Candidiasis commonly referred to as yeast infections is caused by yeast fungus called candida albicans. The yeast fungus can cause infections in the mouth, vagina, and skin surface all over the body.
Candida albicans are normally present all over the human body on skin surfaces and in moist area of the mouth, underarms, vagina, and large intestine. Candida albicans are harmless in normal state but other conditions can alter this state causing the yeast to overgrow and become harmful to the body.
In a normal state, candida albicans are controlled by good bacteria that prevent the yeast from overgrowing. Conditions that can trigger yeast overgrowth include the use of antibiotic, steroid, oral contraceptives, spermicide, pregnancy, and diabetes.
When you frequently take antibiotic it kills the good bacteria that control the yeast from overgrowing. Taking steroids weakened the immune system ability to fights off yeast causing it to overgrow. Pregnancy may weaken the immune system causing yeast to overgrow. Taking oral contraceptives as well as people with diabetes have been known to increase the risk of yeast infections. Frequent use of birth control spermicide gel or cream may also increase the risk of yeast infections.
Other conditions such as old age, HIV infections, cancer, stress, obesity, and lack of nutrition can weaken the immune system and increase the risk of developing candidiasis.
Women who do not already have yeast present in the vagina can be transmitted from anus to vagina when wiping back-to-front after bowel movement and it can be transmitted through vaginal sex and oral sex.
The most common types of infections caused by candidiasis are vaginal yeast infections, oral thrush, and skin infections. Vaginal yeast infections cause the vagina to inflame. Oral thrush causes yeast infections to develop on the inside of the mouth such as the tongue, inner lip, on the gums, and in the throat. Yeast infections developed on skin surfaces can be transmitted between skin fold when infected skin surface comes into contact with other skin surface. Skin fold around the belly area of oversized people and skin underneath the breast are example of skin to skin contact. Very rarely the yeast infections may enter into the bloodstream and infect the entire system.
Women with vaginal yeast infections may experience symptoms that include vaginal discharge (white or gray in color), severe itching and soreness of the vaginal and vulva tissues that become red and dry. Other symptoms of vaginal yeast infections may also include painful intercourse and painful urination.
Very rarely men get candidiasis yeast infections on the genital from infected partner, however when symptoms do occur some men may experience discharge (white in color), red patches on the glans or foreskin, severe itching, and sometime painful urination.
Infants are more likely to get oral thrush than adults and the symptoms include white patches that may developed on the tongue, palate, around the lips, inner lip, on the gums, and in the throat. White patches can be painful but some people may not experience any pain.
Skin infection occur when yeast overgrow on skin surface. The symptoms often involved red rashes that developed between skin fold such as the underarm, between the breasts, underneath the breasts, between genital areas, between the buttocks, between the fingers, and between the toes. Skin rashes can be painful or itchy.
Vaginal yeast infections can be treated with topical antifungal applications such as clotrimazole, miconazole, butoconazole, or terconazole that are applied directly into the vagina. Topical applications are available in different forms such as topical creams, tablets, ointments, or suppositories. Vaginal yeast infections can also be treated with oral medication fluconazole that are as effective as topical applications. Oral medication is usually taken for several days to 2 weeks to treat the infections completely even though the symptoms may disappear after 2 days of treatment.
Oral thrush can be treated with oral antifungal medications such as nystatin, amphotericin B, or clotrimazole lozenge. Nystatin is available in liquid or suspension that is swished around the mouth and then swallowed. Amphotericin B is a suspension that is swished around the mouth and swallowed. Clotrimazole lozenge works by dissolving in the mouth. Both the amphotericin B suspension and clotrimazole lozenge need to be used several times daily until the infections disappear completely.
Skin infections can be treated
with antifungal creams, powder, or pill. Depending on the severity of
skin infections, treatment may also involve injection. Make sure all
your sexual partners are also treated completely for any types of
candidiasis yeast infections to prevent re-infection.
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