Yeast infection does not choose the victim. Yes, it commonly affects adults but it may also infect children. Yeast infections generally affects people with weak immune systems no matter how old they are. In a majority of cases yeast infections in children is in a form of oral infection. The children may also develop genital and skin yeast infection (particularly if they wear diapers).
Causes of Yeast Infection in Children
Causes of yeast infection in children are actually the same as causes of the infection in adults. Tight clothing especially if it is made of synthetic fibers is a risk factor for yeast infection. Children's skin is much more sensitive to harsh soaps, perfumes and different skin creams. This is why certain products may cause skin irritation and initiate yeast infection. Furthermore, it is commonly associated with prolonged administration of antibiotics. Even using corticosteroids (in a form of inhalants as a treatment for asthma) can trigger a yeast infection. And finally, weak immune system in children suffering from diabetes, cancers and HIV infection makes them more susceptible to yeast infection.
Oral Yeast Infection in Children
Oral yeast infections commonly affects babies. The symptoms are white or cream plaques inside the mouth, especially on the tongue. If the plaques are scraped the underlying tissue may bleed and is generally swollen and red. Older children may complain about burning sensation in the mouth. Oral yeast infection can develop alone or together with angular cheilitis.
Skin Yeast Infection in Children
Symptoms of skin yeast infection in children are red patches with scalloped edges. Around the most prominent patch there may be several satellite patches of similar appearance.
Genital Yeast Infection in Children
The symptoms and signs of genital yeast infection in children are actually the same as symptoms in adults. In girls the infection leads to redness of the affected area, swelling, itching and burning sensation. In some cases a child may complain about pain during urination. There is also a distinctive, white, curdish discharge. In boys the affected area of the penis is inflamed and red. There may be a discharge from the urethra and pain during urination.
Systemic yeast Infection in Children
Systemic yeast infection affects immunocompromised children. It is a severe form of the infection which requires systemic antifungal medications. Even though these drugs can eradicate the infective agent they also have certain side effects.