Although 75% of women may experience vaginal yeast infection during some stage of their lives, the occurrences of vaginal yeast infections in children are also not uncommon. The main symptoms of this infection are pain, redness, itching and a thick white vaginal discharge but in young children (including toddlers) the symptoms may be little different – very young girls do not get a vaginal discharge and may not have an odour.
Vaginal Yeast Infections in Children: Known Causes
- Children in diapers or the ones treated with antibiotics or steroids are at maximum risk of developing vaginal yeast infection. Antibiotics usually kill some of the ‘good’ bacteria which can prevent this infection.
- Yeast can also flourish in girls suffering from diabetes or high blood sugar levels.
- Tight clothes or undergarments which do not allow the skin to breathe can also lead to this infection.
- Young girls are more susceptible to yeast infections prior to the start of their menstrual cycles. A number of hormonal changes take place within the body just before menstruation starts.
Vaginal infections in small children can be prevented to a large extent by keeping their vaginal area clean and dry. Treatment for vaginal yeast infections in children is generally safe and effective.
Treatment for vaginal yeast infections in children:
- Vaginal yeast infection in children can be treated by baking soda baths and application of anti-fungal creams such as Monistat or Lotrimin.
- Allow the skin to breathe. Avoid the use of plastic panties and diapers. Underwear made of cotton fabric will help to a great extent.
- Make sure to keep your baby girl clean especially after passing of stools. Cleaning should be done from front to back, as this prevents the stool from contaminating other areas.
- Touching or exploring the genital area is a part of normal growing up. Very often, frequent touching with damp and dirty hands may lead to infection. If your baby is scratching too frequently, it is a good idea to go to a doctor for examination.
- Make sure to dry your baby thoroughly after a bath. The youngsters should change out of swimming gear promptly after swimming and dry themselves well.
- The genital area should be kept dry as moist environments encourage yeast growth.
- Make sure your girl eats well. Cut down on sugary foods such as candies and add whole grains and vegetables to her diet. Use Garlic in cooking as it is a natural antifungal.
- Add probiotics to the diet. Probiotics are the ‘good’ bacteria which prevent yeast overgrowth.
- Use mild and fragrance free bath products. Certain bath gels and lotions can lead to irritation which can culminate in an infection in your baby.
Vaginal yeast infection in children can be influenced by a number of factors such as the child’s health, hygiene habits, clothing, medication and hormones. A close supervision of these can help prevent or cure vaginitis considerably.
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