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Yeast Infection – Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Pictures, Signs, Cures

Written by Dr.Mary
IN THIS ARTICLE:

A yeast infection, also known as candidiasis, is infections caused by a group of fungi or yeast. There are twenty or more species of Candida, with the more common one being Candida albicans. Fungi such as these normally live on surfaces of the human body. When conditions are right, these yeast become very abundant causing infections. These conditions are in moist and warm areas. Some examples of these infections are vaginal infections, diaper and skin rashes, infections in the mouth and infection in the nail beds.


  • Candida infections normally develop in moist and warm areas of the body
  • In babies, the areas most typically affected are the mouth as well as the diaper areas.
  • With adults, yeast infections of the mouth become very common with increasing age. Adults also have yeast problems around dentures, lower abdomen, under nail beds, beneath the breast, and underneath any skin folds.
  • In rare cases, the infections by yeast can spread thru out the entire body.
  • Recurrent yeast infections can be a common sign of diseases which are more serious such as leukemia, diabetes or AIDS.

Yeast Infection Symptoms

The symptoms and signs of Candida infections will vary depending on the location of the infection.

With women, the symptoms and signs of a yeast infection vaginally include:

  • White, thick discharge
  • Discharge has cottage cheese appearance
  • Vagina itching
  • Irritation of outer tissues
  • Often pain on intercourse
  • Burning on urination

Oral yeast infection is known as thrush. Signs and symptoms of thrush include:

  • White, thick lacy patches
  • Forms on tongue, palate, inside of mouth
  • Patches resemble milk curds
  • If white plaques are rubbed away, core tissue can bleed
  • The tongue without white coating looks red
  • Painful
  • Hard to eat
  • Can cause dehydration

Superficial Candida skin infections symptoms or signs include:

  • Flat red rash with scalloped sharp edges
  • Smaller patches nearby, referred to as ”satellite lesions”
  • Rash is itchy or painful

Individuals with weakened immune systems may contract a yeast infection known esophagitis which occurs in the upper gastrointestinal or GI systems. The signs and symptoms of esophagitis include:

  • Painful ulcers thru out GI system
  • Too painful to swallow even liquids
  • Poor absorption of food
  • Pain in area of the breast bone
  • Pain in upper abdomen
  • Nausea and vomiting

If Candida develops in the blood system, the individual can become sick with or without fever. It can even spread to the brain, which can cause acute changes in mental function as well as behavior.

Yeast Infection Causes

With women, infections with yeast are the 2nd most common cause of vaginal itching and burning, as well as discharge. Yeasts can be normal vaginally in most women but can overgrow into an infection if the setting in the vagina changes in anyway. Steroid and antibiotic use is usually the most frequent cause for overgrowth with yeast. But it can also be caused by menstruation, pregnancy, diabetes, sperm, as well as oral pills for birth control. Yeast infections are normally most frequent after menopause.

For individuals who have an immune system weakened because of steroids, cancer treatments, or illnesses for example AIDS, yeast infections can develop widespread in the body and can become life-threatening. Organs sometime affected include eye, blood, kidney, heart and the brain. Infections can also develop and grow in the liver, lungs as well as the spleen.

Approximately 15% of individuals with immune systems which are weakened can develop a systemic illness caused by Candida. Such infections can enter the blood system thru cuts or breakdowns in the skin or the mucous membranes. Your immune system can be compromised not only by disease but also by not getting enough sleep, doing too much and just being stressed out.

Other causes of yeast infections can include:

Sex

Candida infections are not normally thought of as sexually transmitted disease or STDs but they do pass into your partner thru sex by semen as well as other body fluids. Sexual intercourse vaginally without suitable lubrication makes the condition worse. It can also be transmitted between two women having sex.

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Antibiotics

Antibiotics are considered probably the foremost cause of yeast infections which are chronic. This occurs with various types of antibiotics or with usage which is prolonged. Many women develop yeast infections no matter what antibiotics are used or for how long they are used. There is no good method of avoiding an antibiotic-induced yeast infection.

Diabetes

Diabetics often have raised blood sugar levels and this may cause yeast to develop and grow. This is especially a problem when the diabetic does not control their disease.

There are other factors which encourage yeast infections. They can include:

  • Humid, hot weather
  • Poorly ventilated or tight fitting clothing, including bathing suits or pantyhose which are damp
  • Dietary changes which are significant, poor nutrition, bad eating habits with lots of junk food
  • Regular exposure to semen and sperm over a short period of time
  • Frequent douching which rinses away both bacteria which is normal as well as secretions which are healthy from the vagina.
  • Improperly wiping after using the toilet
  • Sweating which often increases pH level
  • Menopause
  • Certain prescription medication, including those containing steroids, for example Prednisone
  • Personal hygiene which is poor
  • Feminine hygiene solutions which are perfumed
  • Injuries
  • Allergic reactions
  • HIV infection

Men can also develop yeast infections but often are less alert of having one than most women would be. As in the case of females, instead of transmission by sex being the major cause of genital infections, it really is mainly caused by a lowered immunity. But, 12% – 15% of males will develop symptoms such as itching and rash of the penis, especially after sexual intercourse with a partner who is infected.

Yeast Infection Treatment

Vaginal infections caused by yeast may be treated with anti-fungal medicines which are inserted directly into the vagina as creams, tablets, ointments or suppositories. These medications include brand names such as Femstat, Clotrimaderm, Monistat, Monazole, GyneCure and Terazole. A single dose of oral fluconazole, brand name Diflucan Oral, also can be used, but this treatment is not recommended during pregnancy.

When the female partner has an infection caused by yeast it can often be passed to the male. For this reason most physicians recommend both partners be treated or the male will just pass back the infection to the female during intercourse.

It needs to be noted that if a man has symptoms of yeast infection, it does not mean that he definitely has it. The same symptoms can be caused by a number of other problems – with some more serious. So a visit to your primary care physician should occur in order to get the correct diagnosis. Male yeast infection treatment is normally similar to female.

Treatment of oral thrush or yeast infections in the mouth depends on the severity of the condition. Mild cases can be managed without medications. Drinking liquids which are acidic such as orange juice or eating yogurt can help to restore the rebalance of natural bacteria to keep the candida yeast in check. Medications for severe oral thrush include anti-fungal mouth rinses, creams, lozenges as well as oral medication.

The primary treatment for yeast infections in the form of diaper rash involves using anti-fungal topical treatments as well as decreasing any moisture in the diaper area with frequent diaper changes. Some of the topical treatments include Mycostatin, Lotrimin and Monistat-Derm all can be found in any drug store over-the-counter. With some diaper rashes, prescription anti-fungal creams such as Nizoral cream and Spectazole may be necessary. How long the treatment should last has never actually been completely defined, although most creams or ointments are used for 4 to 7 days.

There have been studies done which has shown that in order to prevent diaper rash barrier creams should be used to keep moisture away. Some common creams include zinc oxide such as Desitin, Diaparene or petroleum jelly such as Vaseline. These should be applied to the diaper area after bathing. Cleaning which is gentle in the diaper area can also minimize skin breakdown which can be useful as can air exposure be therapeutic.

Yeast Infection Home Remedies

There are several home remedy tips that can help to control or cure yeast infections. These include:

  • Go lightly on eating fruit during an infection as yeast thrive on sugars
  • Boost immune system by eating plenty of vegetables. Echinacea also help with the immune functions
  • Many herbs have anti-fungal properties. These include calendula, goldenseal, rosemary, cedar and myrrh. These can be used internally as a douche or applied externally with pads that have been soaked in them.
  • Garlic is a strong anti-fungal and can inhibit the growth of candida. A person can chew and swallow at least 1 raw clove if you can tolerate it or mince and press 1 clove and sprinkle on a daily salad or other dish.
  • Friendly bacteria Lactobacillus acidophilus is helpful taken orally or inserted as a suppository in the vagina. It is available other the counter in capsule or powder form. Or, yogurt can be used containing active cultures.

Yeast Infection Pictures

Yeast Infection Yeast Infection

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