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What is 'thrush?' What are its symptoms and what are the treatment options?

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jkirkwoo eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Thrush is a yeast infection of the mucous membranes of the body.  It is also called Candidiaisis because the fungus that causes it is named Candida.  The symptoms include whitish smooth patches on the tongue or cheeks, if it is brushed or scraped it will bleed.  It can cause a burning type pain at the site of infection.

Some causes or risk factors of getting a thrush infection include taking antibiotics, having HIV, taking chemotherapy, or otherwise being immunocompromised, and having Diabetes.  Infants can also get thrush while breast feeding and that infection can pass on to your nipples.  If your nipples turn bright pink or red and burn and are very tender or bleed chances are you and your baby both have thrush and you will both be treated for it.

Treatment includes possibly using a prescribed antifungal mouthwash or the medicaitons Nizoral or Diflucan.  For the breastfeeding mother she will likely be prescribed Nystatin cream to put on her nipples after every breastfeeding.

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morganmc | Student

Thrush is an infection of Candida Albicans, a variety of yeast. In infants, it common affects the mouth and diaper area. Nursing mothers can also develop a thrush infection of the nipples or milk ducts.

Symptoms of oral thrush include a white coating of the tounge or roof and sides of the mouth, which may bleed if wiped away. Thrush infections of the skin tend to manifest through a rash of small pimple-like dots. Thrush of the breasts is chacterized by a pearlescent sheen or bright pink coloration of the nipples and a burning, itching pain.

Home remedies for thrush include the use of a 1% gentian violet solution applied to the breasts (not wiped off before the baby is nursed), grapefruit seed extract taken orally, tea tree oil, and washing the nipples in a vinegar solution. It can also be treated with over the counter yeast/fungal creams, prescription creams like Nystatin, ketoconazole, or the new Vusion cream (a barrier cream used primarily in the diaper region), or through oral treatment with Diflucan (fluconazole).


krishna-agrawala | Student

Thrush, known as candidiasis in medical terms is a disease of the skin caused by infection from a yeast like fungus called Candida albicans. The infection usually occurs in moist parts of the body. These include among others skin folds, the mouth, and the respiratory tract. It affects most easily the infants and the elderly people. It is also common in people whose immune system has been suppressed medically due to reasons such as organ transplant.

Symptoms of candidiasis depend on the part of the body affected by it. Oral thrush, the commonest form of candidiasis, appears as sore creamy white, slightly raised patches on the tongue and on the insides of the cheeks. These patches may be slightly painful and may bleed when scraped or while brushing. Doctors treat thrush with antibiotics specifically effective in case of fungal infections. Such medications are available in various forms such as lozenges, tablets and syrups. The exact type and dose for the medication is prescribed by medical doctor based on various factors like age and nature of infection.

lit24 | Student

Thrush is an infection caused by the fungus Candida Albicans.

It usually occurs in the mouth but can also affect other parts of the body.

It can affect anyone, but usually toddlers, and adults with weakened immune systems.

The symptoms of thrush as described in the web site MedicineNet.Com are as follows:


"A common sign of thrush is the presence of creamy white, slightly raised lesions in your mouth—usually on your tongue or inner cheeks—but also sometimes on the roof of your mouth, gums, tonsils, or back of your throat. The lesions, which may have a "cottage cheese" appearance, can be painful and may bleed slightly when you scrape them or brush your teeth. In severe cases, the lesions may spread into your esophagus, or swallowing tube, causing:

  • Pain or difficulty swallowing
  • A feeling that food gets stuck in the throat or mid-chest area.
  • Fever if the infection spreads beyond the esophagus

Thrush can spread to other parts of the body, including the lungs, liver, and skin. This happens more often in people with cancer, HIV, or other conditions that weaken the immune system."

Only a certified medical practitioner after a careful examination can prescribe anti fungal medicines. Some of the common anti fungal medicines are fluconazole and clotrimazole.

However, maintaining good oral hygiene and keeping sour yogurt in the mouth for a minute or two have proved to be helpful.