Home Babies Thrush in Newborns. Symptoms, Treatment and Preventive Measures

Thrush in Newborns. Symptoms, Treatment and Preventive Measures

Thrush in infants

Most healthy newborns catch different kinds of infections, such as, URTI, enteric infection, infectious dermatitis. Oral moniliasis or thrush of mouth is considered to be the most widespread disease to affect the mouth cavity, provoked by Candida albicans fungus.


  1. Symptoms
  2. Causes
  3. Treatment
  4. Modern medicine treatment
  5. Preventive measures of Candida albicans

In most cases, a fungus is placed on mucosal surface in quantity both in adults and newborns. If one has a strong immune system, this problem has no symptoms. In case of disbalance of mucous microflora, a fungus starts reproduction, thus one can notice some symptoms of inflammation. At the early stage of the disease, babies feel nothing, and moms usually miss the beginning of thrush development.


At the early stage of thrush development, a new-born baby may suffer from painful sensation, he or she often acts up and maybe reluctant to eat or sleep. If you examine baby’s oral cavity, you may notice a white coating on the roof of the mouth, gums, tongue, inner surface of lips and cheeks. It looks like crumbs of curd. Actually, it is easy to remove this coating, but you find a red sore under it witch is the nidus of infection and hurts your baby.

Thrush in babyIf one doesn’t start a treatment in time, white patches may be extended to the back of the throat and cover the whole surface of oral cavity up to the gastrointestinal tract.

Causes of Thrush

There are many reasons that cause thrush. The principle factor is a weak immune system in newborn babies as it is in a process of formation. According to statistics, 20-40% of healthy babies suffer from oral cavity thrush which declares itself on the 5th -7th day after birth.

Usually, this problem affects premature infants.

The weak immune system is a result of early illness, antibiotics course or eruption of baby teeth. Cutaneous covering and mucous membrane of the infant differ from the adult’s one in its formation and functioning: baby has a thin layer of epidermis and derma, high friability of tissues, high PH-level and immature microflora.

Besides, babies have poorly developed salivation system, and low bacterial and ferment activity. All these factors stimulate fungal infection in infants, even more often than in adults.

Sometimes, a fetus is already infected in the womb. Researchers showed that women, infected by candida have fungus already in amniotic fluid, blood and placenta tissues, navel string. When a fetus goes through birth canal it catches the infection in 75%. Children, being born by means of cesarean operation, are also not secured against this disease.

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thrush of mouth in newbornsAnother popular reason of infection is failure of hygiene. A baby may be infected in a maternity ward or birthing center because of unskilled medical stuff or in case a newborn had a long-term in-patient treatment.

Thrush may also be triggered at home through a dirty pacifier or baby food phial; poor hygiene of a child: unwashed hands, breast during lactation, unwashed toys and rattles, infants used to lick. It is forbidden to give your baby a dirty pacifier, or use another child’s cutlery as they are sources of infection.

Regular regurgitation also may result in thrush due to baby’s physiological specifics or mother’s lack of experience when a baby doesn’t let the air out after feeding. Too sweet milk formula often provokes this disease. Even if you leave your baby with a vial in its mouth for a long time, it may result in a thrush.


Antiseptics usage to rub mucous membrane of a mouth:

  • borax in glycerin;
  • aniline dyes;
  • potassium permanganate solution (manganese solution);
  • soda.

3% soda solution (1 teaspoon for a glass of boiled or cool water (up to 20º) is a method to lower the acidity in oral cavity; it makes it more alkaline to prevent fungus reproduction. Wet a gauze swab and rub all the affected zones in a mouth each 2-3 hours.

soda for thrush treatmentAll the methods listed above are useful at the early stages. If there is a coating in a mouth within 2 days, one should visit a doctor to consult on this problem to get a proper treatment.

Modern Medicine Treatment

Hexetidine or Hexoral are effective antiseptics to date. Apply it 2 times a day.

There is also a great choice of external use antithrush creams and ointments. Modern treatment assumes prescriptions of creams with Clotrimazole, Isoconazole, Sertaconazole.

Oinments, such as, polyene antibiotics, such as, nystatin, levorinum, natamycinum are not effective anymore. A doctor may prescribe infants only a local treatment. In case of affected alimentary canal, antimycotics drugs are used:

  1. Nystatin (100 000 units/kg);
  2. Fluconazole (5-7 mg/kg);
  3. Diflucan (3 mg/kg) a day.

Methods of the treatment thrushIt is allowed to use amphotericin B intravenously if it comes to the worst through its high toxicity.

Apart from oral cavity, candidiasis development in newborn babies may affect some other zones: axillary crease, inguinal folds, around anus.

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Thrush appears on irritation in skin folds in a form of whitish spots. It looks like lipoma for instance. Faeces and urine of infants are of high acidity and it favors fungus reproduction. Such form of candidiasis is called fungous dermatitis.

Regular liquid stool, being a norm under breast feeding provokes this infection as a baby spends much time in wet pampers. If your baby has sensitive skin, urine contact may stimulate the infectious rush. One of the widespread reason this fungous infection is disbacteriosis of intestine.

Such children act up a lot; they have poor sleep, acute diarrhea, high temperature, poor appetite and sluggishness. In case you noticed such symptoms, see a doctor urgently.

Preventive Measures

In most cases, sharpening of such infectious diseases, such as candidiasis, can be prevented, for example, during pregnancy.

A pregnant woman has to pass mycological examination for harmful funguses in her body. A doctor may prescribe vagina and external genitals rubbing with antiseptic, such as, borax in glycerin, decamine ointment, liniment sanguiritrinum. In case of a strong infection of tissues, Mlconazole and Clotrimazole are used.

symptoms of the thrush of mouthIt is necessary to keep an eye on premature babies with different physiological deviations and defects, traumas during labor. Such babies are prescribed with microbiological examination during the 1st week.

A doctor usually prescribes both antibiotics and antifungal agents.

Wholesome food of mother is very important to provide lactation for strong immune system formation in the baby.

It is very important to put a baby to the breast as soon as possible. And it doesn’t matter whether she has milk. First milk has a huge number of protective agents at the first hours after labor. These agents stay on the walls of alimentary canal in order to struggle against harmful microbes.

Such agents include: white cells- macrophages, immunoglobulin A, lymphocytes, lactoferrin. White cells produce interferon – a vital factor to provide a strong immune system in infants at the very beginning.

Lactoferrin improves absorption of iron, breaks its ions, which are necessary for harmful bacteria and funguses development. First milk also includes polysaccharides and ferments to hamper vital activity of malignant bacterium.

If a newborn baby is healthy and doesn’t have any infection it is required to follow hygiene carefully and thoroughly. A fungus is transferred through ware, kisses, dirty hands, oilcloth and bed linen. First of all, sterilize all nipples and vials, toys. Pay attention to cleanness of linen. Do not allow somebody to use baby’s ware.

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thrush of mouthTake care of your nipples and their hygiene. You should take showers regularly and change underwear, made of a good fabric to allow your skin to breath. You can also rub your breast with a solution of soda. It is not recommended to apply brilliant green on your nipples as it dries your skin too much and leads to microcracks and the thrush once again.

Do not apply anything before breast feeding in order to lower the number of outside chemicals. It is enough to wash it with warm water.

Nowadays, there are lots of convenient agents, such as: pampers, various antiseptic napkins, lotions, creams, cotton pellets, which are perfect ones to prevent fungous dermatitis.

Do not forget about water and air baths, walks, plays in the open air and relaxing massage.

The other cause of thrush is permanent regurgitation. It is important to watch the baby grasps mammary areola with a nipple at the same time.

If you feed your baby with a bottle, a nipple should have medium flow in order to prevent choking. Hold your baby vertically for some time after eating. It helps to let out the gripped air. Otherwise, regular regurgitation leads to high acidity in baby’s mouth, specially, when your child is lying. These factors stimulate candidiasis infection in the upshot. If the methods listed above are useless to reduce the frequency of regurgitations, consult a doctor concerning physiological deviations.

Lately, a great number of newborn babies have inherent disbacteriosis which also affects a mother. One should detect this problem at the early stage and take measures immediately: prescribed medicines, appropriate diet, babies and mother’s feeding.

We advise mothers to eat products with anti-mycosis effect: garlic, propolis, red pepper, cowberry, grapefruits, nuts (do not eat them separately as they provoke allergy in infants).

After feeding, give your baby a little water in order to wash food debris off and re-establish acid balance. Remember, milk formula shouldn’t be too sweet. And the principle advice – do not practice self-medication. If you notice first symptoms, ask a doctor as soon as possible!  Such a watchful approach will help you and your baby stay healthy and enjoy life!


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