Candida albicans is a fungus which causes candidiasis. It is a common disease worldwide. There are different types of candida, but they all have one thing in common: They cause yeast infections. Yeast infections are caused by certain fungi called Candida species. These fungi grow best when there is an abundance of good bacteria present in your body. If these good bacteria are missing or weakened, then the fungal infection will take over. Although they are most common in a woman’s vaginal area, they can appear anywhere on the body. This makes them very hard to get rid of if you don’t treat them right away.
What are the different types of a yeast infection?
Yeast infections occur in different parts of the body. The most common types are:
Thrush is a yeast infection of the mouth and throat.
Athlete’s foot is a type of yeast infection of the feet.
Yeast infection under the nails is also very common.
A yeast infection of the genitals or skin around genitals is also possible.
These are just some of the more common types of fungal infections. There are others as well.
What are the signs and symptoms of a yeast infection?
Yeast infections can affect people in different ways. Some people do not experience any signs or symptoms at all. If you do experience them, they may include:
Itching, burning, and redness in the private area.
Tingling or numbness of the skin in the private area.
Vaginal discharge that may be thick, clumpy, and white.
Pain or irritation while urinating.
Pain while having sexual contact.
Redness or soreness of the skin outside the private area.
If you notice any of these signs, you may have a yeast infection. If you think you may have a yeast infection, then you should see a doctor right away. Ignoring it could make it worse.
How are they diagnosed?
The only way to get a proper diagnosis is to see your physician. They will do an examination to see if you have any of the signs or symptoms of a yeast infection. They will most likely do a potassium hydroxide test to see if you have thrush.
How do you treat a yeast infection?
Most yeast infections are easy to get rid of with the right treatment. Treatment will vary depending on the type of infection you have. Here are some common treatments:
Over-the-counter vaginal creams or suppositories.
Prescription topical or internal medications.
Antifungal pills that you can get from your doctor.
These treatments can cure your yeast infection completely. It is very important to complete the treatment plan, even if you feel better. If you stop taking your pills too soon, the infection may come back.
How can you prevent yeast infections?
Here are some ways that you can help prevent a yeast infection:
Wear cotton underwear and pants.
Don’t use soap on the genital area. If you do, be sure to rinse thoroughly.
Don’t use tampons. Use pads instead. They can help keep the area drier.
Practice good hygiene. Wash your hands before and after touching the area. Also, wash the area itself morning and night.
Don’t wear wet bathing suits for a long period of time.
Limit the amount of sugar you eat.
Limit the amount of time that you wear tight clothes such as leggings or jeans.
Here are some other tips to remember:
If you are prone to yeast infections, it may help to take probiotics. These are available at most drug stores.
Avoid underwear, pants, and other tight clothes if you have a yeast infection. Cotton underwear is best for men and women.
What are the complications of a yeast infection?
If you have a serious form of yeast infection, such as genital yeast infection, there is a chance that you might develop other complications. These complications can include:
Pelvic inflammatory disease.
Low birth weight.
How can you treat a yeast infection that is affecting your pregnancy?
Pregnancy brings with it an increased chance of getting a yeast infection. If you find that you are developing symptoms of a yeast infection while pregnant, you should call your doctor right away.
Your doctor will most likely put you on prescription medication to get rid of the yeast infection.
Sources & references used in this article:
- Thrush in the breastfeeding dyad: results of a survey on diagnosis and treatment (NB Brent – Clinical pediatrics, 2001 – journals.sagepub.com)
- Polymerase Chain Reaction in Detection of Candida albicans for Confirmation of Clinical Diagnosis of Nipple Thrush (M Panjaitan, LH Amir, AM Costa, E Rudland… – Breastfeeding …, 2008 – liebertpub.com)
- Diagnosis: oral candidiasis/thrush (JL Wiler – Emergency Medicine News, 2007 – journals.lww.com)