What Causes A Yeast Infection
Antibiotics are one of the most common culprits in causing yeast infections, because they destroy vaginal bacteria and thereby disrupt the balance of power among the vaginal microorganisms. This balance is also affected by hormone levels, so women are more prone to yeast infections if theyre using hormonal contraceptives, during pregnancy, or just prior to menstruation. Yeast infections are also more common in women with compromised immune systems due to illnesses like diabetes, AIDS, or cancer. In fact, anything that weakens your immune systemstress, lack of sleep, consumption of alcohol, and even refined sugarcan lead to an overgrowth of yeast.
If You’re Diabetic Always Monitor Your Blood Sugar Levels
People who have diabetes may also have higher risks of yeast infections, says Dr. Sophocles. If yeast infections are persistent for you, it’ll be helpful to manage your blood sugar closely, adds Dr. Sophocles. Why? Well the yeast feed on sugar, so the more sugar that’s in your bloodstream, the more that yeast can thrive.
Causes Of A Yeast Infection On Your Breasts
Pregnancy and breastfeeding can cause your skin to rub against itself in ways you arent used to. Wearing bras and tops that arent designed for breastfeeding or pregnancy can aggravate this problem by trapping sweat and moisture in the folds of your skin.
But yeast infections under your breasts arent always related to pregnancy or breastfeeding. This same kind of rash can appear anywhere your skin rubs together, such as:
- between your thighs
Read Also: How Do You Know When Yeast Infection Is Gone
Alternative And Complementary Therapies
Can home remedies and natural cures help treat and prevent vaginal yeast infections? Many women wonder what else they can do to deal with yeast problems. Despite the documented effectiveness of over-the-counter products and prescription medication for vaginal yeast infections, some women prefer to treat their ailments with natural or home remedies.
- Sodium bicarbonate
- Dietary changes to reduce sugar intake, including from dairy products
While they are very popular, the effectiveness of home remedies for treating and preventing yeast infections is not very well known or understood.
Some remedies, at least, appear to be helpful for vaginal yeast infections, though more research is needed. For example, using probiotics as an adjuvant therapy could help cure yeast infections, but the quality of evidence is low or very low, according to a review published in November 2017 in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews .
And boric acid, at least, is recommended for the treatment of non-albicans species.
Applying Oils Down There Might Not Be The Best Remedy Either
Other natural remedies for yeast infections you may hear about are coconut oil and tea tree oil. But take caution, the docs say. “I would suggest you avoid the tea tree oil or coconut oil in the vaginal area because research doesnt suggest they work, and they may cause more harm than good,” says Dr. Rainford. Tea tree oil can actually be irritating if you put it near your vulva. And coconut oil, while generally safe for your skin, “is not consistently effective at curing yeast,” Dr. Sophocles points out.
Recommended Reading: How To Get Rid Of Penile Yeast Infection
Signs And Symptoms Of Yeast Infections
The most common symptoms of mild vaginal yeast infections include:
- Pain or discomfort during intercourse or when urinating
- Vaginal discharge that is clumpy , possibly smelling like yeast or bread
- Vaginal discharge that is watery
More severe infections can cause redness, swelling, and cracks in the skin outside the .
Dont Miss: Can You Take Antibiotics For A Viral Infection
How Do I Care For The Skin Near The Infection
You may only have discolored patches of skin, or areas that are dry and flaking. Care for these skin problems as directed by your healthcare provider. If you have painful skin or an open sore, you will need to protect the skin and prevent damage. You will also need to keep the skin dry as much as possible. Ask your healthcare provider how to care for your skin while the infection clears. The following are general guidelines for caring for painful or open skin:
Also Check: Over Counter Meds For Yeast Infection
Whats The Difference Between Ear Mites And Yeast Infections In Dogs
Yeast infections in a dogs ears generally cause redness, a brown discharge, head shaking or rubbing, odor, and itching.
Ear mite infections are extremely itchy and can cause many of the same symptoms. The discharge from the ear is usually dark and waxy or crusty. Ear mites are barely visible to the naked eye and highly contagious to other animals.
Your veterinarian can easily determine whether a dogs ear problem is caused by yeast or mites by taking a swab from their ear and looking at it under a microscope.
Severe Yeast Infection Sores
Severe yeast infection sores, bumps and lesions usually do not happen overnight but evolve over time. Yeast infection sores usually appear with other symptoms of yeast infection on skin next to them. Itchy skin, yeast rash, eczema and other skin fungal infections that may also affect the fingernails, toenails and feet are common ones.
Yeast infection sores and bumps are often get confused with skin conditions caused by herpes or other STDs. If you are unsure, do not wait and get tested by your doctor.
Recommended Reading: How To Treat Yeast Infections At Home
How To Soothe Thrush Itching
If you have vaginal thrush, you may also find the following things help to relieve your symptoms:
- Avoiding wearing tight-fitting clothing, especially clothing made from synthetic materials. Loose-fitting, natural-fibre underwear may be better.
- Avoiding washing underwear with biological washing powders or liquids and avoiding the use of fabric conditioners.
- Avoiding using perfumed products around the vaginal area, such as soaps and shower gels, as these may cause further irritation.
- Using a simple emollient every day as a moisturiser to protect the skin around the vulva.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Vaginal Yeast Infection
There are several tell-tale signs of a vaginal yeast infection. These symptoms can include:
- A thick, white vaginal discharge with the consistency of cottage cheese.
- Small cuts or tiny cracks in the skin of your vulva because of fragile skin in the area.
- A burning feeling when you pee.
In some cases, another symptom of a vaginal yeast infection can be pain during sex.
Symptoms of a yeast infection are similar to the symptoms people feel when they have a sexually transmitted infection or other vaginal infection. Contact your healthcare provider if you have any of these symptoms so they can examine you.
Don’t Miss: Can Birth Control Cause Yeast Infection
Stopping The Cycle Of Genital Yeast Infections
The genital area naturally contains Candida. Once this balance is disrupted, though, Candida overgrowth can happen.
For some people, being prone to yeast infections is simply hereditary. Overgrowth of yeast can also happen as a result of:
Genital yeast infections are also more common in people with compromised immune systems and who have diabetes. Sexual activity and high estrogen levels are other risk factors.
There are also studies suggesting chronic yeast infections may be due to hypersensitivity to Candida.
A genital yeast infection can cause burning and itching sensations. You may also notice a red rash, especially around the vulva or anywhere . When you urinate, you may see a cottage cheese-like discharge and feel burning on the surrounding skin.
Over-the-counter suppository medications can usually treat vaginal yeast infections. However, if this is your first yeast infection or first recurring yeast infection, you may want to see your doctor. They can rule out the possibility of other infections.
Once treated, you can help keep genital yeast infections from returning by keeping good hygiene habits and promoting normal vaginal bacterial balance. Here are some tips:
- Wear cotton underwear and loose clothing.
- Take daily showers.
Do Guys Get Yeast Infections
Guys who are not circumcised need to take extra care to clean properly beneath their foreskins. The warm, moist folds of the foreskin are the perfect environment for yeast to thrive. Keeping the area clean and dry may help prevent an infection. If symptoms do show up, a doctor can treat the infection.
Read Also: Coq10 With Red Yeast Rice
Why Do I Keep Getting Thrush
You may also be more prone to recurring thrush episodes although some women develop repeated episodes of thrush with no obvious triggers. If you do suffer from recurrent thrush, your doctor may offer different treatment – see the separate leaflet called Treating Recurring Yeast Infections for more details.
There is some relationship between thrush and the female hormone oestrogen. Thrush is much more common in the ‘reproductive years’, ie the years between starting to have periods and stopping for menopause. Some women are prone to thrush in certain times of their menstrual cycle – for example, before a period. The hormone changes of pregnancy make thrush more likely. It may be that hormone pills such as hormone replacement therapy and the combined oral contraceptive pill make you more prone to thrush. This is not yet certain, however.
Prevention Of Vaginal Yeast Infection
Women who are at high risk of a yeast infection may need to take an antifungal drug by mouth to help prevent yeast infections. Such women include those with the following:
A need to take antibiotics for a long time
Repeated yeast infections, particularly in women with a weakened immune system
Keeping the vulva clean and wearing loose, absorbent cotton clothing that allows air to circulate can reduce moisture, which encourages the growth of yeast, and thus help prevent yeast from growing.
Also Check: Prescription For Yeast Infection Fluconazole
What Should I Do If I Have Frequent Yeast Infections
If you get more than four vaginal yeast infections per year, have a discussion with your healthcare provider. Your provider may:
- Test to confirm that you have a vaginal yeast infection.
- Order a blood sugar test for diabetes.
- Test for HIV/AIDS.
- Discuss any possible hormonal changes .
Your healthcare provider will use your test results to make sure you receive the right treatment. It can be important to treat the underlying cause while treating your yeast infection. Controlling the reason for the infection can help prevent future vaginal yeast infections.
Who Can Get Yeast Infections
Some people may be more prone to yeast infections. Using certain medications, having diabetes, being pregnant, or having a lowered immune system can make a person more likely to get a yeast infection.
People who wear tight-fitting clothing are also more likely to experience yeast infections since it creates a warm, moist environment that allows the growth of yeast and bacteria to thrive.
Don’t Miss: Yeast Infection In The Esophagus
Yeast Infection In Babies
While yeast infections are commonly associated with vaginal infections, babies can also get them.
The most common yeast infection in a baby is a diaper rash. However, not all diaper rashes are the result yeast overgrowth.
You can tell if the condition is more than just a diaper rash if your babys skin is extremely red and has spots in the diaper/groin area, despite using diaper rash cream. Yeast infections may also be presented in other folds of the skin, such as under the armpits.
When Should I Make An Appointment To See My Provider
The first time you experience the symptoms of a yeast infection, you should see your doctor to rule out any other conditions. Even if youve had a yeast infection before, you should consult your physician if the condition isnt improving despite using medication, or if you experience four or more yeast infections per year. You might need something stronger than whats available over-the-counter. Finally, if your discharge has a bad odor, if you have a fever, or if you have other serious medical problems, you should definitely seek medical attention.
You May Like: Yeast Infection Diaper Rash Treatment
Figure Out If It’s Really A Yeast Infection
As Dr. Brandye pointed out, there are many things that you might confuse for a yeast infection, like BV, a UTI, or STIs like herpes. Here are some telltale signs to help you differentiate, especially if you’re not sure if you should pick up some Monistat, drink cranberry juice, or call your doc.
Yeast infections vs. Bacterial Vaginosis
Yeast infections have lots of itching and irritation and don’t usually have a lot of discharge, but if there is, it’s white and looks like cottage cheese, explains Dr. Brandye. A more severe yeast infection might cause you discharge with a greenish tint to it. On the other hand, bacterial vaginosis will usually have discharge with a fishy odor.
Yeast infections vs UTIs
Dr. Brandye also adds that sometimes urine coming into contact with the vulva may cause burning, which makes women think they’re experiencing a UTI and not a yeast infection, but UTIs have different symptoms, such as pelvic pain, pain when you urinate, and super frequent urination with with only a small amount of pee coming out.
Yeast infections vs STIs
If you notice any new bumps or lesions, it might not be a yeast infection and could be an STI. These bumps might not always be painful, but things like herpes can cause pain and irritation that may mimic a yeast infection, Dr. Brandye says. However, the pain from these lesions would be more localized to where the lesions are.
What Can A Doctor Prescribe For Yeast Infections
Over-the-counter antifungal medications treat yeast infections and are available in creams or suppositories for internal application. Yeast infections can last three days to two weeks, so there are one-day, three-day, or week-long treatments available.
There are also anti-itch antifungal creams that come along with most treatments to help external itching. The most popular brands of antifungal creams to treat vaginal yeast infections are Monistat or Vagistat. These treatments are also available online for those who are uncomfortable buying them in the store.
A healthcare provider may prescribe Diflucan fluconazole a tablet that will treat fungal vaginal infections, or a prescription antifungal such as terconazole , which is inserted internally at bedtime.
Don’t Miss: Do Probiotics Cure Yeast Infections
What Increases My Risk Of Getting A Yeast Infection
Certain factors make you more likely to get a vaginal yeast infection.
Certain factors can increase your risk of getting a vaginal yeast infection. Some of those are:
Certain lifestyle risk factors also increase your risk of a vaginal yeast infection, such as:
- Sitting in a wet bathing suit.
- Not changing out of sweaty clothes.
- Wearing scented tampons or using a vaginal deodorant.
How Can You Prevent Vaginal Candidiasis
Eating natural, unsweetened yogurt that contains Lactobacillus acidophilus may help prevent yeast infections occurring.
The risk of yeast infections may also be lessened by staying hydrated and urinating when the need arises, not holding it in.
Women should wipe from front to back after a bowel movement, urinate before and after sex, and avoiding using douches, vaginal sprays, and scented feminine hygiene products.
They should also avoid wearing restrictive, synthetic clothing, or change out of such clothing as soon as possible after exercising or swimming.
Also Check: How To Detect Yeast Infection
What Can I Do To Prevent A Skin Yeast Infection
- Do not share clothing or towels
- Wear shower shoes if you need to use a public shower
- Dry your feet completely after you bathe, and apply antifungal powder or cream as directed
- Put on socks before you get dressed so you do not spread fungus from your feet
- Wear light clothing that allows air to get to your skin
- Manage your weight to prevent skin folds where yeast can collect
- Manage diabetes
- Use antibiotics correctly to prevent antibiotic resistance
- Change your baby’s diaper often, and keep the area clean and dry as much as possible
- Use a diaper cream or ointment that contains zinc oxide or dimethicone on your baby’s diaper area as directed
Severe Yeast Infection Due To Candida Die Off
Also known as a healing crisis or herxheimer reaction, this is a common detoxification response of the body to the increased toxins released from the dying candida yeasts during the treatment.
Candida die off is one of the most common reasons for severe yeast infection symptoms. A common misconception about candida die off is that it is a sign that the treatment is working. When you have a candida die off, it means that the amount of toxins released into the circulation is more than what your body can safely handle. Besides the severe yeast infection symptoms that can be unbearable at times, the high level of toxins put a lot of stress on internal organs, especially the colon, liver and kidneys that are involved in filtering toxins in the body.
Candida die off symptoms are usually devastating, with many discomforts that may include:
Severe yeast infection due to candida die off Treatment
Severe yeast infection treatment in cases of candida die off typically include the following steps:
The Overnight die off flush
Helping your body to flush the candida yeast toxins faster can significantly reduce the severity of many external and internal symptoms. For this reason, cleansing your colon should be your first priority as it is specifically designed to remove the toxins quicker from your body.
|Antifungal creams .|
Read Also: Why Do I Get Yeast Infections So Often
Is One Yeast Infection Pill Enough
Depending on the severity of the infection, type of pill, and dosage, one tablet may be enough to clear a yeast infection. Individuals should always let their doctor guide their treatment and discuss ongoing symptoms with them accordingly.
- Hu, H., et al. . Impact of eating probiotic yogurt on colonization by Candida species of the oral and vaginal mucosa in HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected women.