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Yeast – Not Just A “Downstairs” Problem

Written by Courteney

Posted on June 29, 2016 at 4:33 pm


When many people hear the term “yeast infection” they automatically associate it with vaginal yeast infections in women, but in actuality the term can encompass a variety of different types of yeast infections involving nearly any part of the body. It can refer to skin infections, oral yeast infections, types of diaper rash, systemic (whole body) yeast infections or genital yeast (which can involve either gender). There are over 20 different types of candida that can cause different infections.

Why Does Yeast Become a Problem?

The human body is rife with bacteria, fungi and other microorganisms, most of which are good little guys who help keep our systems functioning properly, but others are harmful when they replicate uncontrollably, causing infections and other complications. One such type of microorganism is the candida fungus, which causes different forms of yeast infections when it overgrows. Things such as medications (antibiotics for example), dampness of the skin, tight clothing or infrequent clothing changes, a compromised immune system, irritation (such as from soaps or chemicals) or a disruption of bacteria and fungi from sexual activity can cause yeast infections.

Candidiasis of the Skin

Cutaneous candidiasis is the medical term for yeast infections of the skin. They often occur on parts of the body with damp or sweaty clandestine environments which encourage the candidiasis fungi to flourish, such as under the armpits, in the groin, or in between skin folds elsewhere on the body. The main symptom of cutaneous candidiasis is a very itchy red rash. Diaper rash is often caused by candidiasis infections as well. To treat cutaneous candidiasis, doctors often prescribe an anti-fungal cream or powder. Doctors also recommend to increase hygiene by washing the areas frequently with soap and water and trying to keep them dry.

Oral Thrush

Thrush, or oropharyngeal candidiasis, refers to an overgrowth of candida fungi in the mouth and throat. This overgrowth causes white patches on the tongue and throat, soreness and redness, cracked corners of the mouth and trouble swallowing. These infections can be caused by certain medications (such as asthma puffers if the mouth isn’t rinsed afterward), occasionally breastfeeding can cause thrush in newborn babies, the elderly and immunocompromised are also at greater risk of contracting oral thrush. Studies illustrate that chlorhexidine (CHX) mouthwash can help or help prevent oral thrush, doctors sometimes prescribe certain medications to help with the condition as well. Good oral hygiene can also help prevent thrush.

Invasive Candidiasis

Invasive (or systemic) candidiasis is a more serious yeast infection that can affect the blood, organs and multiple parts of the body. This infection can cause fever and chills, and usually effects people who already have a chronic illness or multiple illnesses such as diabetes, kidney disease or AIDS. Different anti-fungal medications may be administered via tablets or IVs depending on the severity of the case.

Genital Candidiasis

 

Perhaps the most common and widely known form of yeast infection is the genital (or ‘vaginal’) infection. It is much more prevalent in women, afflicting up to 75% of all women at some point in time, many of whom experience recurrent infections. Vaginal yeast infections can cause very unpleasant symptoms such as redness, soreness, itching, burning and abnormal discharge. Men can also get yeast infections that can be quite unpleasant, sometimes yeast infections can be passed back and forth between partners unknowingly. They can be cured with antifungal cream, tablets or vaginal suppositories.

Thanks for visiting DocChat! If you have any questions about yeast infection treatments or symptoms feel free to sign up today for a video conference with one of our board certified, highly qualified physicians.

 

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