A yeast infection is an invasion of oral or genital tissues by a fungus belonging to the genus Candida. The condition is common, and generally not too serious.
Yeast Infection Symptoms
When present in the vagina, the usual symptoms of yeast infection are itchiness, pain, irritation, and a white or light grey, somewhat lumpy discharge.
Male Yeast Infection
Can men get yeast infections, the fast answer is YES. When present in the penis, red, itchy sores appear on the head of the penis and the foreskin. Males may also experience a burning sensation, or more rarely, a white discharge. For others, no symptoms may exist at all.
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Oral Yeast Infection
Symptoms of oral infection are more obvious, as a thick layer of pale yellow fungus grows over the tongue. The membranes of the mouth might become inflamed, red and sore. Usually, oral yeast infections are found in newborn babies. The babies may pass the infection onto the mother through breastfeeding.
Regarding oral yeast infections, babies are especially at risk. Smokers and denture users also experience yeast infections more frequently. Lastly, people who recently received a tongue or lip piercing risk yeast infections.
What Can Cause A Yeast Infection
What can lead to a yeast infection? A disturbance in the body’s normal hormone levels may predispose one to a yeast infection. Thus, pregnant women, women who use birth control pills, and post-menopausal women using hormone-replacement therapy are at risk. Some women just get yeast infections as part of their menstrual cycle.
Women who use douches disturb the normal presence of bacteria in the vagina, resulting in excessive growth of the Candida fungus.
Furthermore, using lubricants that contain glycerol during sexual intercourse may irritate the vagina, and precipitate a yeast infection. Antibiotic usage is another risk factor.
Men rarely get yeast infections, as most of these risk factors apply to women only. However, men who engage in unprotected sex with a partner who has a yeast infection can become infected with a penile yeast infection.
For both men and women, recurring yeast infections can be a sign of a weakened immune system. A weakened immune system can result from a immune disorder, such as AIDS, or a metabolic disorder, such as diabetes.
What Are Some Ways To Treat Yeast Infection?
Doctors usually prescribe fungus-fighting antimycotics. The medication can come as a topical cream, or a pill to be taken orally. For oral infections, topical creams such as nystatin or clotrimazole are preferred.
For vaginal infections, a one-time oral dose of antimycotic such as fluconazole is enough. Sometimes doctors may prescribe douches containing antimycotics. Vaginal suppositories, such as Canesten, are preferred by some women. Gentian violet applied to tampons is another option.
Simply treating yeast infections with medication may not be satisfactory, especially if the infections are recurring. Firstly, resistance to the drugs may develop. Ask your doctor about preventative measures. Secondly, the infections may derive from a more serious illness. See your doctor about the possibility of an immune or metabolic disorder.
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How Can You Prevent A Yeast Infection?
To prevent vaginal yeast infections, breathable underwear made from 100% cotton is recommended. Hygiene is also very important. It’s always better to be proactive than reactive when dealing with a yeast infection.