Fungal infections

In moist folds of skin in small children, yeast fungi (candida) can begin to grow and turn into a red, oozing rash. The fungal infection thrives between the buttocks, underneath the diaper. The rash is glaring red, often with little “dents” on the edges. Fungal infections can easily develop if the child recently has been treated with antibiotics.

The best way to prevent and fight fungal infections in infants is to air the skin’s many folds that are collecting dampness. If there is no improvement, the damaged skin may need treatment with a cream or ointment containing fungicide.

A fungal infection is easy to confuse with an eczema or a rash – have a doctor look at the symptoms if they do not subside. Sometimes you need to take scraping samples from the baby’s skin to check for microscopic fungal threads.

Older children may experience a different kind of fungus, ringworm, on any part of the body. It is a rash caused by the so-called filamentous fungi that provide ring-shaped, erythematous patches on the skin. Ringworm, and also fungus on the scalp, need to be treated with prescription drugs.

(Note that a circular / ring-shaped rash may also be signs of a tick infection – Lyme disease – which needs to be treated).

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