Hope this helps. If you haven't already, schedule a follow-up visit with your personal physician.
- blue thrills
What is candidiasis?
Candidiasis is a condition caused by the fungus Candida albicans. It is also known as a yeast infection. It may infect the vagina, mouth, and moist areas on the skin.
How does it occur?
It is normal to have some fungus on the body. Bacteria normally on and in the body usually keep the fungus population under control. However, sometimes growth of the fungus increases and causes an infection.
There are several situations in which the fungus may overgrow or multiply. For example, antibiotic medication may destroy the bacteria that keep fungus levels down. Disorders and conditions that cause hormonal changes, such as menopause, pregnancy, or taking birth control pills, may also cause the fungus to grow.
Yeast infections are often associated with diabetes, especially when the blood sugar is not well controlled. Recurring or stubborn cases of vaginal candidiasis may sometimes be an early sign of diabetes. Less commonly, persistent yeast infections can be an early sign of HIV infection. Drugs that suppress the body's defense system (such as the drugs used to treat AIDS) also allow the fungus to grow and spread.
Candidiasis usually is not spread by sexual intercourse.
What are the symptoms?
In the vagina candidiasis causes a discharge that is thick and white and looks like paste or cottage cheese. Other symptoms women commonly have are:
redness of the outer part of the vagina (the vulva)
irritation when urinating.
Some women infected with Candida have no symptoms.
In men, the fungus can cause swelling and redness on the penis and foreskin. Yeast infections of the penis are more common when the penis is uncircumcised.
If the mouth is infected, the lining of the mouth is often red and sore. Sometimes the fungus causes white spots and patches on the tongue and cheek lining. This is called "thrush." The fungus can cause creamy-yellow, raised sores on the mouth.
On the skin (including skin with diaper rash), candidiasis produces an itchy red rash. Often the rash is a red patch with small red bumps around it.
How is it diagnosed?
Your health care provider will take your medical history and examine you. He or she may also order tests for yeast in samples collected from the mouth or vagina on swabs. A few cells scraped from a skin rash may show yeast when viewed under a microscope.
How is it treated?
Your health care provider will prescribe medication for infections caused by Candida albicans. Medications are available as creams to put on the skin, tablets to be taken by mouth for rashes, and as tablets and creams to be put in the vagina.
How long will the effects last?
With proper treatment, the infection will clear up in a few days to a week.
How can I take care of myself?
If you have vaginal candidiasis, follow these guidelines:
Avoid sexual intercourse until the infection clears.
Follow the full treatment prescribed by your health care provider.
After urinating, wipe gently to avoid irritation.
Avoid high-sugar diets.
Use unscented soaps.
Avoid using douches and other chemicals, such as bubble bath or hygiene spray, in the vaginal area unless recommended by your health care provider.
Take a shower instead of a bath. Pat the genital area dry.
Wear cotton underwear to allow ventilation and to keep the area drier.
Lose weight if you are obese (20% over normal weight).
If you are a diabetic, maintain a normal blood sugar.
Try eating yogurt. Some women find that daily yogurt prevents yeast overgrowth.
If you have been diagnosed previously with a candidiasis infection, you may want to use a nonprescription yeast medicine the next time you have a yeast infection.
Examples of such medicines are miconozole nitrate (Monistat-7) and clotrimazole (Gyne-Lotrimin, Mycelex-7, and FemCare).
CAUTION: See your health care provider promptly if you have repeated yeast infections within a 2-month period or a yeast infection that persists despite treatment. Let your provider help you be certain that yeast infection is the problem and, if it is, to determine why it's not responding to treatment.
What can be done to prevent candidiasis from occurring?
To prevent candidiasis, follow these guidelines:
Keep moist areas of the body cool and dry.
Avoid wearing a wet bathing suit or damp clothing for long periods of time.
Avoid frequent douching.
Avoid bubble baths (scented or unscented).
Avoid wearing underwear made from nylon or other nonventilating materials.
Add yogurt to your diet.
Avoid frequent or prolonged use of oral antibiotics if possible.