappy area will also help to relieve the dis­comfort and soothe.

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About the Author: Andrew Reinert is a health care professional who loves to share different tips on health and personal care. He is a regular contributor to MegaHowTo and lives in Canada.

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