Whitish patina on the newborn's tongue: can it be thrush?

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The newborn has a whitish patina on the tongue and white patches at the corners of the mouth: what can it be?

Thrush, what is it

Most likely it is the so-called "thrush", an infection due to the fungus Candida albicans which occurs precisely with tiny whitish, velvety vesicles affecting the mouth area - particularly the tongue - in some cases extending to the throat. The blisters tend to merge to form a diffuse one whitish patina

In newborns and infants, thrush is very common because theirs immune system is not fully mature and it does not always manage to keep an eye on the excessive proliferation of this fungus commonly present in the oral cavity. Also, it can occur if the baby (or the mother, if breastfeeding) takes antibiotics.

To do

The "thrush" is generally insignificant from a medical point of view and tends to pass on its own or with the help of mouthwashes or washing with water and bicarbonate (the solution is prepared by boiling a cup of water with half a teaspoon of bicarbonate) practiced with a sterile gauze pad. If, on the other hand, the manifestation is widespread and does not disappear with the simple cleaning of the part, it is necessary to consult the pediatrician. In fact, it may be necessary to use a antifungal medicine, which must be prescribed by the doctor.

Sources for this article

  • advice from Paesena Society of Pediatric Primary Care

  • whitish tongue
  • thrush in the newborn
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