What is yeast infection? Not everyone is aware what Candidiasis is but when talking about yeast infection, everyone nods because they believe that they do have a complete understanding of the condition. Yeast infection is a condition caused by a group of microscopic yeast or fungi. These fungi or yeast is known as Candida and the most common among these is the Candida albicans fungus. This type of fungus is capable of surviving in various parts of the body and survives in warm and moist environment.
Candida albicans are normally present in several parts of the body including the underarms as well as the genital area. Even infants can be infected by the fungus, usually in the diaper area and mouth. These days, an increasing number of adults are being affected by yeast infection in the area of the mouth, and the risk normally increases with the advancing of age. Nevertheless, the fungus can also affect other areas, such as under the breast, dentures, lower abdomen, nail bed and in areas where the skin folds and the environment is moist.
Although the condition can be easily treated using an oral treatment for yeast infection, there are instances when the infection spreads throughout the body and conditions of systemic candidiasis where approximately 75% of the affected individuals died. That is why it is necessary to opt for proper treatment as soon as you notice symptoms of yeast infection. Make sure to consult your physician immediately to determine what could have triggered the infection and to identify any underlying health conditions like leukemia, diabetes or AIDS.
Signs and Symptoms
Yeast infection can present various signs and symptoms, and these can help you detect the condition easily and opt for an immediate treatment for it. The common signs and symptoms of yeast infection include the following:
- Women afflicted with genital yeast infection or candidiasis may notice a thick whitish or yellowish discharge, along with itching sensation on and surrounding the genitalia. In certain cases, pain and irritation can also be experienced when passing urine or while doing sexual activities.
- When an individual is infected with oral yeast infection, the condition is known as oral thrush. In this condition, the affected individual may notice thick, white patches inside the mouth particularly on the palate or gums and tongue. These patches may look like milk curd but cannot be easily wiped off and when you try to do so, it may bleed due to irritation. These patches can also be painful, thus making it difficult to eat.
- Skin rashes with scalloped edges can also be noticed on the skin. This, on the other hand, is considered as a classic symptom of the condition.
- In case the fungus has reached the bloodstream, the affected individual may experience having fever and the fungus can even reach the brain, which may result to a serious condition.
Although this can be a serious condition in some cases, it could easily be treated using over-the-counter medications. Women suffering from vaginal yeast infection can opt for the following:
These topical creams can be massaged into the affected area for seven consecutive days. However, in case the irritation does not subside after using these topical creams, it is necessary to discontinue the application and consult a physician immediately. Pregnant women infected with yeast infection should avoid the use of any medications for the condition without consulting a physician. For oral thrush, on the other hand, affected individuals can obtain help from the following:
- Gargle using antifungal nystatin and do not neglect oral hygiene.
- For children affected with oral thrush, make sure that all the child’s toys are sterilized, especially the ones put in the mouth.
- The presence of Candida albicans should be checked on nursing women to avoid transmitting the fungus to their infants.
- Medications, such as fluconazole along with nystatin can be administered on infected adults.
For skin yeast infection, the most reliable options are the following:
- Use clotrimazole lotion and cream on the affected skin surface and make sure to keep it clean and dry at all times.
- If there is diaper rash, make sure to change diapers as often as possible and keep the area dry.
It is highly recommended that you consult your physician before self-medicating. It is necessary to diagnose the condition to determine any underlying condition prior to the administration of treatment. You should also avoid treating the infection with antibiotics, as these can only worsen the condition. It is necessary to follow safety measures to prevent the condition from aggravating and the infection from recurring. Talking to your physician about remedies and safety measures is also necessary, especially if your child is the one infected by the fungus. Take note that you cannot just administer medications to your child without consulting your physician to prevent any health risks.