Archive | Fungal Infections

Treating Yeast Infection in Children

Yeast infection is a type of infection caused by the candida species, a fungal microorganism. The most common candida specie that causes infection in humans is called candida albicans. Yeast infection is also known as candidiasis, moniliasis or oidiomycosis. The characteristics of yeast infection range from a simple oral thrush, superficial vaginitis to systemic and life-threatening diseases. Severe yeast infection or those that are left untreated can develop into candidemia. This condition is usually found in patients who have a compromised immune system. Patients with HIV, AID and those who underwent chemotherapy may develop candidemia. Yeast infections are generally harmless and are highly treatable. Initial signs and symptoms of such infection include redness, itching as well as slight pain and discomfort on the affected area. Yeast infection is usually localized and it can only become systemic in rare cases. Body parts and areas prone to candidiasis include the mouth, pharynx, esophagus, gastrointestinal tract, urinary bladder, penis and vagina. Yeast infection on the genital area, most especially for women produces an odorous and whitish-grey, cottage-cheese like discharge. The vagina will also appear red and swollen. The entire area will also feel itchy and sore. Men with genital yeast infection will also have whitish discharges but in most cases symptoms would only appear when the infection becomes severe. It is not uncommon for children to experience yeast infection. When babies are born, their internal organs, specifically the gastrointestinal tract is sterile. Aside from this, their immune systems are not yet fully developed making them prone to certain infections including candidiasis. For children who are suffering from yeast infection, here are some tips, treatment options and home remedies.

  1. Do not offer food items with molds – Since children have weak immune systems, offering rotten and food with molds is not a very good idea. Food items that naturally contain molds include peanuts and peanut butter. Corn breads and pastries with high contents of yeast can are also among the items the child needs to avoid.
  2. Encourage intake of yogurt – Yogurt is an effective home remedy for yeast infection. It is readily available, inexpensive and delicious. Children would love yogurt more if they know what it does against candidiasis. Yogurt contains live microorganisms called lactobacillus acidophilus or the “good bacteria” which stops the growth and spread of candida albicans.
  3. Breast milk and other immune boosters – Babies and young children who still breast feed should continue breast feeding. Breast milk has abundant amounts of antibodies that can help the body fight off infection. These antibodies also boost the child’s immune system. Other immune boosters include citrus fruits, vitamins and mineral supplements.
  4. Garlic – Garlic is not only used in cooking food or adding flavor to certain dishes it can also be used to treat yeast infection. Garlic is known to have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Fresh garlic can be directly applied on the oral thrush. If used on the vagina, KY jelly or any lubricant is used to facilitate application. Garlic is also commercially prepared in the form of capsules, tablets and cream.

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Uses For Castor Oil

Castor oil has been used for many years to clear constipation (it is very effective). The usual recommended dose is one tablespoon for adults, or one teaspoon for children, to be taken orally (ie. swallowed). Castor oil has a foul taste, but you can expect your system to be cleansed within 6 hours or so.

Some less commonly know uses for castor oil include using as a massage oil, and topical applications in either castol oil packs or direct application to the skin. Some conditions that can be treated by the direct application of castor oil include itchy skin, muscle and ligament strains and sprains, warts and cysts and fungal and bacterial infections. Learn about castor oil packs and their uses.

Castor oil may also be used to help adolescent children fight acne. Although there are many chemical/antibiotic ‘cures’ available for acne, none of them are perfect, and many may have side effects. Castor oil is often overlooked as a simple treatment due to heavy advertising of expensive modern medicines.

Article derived from information found at Health Salon.

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Oral Thrush

Oral thrush refers to an overgrowth of yeast in the mouth.  This is especially common amongst newborns, though it can also occur in older children and adults with weakened immune systems.

Candida albican is a naturally occuring yeast present in most people’s mouths.  Because baby’s immune system isn’t mature, it is sometimes unable to prevent an overgrowth of yeast.  Oral thrush usually appears as whitish or yellowish spots on the cheeks, tongues, or gums; and possibly as dry, cracked skin around the mouth.

Oral thrush usually clears itself up within 2 weeks, though your doctor may occasionally prescribe an antifungal agent to help speed up the process. 

Oral thrush is easier to prevent than to treat.  Always wash bottles, nipples and rings carefully, to remove any traces of yeast.  Older babies can eat yogurt to help maintain a proper pH blance in their mouth and body.  If you are breastfeeding and find that your nipples are red and sore, you could have yeast on your breasts that is being passed back and forth with your baby’s mouth.  Your doctor may prescribe a topical antifungal cream to help rid you of the yeast.

Always mention oral thrush to your child’s physician, especially if it is persistent or recurring.

 

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Fifth’s Disease and Human Parvovirus

Fifth disease most commonly affects children between the ages of 5 and 15.  A red rash that starts on the face and makes it look as if the child has been slapped on the cheeks characterizes the condition.  The rash can spread to the trunk, arms and legs.  Fifth disease is a viral illness that is harmless.  A virus called parvovirus B19, which is different from the parvovirus that affects pets, causes fifth’s disease.

 

It can take up to two weeks from the time of exposure for the symptoms to occur so it is difficult to tell when and where the virus was contracted.  The condition begins with a low-grade fever and cold symptoms (like a stuffy or runny nose).  These symptoms will pass and then the red rash follows a few days later.  The rash can take on a lace-like appearance as the condition spreads throughout the body.

 

Although the rash is harmless, some older children and adults with Fifth’s disease complain that the rash itches.  The condition can take one to three weeks to clear but will eventually fade entirely.

 

Fifth’s disease is contagious and most likely to spread during the time between the cold symptoms and the appearance of the rash.  Once the rash appears, the person is not contagious.  The rash itself is an immune-response to the virus so it is a sign that the body is working to heal.

Posted in Adolescence, Allergies, Fungal Infections, Infections, Medical Care, Uncategorized0 Comments

Diaper Rash

When a baby is born, their skin is usually perfect and flawless in every way. It is softer and smoother that it will ever be again! 

Some parents are dismayed to wake up and they find their baby’s bottoms red and irritated with a rash. They wonder what happened or what they did wrong. The answer is… probably nothing!  Most babies experience diaper rash at some point in their young lives.

There are a few misconceptions parents have about their babies’ bottoms:

·                 It should always be smooth, perfect and rash free

·                 Diaper rash is not normal

·                 Diaper rash is a sign of allergies

·                 Diaper rash means the baby has had a yeast infection or bad diarrhea

Babies have ultra sensitive skin. If you add the chemicals and moisture of urine and stool, cover the area with a diaper that rubs back and forth, this is where a diaper rash begins. The damaged skin can be invaded by yeast and bacteria, which can make the rash worse.

If you are constantly battling diaper rash with your baby, use these seven hints to help minimize the problem:

1.               Change diapers frequently, at least every one or two hours in newborns

2.               Change soiled diapers right away

3.               Try different diaper brands

4.               If you use cloth diapers, put ½ cup vinegar in your rinse cycle

5.               Wipe well, making sure that all traces of urine and feces are wiped away

6.               Use unscented wipes or plain water; these are less irritating

7.               Diaper rash cream – some babies need cream every time they are changed

There are basically two types of barrier creams:

·                 Petroleum Ointment- This is an excellent everyday ointment. It is less sticky and less messy.

·                 White zinc oxide- This is thicker and better for babies that are more prone to rashes

No matter how persistent you are with the above measures, your baby may still get rashes from time to time. The following are some tips for treating those rough spots:

1.               Wash bottom with water

2.               Gently dab or pat away remaining feces, blot bottom dry

3.               Let it air dry

4.               Diaper cream, use a generous amount

Here are some suggestions of diaper creams:

·                 Zinc oxide

·                 Acid mantle

·                 Clotrimazole anti fungal cream

·                 Hydrocortisone 1 % cream

·                 Soothe and heal by Lansinoh

Mix your own, if you can’t get a prescription. Try mixing together zinc oxide, white petroleum ointment, acid mantle and aluminum acetate (burrows solution).

The following are a few rashes that can be more than just an irritation caused by stool, urine or diaper. These usually require more specific therapy:

Contact diaper rash – This is simply the rash as discussed above.

Appearance: Red, flat, irritated skin. When it is severe, the skin will peel and form blisters.

Treatment: As described above

Intertrigo – This rash occurs in the skin folds and creases around the diaper area

Appearance: Heat and moisture mixed with urine causes a red bumpy like appetence

Treatment: Regular while petroleum ointment

Yeast Rash – Yeast from the intestines invade damaged skin. This normally happens with prolonged antibiotic use or a prolonged rash.

Appearance: Red, raised patchy rash with raised borders mostly over the genitals

Treatment: Anti fungal cream like cortimazole and nystatin

Impetigo – This happens when bacteria invades the damaged skin.

Appearance: Coin sized blisters oozing a honey colored crust

Treatment: Prescription antibiotic ointment

Call your doctor if rashes persist for several days.

 

Posted in Fungal Infections, Pregnancy and Newborns2 Comments

Fungal Infections

Fungal infections are no fun to have and can be very itchy and at times very painful. It may not be as easy as you think to prevent your little ones from ever getting a fungal infection. The most common fungal infections include diaper rash, ringworm, and athlete’s feet. There are ways to help relieve the symptoms once they start and ways to try your best not to be exposed to the fungus, but it is more than likely probable that sometime in their life they will have a fungal infection.

Diaper rash is one of the most common fungal infections that every baby has sometime. It can be sore, red, scaly and very tender. Most of the time a diaper rash is from diapers that are too tight or from wearing dirty or wet diapers for longer than they should, some laundry detergent can cause diaper rashes and even baby wipes. Some babies are more prone to diaper rashes and sensitivity to fragrant detergents and wipes. The best way to clear up and prevent diaper rash is by changing the baby as soon as they soil the diaper, clean the area well with mild soap and water, and remembering to keep the area as dry as possible. You can use a cream with zinc oxide at every diaper change to aid in keeping the area dry. If you can let your baby go diaper-less for a couple of hours a day.

As your child gets older and is in school, you will have to teach them about jock itch, athlete’s feet and ringworm. These types of fungal infections thrive in locker rooms and even restrooms where children walk around barefoot. All three of these cause itchy skin. All of these live in the soil and can be contracted from a pet or another person. Symptoms of ringworm include a small red sore that looks like a pimple that grows into a patchy, itchy, flaky ring. Symptoms of jock itch include itching or burning of the groin, thigh or anal area, redness in the area, and flaking or peeling skin. Symptoms of athlete’s feet include itching, burning, redness, and stinging on the soles of the feet. The skin may even flake, peel, blister, or crack. The treatment of all of these fungal infections includes using an anti-fungal cream until all symptoms are gone. To prevent fungal infections of this type you should always remember cleanliness is the best prevention. Remember to teach your child not to use others combs, brushes, towels, and to wash and dry their bodies completely before dressing.

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Ringworm

Ringworm of the body, also called tinea corporis, is caused by fungus that infects and develops on the top layer of skin. There are several types of ringworm, including athlete’s foot, jock itch and scalp ringworm, which most common in children. All types are characterized by an itchy, red circular rash and normal looking skin inside the ring. Scalp ringworm appears on the scalp and also affects the deep roots of hair. It can produce small, flaking infected-looking bumps, loss of hair, and can also manifest itself as scaly, reddish-brown patches on other areas of the body.
If you suspect your child has ringworm, immediately go to see a doctor. Ringworm is infectious, so it is also very important to screen anyone else who has had contact with your child, including relatives, friends, and caregivers. It is also important to have pets checked by a veterinarian, as ringworm can be spread from animals to humans.
Because ringworm starts out deep in the roots of the hair, the treatment for ringworm is an oral medication that your doctor will prescribe. The medication should be taken daily along with fatty foods such as ice cream or yogurt in order to avoid upsetting the stomach, and to aid in absorption of the medication. The doctor will also prescribe a special medicated shampoo to rid the scalp of infection. As soon as your child is taking medication and using the shampoo regularly, he or she can return to school, with no risk of infecting the other children. Some important points to remember are:

  • Medication must betaken for at least 6 weeks;
  • Do not stop the course of medication until the doctor decides the infection is gone;
  • Throw away or disinfect any of your child’s personal items like hairbrushes.

Children living with pets are at increased risk to become infected with ringworm, so it is important to keep your pets healthy through regular check-ups at the vet.

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