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Signs & symptoms of genital thrush in toddlers

Updated April 17, 2017

Although thrush is generally thought of as an oral infection, genital thrush is actually quite common in toddlers. This condition is also called candidiasis, or a yeast infection, and can be caused by warm and humid weather, antibiotics, or diapers that are not changed regularly enough. Recognising the signs and symptoms of genital thrush is an important step in getting the treatment that your toddler needs.

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The main symptom of genital thrush is a rash, either on the genitals, buttocks, or thighs. Although not all diaper rash is caused by thrush, you can ascertain whether your toddler's is by looking at the colour of the rash and other factors. Thrush usually causes a bright pink or red rash, and the edges of the rash are clearly defined. The rash may be on the external vaginal area (in girls) or on the underside of the penis (in boys), which may include scaling.

Physical Sensations

Female toddlers with a diaper rash may complain of itching or burning in the vaginal area. Diaper changes may bother the toddler, and the feel of a wipe or of any rubbing on the area may cause the toddler to cry or fuss.


A female toddler may have some vaginal discharge caused by genital thrush, and the discharge is either white or yellow. The discharge may look like curds, or cottage cheese, although this can also be caused by bacterial vaginosis. While some males experience a similar discharge, this is relatively rare.

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About the Author

Keren (Carrie) Perles is a freelance writer with professional experience in publishing since 2004. Perles has written, edited and developed curriculum for educational publishers. She writes online articles about various topics, mostly about education or parenting, and has been a mother, teacher and tutor for various ages. Perles holds a Bachelor of Arts in English communications from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

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