Yeast Infections – Candida

Posted May 22nd, 2008 by Don

Yeast infection causes

Yeast infections are caused by yeast-like bacterial organisms known under the general name of candida.

Many kinds of candida bacteria may found in harmless amounts, especially in the bowels, mouth, skin, digestive tract, and in the groin area. Under altered conditions, such as a change in membrane pH balance or a course of antibiotics that kills off other bacteria that keep candida in check, people can suffer from an overgrowth of candida and develop a full blown yeast infection.

Other names for yeast infections include intertrigo, balanitis, moniliasis, thrush, and Uvula-vaginal candidiasis. Fungal growths and yeast infections develop in a wet environment such as permanent folds of skin, finger and toenail beds, and in the creases of of fingers, toes and genitals.

Yeast Infection Symptoms

Yeast infections are usually characterized by painful burning, itching or redness on the affected mucus membrane. Yeast infections can happen to anyone and at any age, but are often easily preventable by the maintenance of other naturally occuring and necessary bacteria.

The most common form of yeast infection is genital, due to the high moisture and usual restriction of ventilation endemic to this part of the human body. Symptoms of this form of yeast infection vary from mild to extreme and include burning sensation in the affected area, burning sensation during urination, pain after or during sexual activity, repulsive odor in the genital area, genital irritation, painful urination, swelling and redness of the genitalia and painful intercourse.

Yeast infections may develop in anyone,

and do not develop only due to sexual intercourse, though they are spread occasionally from one partner to another. Because of the candida bacteria’s common presence in the human system, yeast infections that are spread through sexual activity not usually considered as a sexually transmitted disease per se. Yeast infections can also spread through touching of a mucus membrane, such as the eye, with an infected hand or finger. The candida bacteria is very hardy and may even be spread from one person to another by the sharing of eating utensils or common playground activity.

First Time Yeast Infection?

If you’re undergoing your first yeast infection it’s a good idea to have it checked out by a doctor in order to rule out any more serious health problems.

After performing some simple tests, the doctor will probably either prescribe a course of antibiotics or may recommend one of the many over the counter yeast infection remedies, depending on location and severity.

Fortunately, candida infections are relatively easy to cure with modern antibiotics and shouldn’t trouble you for more than a few days.


Yeast Infection Recurrence and Relapse

Once you’ve had problems with yeast infections, you need to be on the lookout for a whilesince it can recur any time thereafter.

Fortunately, there are quite a few easy home care techniques available to reduce the chances of recurrence.

Whether you’re taking prescription antibiotics or are using one of the over the counter medications, remember to use the full course of them even after you feel better.

Making sure that you take the full course of antibiotics ensures that the infection is completely killed off and keeps you from breeding an antibiotic-resistant strain of candida.

Eat a balanced diet specially designed to restore “good” bacteria and regulate your body’s pH balance, keep mucus membranes clean and dry them well after baths or showers, and avoid sharing washcloths and towels with other household members until you’re absolutely sure the infection is no longer affecting anyone in the house.

Wash clothing carefully in warm water or have your garments dry cleaned as appropriate.

In addition you may want to wear loose cotton underwear and clothing instead of tight or synthetic materials.

Change all of your clothing every day, especially after exercise or swimming, and avoid personal contact with anyone else until you and anyone else infected has completed antibiotic treatment.

Donald edits, writes and owns several web sites and blogs, such as Yeast Infections.

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