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What exactly is nipple thrush and what causes nipple thrush? Thrush is a fungal infection, caused by the bacteria Candida albicans, that occurs in the breast tissue, nipples, mouth, or throat.
Thrush is more commonly observed in infants and those with weakened immune systems. While healthy people are at less risk of contracting this condition, babies and those with weaker immune systems are at risk of getting the infection and passing it on. Other times, what causes nipple thrush is unclear.
Since the infection can be passed through skin-to-skin contact, it is possible for babies to pass it on to those who breastfeed them. Breastfeeding mothers can get this infection on their nipples or breast tissue.
More commonly called nipple thrush, this infection may cause pain and discomfort for the mother. Common treatments such as antibacterial drugs or nipple thrush cream can remedy the condition.
Nipple thrush is a common breastfeeding issue. Your baby is more susceptible to getting oral thrush since his or her immune system is still developing.
This means that you can pass the infection back and forth, from the mouth to the nipples and vice versa. This requires immediate treatment of nipple thrush, for instance, by use of nipple thrush cream and other remedies.
Now that you know what causes nipple thrush, let’s look at its symptoms. The common symptoms of nipple thrush are:
Nipple thrush can also cause symptoms that are more uncommon. This can be:
It is important to also observe signs of oral thrush in your baby’s mouth.
Symptoms of oral thrush include:
While uncommon, a diaper rash that will not clear can also be observed in some babies who have thrush.
In the event you have nipple thrush, consider using nipple thrush cream.
If your child develops white lesions in the mouth, it may be prudent to consult with your doctor or dentist.
If you notice and suspect that you might have nipple thrush, consult with your doctor for treatment. Treatment for nipple thrush includes nipple thrush cream and other medications.
What causes nipple thrush is an infection from the fungus, Candida albicans. Normally, we all carry a small amount of this bacteria. Our immune systems and good bacteria can usually keep this bacteria at bay and prevent it from causing an infection.
However, certain conditions can lead to the bacteria growing out of control and can sometimes prove too much to handle for our immune systems.
Illness, stress, medications or other external factors can contribute to the fungus growing out of control.
Bacteria like Candida thrive in warm and moist environments. As such, breastfeeding is a perfect place for them to grow and can lead to infection for you and your baby.
Your baby can develop the thrush orally, while you can develop the thrush in your nipples. While breastfeeding, you or your baby can infect each other.
This is why it is recommended that you and your baby be treated at the same time to prevent an exchange of infections.
Treatment may include the use of nipple thrush cream.
There are many risk factors for nipple thrush, here are some of them:
Your doctor may check your breasts and nipples for symptoms. Your doctor may also observe your baby if he or she has developed any signs of oral thrush, as what causes nipple thrush may infect their mouth area.
Some possible tests include:
Now that you know what causes nipple thrush and how it is diagnosed, you should know how it is treated. Medication like nipple thrush cream may be prescribed by your doctor to treat the condition.
If thrush has been found in your baby, your doctor might suggest treating that in conjunction with your treatment.
Treatment besides nipple thrush cream may include:
Nipple thrush can be prevented by controlling what causes nipple thrush (the bacteria). Here are some possible lifestyle changes and home remedies to help manage nipple thrush, besides the use of nipple thrush cream:
Now that you know what is nipple thrush, what causes nipple thrush, as well as its signs and symptoms, you are better equipped to deal with it if it happens to you. If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution.
Learn more about baby care and breastfeeding, here.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Breastfeeding and Thrush https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/breastfeeding-and-thrush/ date accessed May 8, 2020
Breastfeeding Problems: Nipple Thrush https://www.thewomens.org.au/health-information/breastfeeding/breastfeeding-problems/breast-and-nipple-thrush date accessed May 8, 2020
Thrush https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/10956-thrush date accessed 5/8/2020
Oral Thrush: Symptoms and Causes https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/oral-thrush/symptoms-causes/syc-20353533 date accessed 5/8/2020
Oral Thrush: Diagnosis and Treatment https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/oral-thrush/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20353539 date accessed 5/8/2020
Breastfeeding Challenges: Thrush https://www.nhs.uk/start4life/baby/breastfeeding/breastfeeding-challenges/thrush/ date accessed 5/8/2020