Yeast, or candidiasis, is a fungus that is found on areas of moisture on human skin. This includes body zones such as the mouth or genitals. Yeast infections are the result of a build-up of excess yeast in one of these areas. The symptoms of a yeast infection include itching, burning, redness and unusual discharge.
Thrush, or an infection of the mouth caused by candida fungus, often occurs in infants and toddlers. There are limited amounts of candida fungus inside of the mouth, on the skin and inside of the digestive tract. This fungus is usually balanced by other bacteria that circulates inside of you. Although thrush can affect anyone, those with HIV, diabetes, cancer or those who are pregnant or taking birth control pills are more susceptible to developing thrush. Diaper rash is a form of yeast infection on the skin.
Yeast infections, like most other infections, aren't usually caused by one single factor. Instead, it's the combination of several factors that causes the infection.
Antibiotics are the most common cause of a yeast infection. You take an antibiotic to cure another infection such as a sinus infection. The antibiotic kills the bad bacteria that is causing the infection, but also kills the "good" bacteria as well, the kind that keeps yeast in check.
Another cause is the quality and condition of your clothing. Clothing that traps moisture can cause a yeast build-up in areas that are tightly confined to the body part. Underwear is a piece of clothing that can do this.
An unhealthy immune system has trouble fighting off infection. This occurs when one is exhausted or hasn't been getting enough sleep. Those who have reoccurring yeast infections are probably getting them because of this.
Yeast infections of the genitalia happen in most cases because of sexual intercourse. The exchange of fluids and touching of internal and external skin causes the spread of bacteria.
There are many different kinds of yeast infections. The first can happen in the mouth and throat and is called an oral yeast infection, or thrush. A man's yeast infection, unlike females', is found on the external skin surrounding the penile area. By far the most common infection is the skin yeast infection. This is because the infection can develop anywhere there is moisture on the skin. Women can develop a yeast infection in their vagina. When a mother is breastfeeding a newborn, a yeast infection can be transferred from mother to child.
There are ways to prevent yeast infections. The simplest is by practicing basic hygiene. You can practice good hygiene by regularly washing your hands before and after coming in contact with areas that could be contaminated with germs. This includes after using the bathroom. Use antibacterial soap while washing hands and taking a bath or shower. Taking a shower one or two times a day will help prevent further infection. Changing your diet can also help. Including more fruits and vegetables in your diet will help build up your immune system.
Treatments for yeast infections vary between over-the-counter medications and creams and home remedies. The list of over-the-counter medications and creams include FemCare, Femstat 3 and Mycelex. When in doubt ,look for creams that contain miconazole, tioconazole, butoconazole or clotrimazole. Stubborn infections may require a prescription from your doctor. Natural remedies are as simple as buying yogurt or water. Drinking water reduces the chances of a yeast infection because it filters excess yeast from the body. Unsweetened yogurt contains natural bacteria that help fight yeast.
Yeast infections can last between one day and two weeks. This is assuming the yeast infection doesn't reoccur.
Many assume that yeast infections are only found in women. This is not the case, as yeast infections can be found in men as well. Men can contract the infection by having sexual intercourse with infected women.