Skip To Content
  • Viral badge
May 11, 2020

This TikTok Video Of Babies With Purple Mouths Went Viral After This Mom Said They Ate Sharpies

Please keep all markers away from the babies!

TikTok stopped me dead in my tracks the other day when I saw this video:

@christelholland

Only moms know what this actually is😂 #MakeBakeShake #healthheroes #ScoobDance #pancakecereal #alwayslearning #fyp #foryou #xyzbca #foryoupage

♬ original sound - christelholland

In the video — which has over 6 million views — user @christelholland says her babies ate purple Sharpies, but her caption reads, "Only moms know what this actually is." But as a mom myself, I did NOT know what it was, so I was alarmed.

ABC

So I decided to get in contact with the mother of the babies to find out. Her name is Christel Holland, and she is the San Diego–based mom of a 3-year-old daughter and a 1-year-old son.

Christel Holland

Christel said that a couple of years ago, she took her daughter to the doctor because her mouth was coated in a thick, white substance. "At first I thought maybe her tongue was just coated from her formula, but I noticed it got thicker and it would still be on her tongue for hours after a bottle," she said. After she took her daughter to the doctor, she was told it was oral thrush.

Christel Holland

BuzzFeed also spoke to a senior medical director at WebMD, Dr. Hansa Bhargava, to get a little more information about thrush. "Thrush is a yeast infection that anyone can get, usually caused by Candida albicans. It causes vaginal infections in women, but it is also prevalent in babies. In babies, it causes whitish plaques in the mouth and can make them fussy," Bhargava said.

Christel Holland

Bhargava added: "Babies may get thrush because their immune system is less mature. Other reasons include nipples on bottles being contaminated or pacifiers getting contaminated. To prevent thrush, try to keep those clean, and if a pacifier drops to the floor, make sure you wash it before offering it to the baby again. Lastly, if you are breastfeeding, make sure you don't have pain or irritation around the nipple area, as this may be a yeast infection too."

So, what made Christel's baby's mouth turn so purple? It was the medicine used to treat thrush, called Gentian Violet. "This is an antifungal medicine that helps get rid of the infection — it is used several times a day in a baby's mouth for about 10 days. It does have a 'violet' color, so it can look purple," Bhargava explained.

Christel Holland, @christelholland / TikTok

"I didn’t know much about thrush, since I was a new mom, but with my son, I noticed almost instantly that it was thrush and knew I needed to get the violet medicine as soon as possible because thrush can be a pretty big pain to get rid of," Christel said.

Christel noted that some people on TikTok weren't happy she was joking about her babies eating Sharpies. She added, "The point of the app is to either watch people's viral videos or be the person who makes the viral videos. I like to make the viral videos!"

@christelholland / TikTok

And as far as the medicine goes, Christel warned, "If it gets on anything at all, it’s stained forever! I still have a shirt that’s stained from three years ago!" So if you use the medicine in the future, be careful!

Christel Holland

We are happy to report that the medicine worked and Christel's kiddos are happy and healthy!

Christel Holland

Want awesome parenting tips in your inbox twice a week? Sign up for the BuzzFeed Parents newsletter!

Newsletter signup form