Thrush In Teenagers
Thrush is a condition that occurs when the natural yeast in your teen's body overgrows and the balance is thrown off in her body. This can happen anywhere in or on the body, but is most common in moist areas such as the mouth and genitals. Thrush can even occur on the skin as well.
Causes of Thrush
Thrush can happen for a variety of reasons. According to TeenageHealthFreak.org, if your teen has recently been on antibiotics, this can kill off too much bacteria in the body -- both the good and bad kinds. Teens who are diabetic are also more prone to yeast infections 1. In some cases, thrush can also be passed from person to person, so if your teen is sexually active, talk to her about this risk.
Symptoms of Thrush
Thrush has several symptoms, and your teen may experience any or all of them. HealthGuidance.org explains that thrush can make the affected area feel very itchy, and can produce burning during urination in some people. In girls, a thick, whitish vaginal discharge may occur. The skin in the affected area may be sore or develop red patches.
Treatment for thrush is fairly easy and straightforward. Your teen's doctor may give your teen a prescription, or recommend an over-the-counter medication. This medication battles excess yeast, and may be taken by mouth or as a vaginal suppository, depending on the location and situation. There are also creams your teen can apply to the skin to clear up the problem and relieve symptoms, explains KidsHealth.
Prevention of Thrush
Teens who are prone to thrush can make some lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of future problems. Tell your teen to avoid wearing nylon underwear -- instead, stick to a more breathable cotton. In addition, your teen should avoid tight pants that may encourage the growth of yeast. The goal is to keep the skin cool and able to breath. Using unscented soap may also help, and teenage girls should avoid douching.
Don't let your teen self-treat her first thrush infection, as the symptoms of thrush can also be symptoms of other problems, like sexually transmitted diseases. She should see a doctor for an official diagnosis. She should also avoid sexual activity while thrush is occurring, as it can be transmitted to others during this time.
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- KidsHealth: Vaginal Yeast Infections
- Health Guidance: What is Thrush?
- American Academy of Pediatrics. Thrush and Other Candida Infections. Updated November 21, 2015.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Candida infections of the mouth, throat, and esophagus. Updated April 12, 2019.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Candida Infections of the Mouth, Throat, and Esophagus. Updated December 17, 2019.
- Hoare A, Marsh PD, Diaz PI. Ecological therapeutic opportunities for oral diseases. Microbiology Spectrum. 2017;5(4):10.1128/microbiolspec.BAD-0006-2016. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.BAD-0006-2016.
- MedlinePlus. Thrush—Children and Adults.
- Pappas PG, Kauffman CA, Andes DR, et al. Clinical practice guideline for the management of candidiasis: 2016 update by the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Clinical Infectious Diseases: An Official Publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. 2016;62(4):e1-e50. doi:10.1093/cid/civ933.