Yeast, the common name for the fungus Candida, almost always lives in certain moist parts of our bodies, usually without causing any ill-effect. Sometimes, yeast overgrowth can occur, which leads to irritating symptoms and the need for treatment. Yeast infections can affect anyone at any age. The vagina is a common place for a yeast infection, and although it can be distressing for parents, children can get infections there as well. Luckily, treatment for vaginal yeast infections in children is generally safe and effective.
Speak with your child's physician. If this is your child's first yeast infection, he will want you to schedule a visit.
Use an over-the-counter medication to treat the infection. Diflucan can be taken orally and is very effective in clearing up infections. Creams containing miconazole, such as Monistat, are typically effective as well. However, miconazole is only recommended for use in children over the age of 12, unless under the direction of your doctor. Regardless of age, make sure to okay any medication with your doctor before use.
Make sure your child's skin can breath. If your child isn't potty-trained, diapers are still a must, but avoid those plastic panties that don't allow air to circulate. You also may want to consider putting away any tight pants or undergarments your daughter might have, and opt for looser fitting clothing. Underwear made of breathable, natural fibers like cotton will help prevent reinfection.
Damp skin can hinder healing. Damp environments encourage yeast growth, so make sure if your daughter goes swimming, she doesn't stay in her wet suit for long. Also, make sure her genital area is thoroughly dried after swimming or baths.
Eat well. A good diet can go a long way toward inhibiting yeast overgrowth, which typically starts in the GI tract. Add whole grains and vegetables, and cut back on fatty foods and sugars. Also, garlic is a natural antifungal, so adding it to your daughter's diet can help control yeast.
Add probiotics. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that help fight the cause of yeast overgrowth in the gut. Adding probiotic supplements with acidophilus or eating yogurt with live cultures can help kill off the infection naturally.
Antibiotics are often a culprit in yeast infections. Try adding probiotics or a daily dose of yogurt with live cultures to your daughter's diet the day she starts antibiotics, to prevent recurrence of infections.