Oral Thrush Treatment – Gentian Violet

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Oral thrush is a common mouth infection. Though it may look extremely unpleasant, it’s really easy to treat, once it’s diagnosed correctly.

One of the possible treatments is gentian violet, though it’s not exactly the best treatment. However, it is quite effective in treating nipple thrush, so it’s worth considering.

But first, a bit about oral thrush and its main symptoms.

Oral thrush

Oral thrush, also known as pseudomembranous candidiasis, is the most common form of oral candidiasis (fungal infection caused by a fungus called candida albicans), accounting for 35% of all cases.

Symptoms

Regardless of the cause, this mycosis usually shows the same common symptoms: creamy white patches in the mouth, gums, tonsils and throat, swelling of the oral tissue and sometimes lesions of the mouth.baby tongue candida

While most of the times these ugly patches are the only symptoms, occasionally more severe signs might appear, depending on how bad the infection is. A blistering sensation in the mouth, loss of taste, difficulty swallowing (if the infection is localized in the throat) and hoarseness (if the trachea and the larynx are infected) are all possible signs of oral thrush. Left untreated, the candida in the mouth may move to other regions of the body, leading to even worse conditions such as infections of the lungs or the intestines. However, such cases are rare and usually happen to those whose immune systems are weakened and who neglect the initial symptoms.

Gentian Violet for Oral Thrush

Gentian violet is a low-concentration antiseptic dye (1%) used to treat different skin infections. While it’s not the most common thrush treatment, it does have some efficacy in treating this condition.gentian-violet-baby-300x224

Because it will stain the skin and likely cause an unpleasant sensation in the mouth, it’s usually prescribed for nipple thrush.

If recommended for oral thrush, you should apply a small amount of the solution with a cotton swab directly over the infected regions, usually two-three times a day, for about three days. Any irritation will likely disappear 24 hours after you stop the treatment.

While gentian violet may be used in treating toddlers, it’s best not to use it with babies younger than 12 months, because it can cause blisters in the mouth.

Since gentian violet stains the skin and it’s not as effective as other antifungal treatments, it’s not the best way to treat thrush, and you should consult with your doctor before using it.

Conclusion

One of the ways to treat oral thrush is to use gentian violet. However, it’s not the most effective treatment, and it’s also not recommended to infants and newborns.

If possible, you’d better take a different medicine, such as fluconazole or nystatin. Gentian violet may be effective in patients who are likely to suffer from negative drug interaction, if they follow multiple courses of treatment. It’s always best to consult your doctor before taking any thrush medication, even if gentian violet is usually available without prescription.

Resources:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/oral-thrush/basics/definition/con-20022381
http://www.breastfeedinginc.ca/content.php?pagename=doc-UGV
http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/gentian-violet-1-for-thrush
http://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-4397/gentian-violet-topical/details
http://www.livestrong.com/article/281403-how-to-use-gentian-violet-in-the-mouth-for-thrush/