Yeast infection is a common and very confusing term used to describe a wide host of fungal infections. They all fall under the technical name, Candidiasis, which is the cause of several medical conditions including athlete's foot, vaginal yeast infection, and mouth (oral) thrush. Because it is responsible for a number of confusing types of infections, a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) is presented here in answer to the most troubling questions.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on Yeast Problems
1: What is a yeast infection?
Yeast is a fungus (Candida), and a yeast infection is any pattern of inflammation caused by this organism. The species responsible is called Candida albicans or C. albicans.
2: What is thrush?
Thrush or oral Candidiasis is an infection of the mouth cavity that causes a white "milk-curd" substance to appear in the lining of the mouth, tongue, and throat (larynx). Vaginal thrush is also a common infection caused by this fungus.
3: Who gets yeast infections?
Anyone can get a yeast problem. Babies commonly get yeast infections of the mouth and scalp, becoming infected while passing through the birth canal. In adults, yeast infections are commonly seen in individuals with a suppressed immune condition, such as diabetes mellitus, and chemotherapy patients. Other common conditions include dermatitis and athletes foot.
4: What does it look like?
Yeast in the mouth, skin, and reproductive organs has the appearance of a pearly, bluish white, milky color.
5: What are the symptoms?
For vaginal yeast infections, symptoms include burning, itching, and a "cottage cheese" type discharge. For oral thrush, symptoms are white patches on an inflamed, red inner surface, and are accompanied by pain and sometimes fever.
6: How many people have it?
Superficial fungal infections (vaginitis, thrush, athletes foot) affect millions of people worldwide. Although debilitating, most infections are effectively treated.
7: Why does it suddenly become infected?
Candidiasis is passed on during sexual intervention. Favorable conditions can cause it to multiply; they include: antibiotic, antacid and steroid therapy, douching, poor hygiene, and dehydration.
8: What is the conventional medical treatment?
Doctor recommended treatments involve antifungal agents. For thrush: nystatin (Mycostating) buccal (cheeks) tablets and half- strength peroxide / saline (salt water) solution usually provide relief. Antifungal vaginal tablets or suppositories are equally effective, additionally ingestible agents prescribed by a physician works for a systemic approach.
9: What are some of the ways I treat it at home?
Pureed raw garlic / extract is said to be excellent as a topical solution for nail and skin infections. Tea tree oil is another popular remedy for ringworm and athletes food. White vinegar is known to disrupt the pH balance of the skin which interferes with the growth of fungus.
10: How can I prevent it?
Great safeguards are: oral hygiene, hair care, protection against sexually transmitted diseases, healthy immune system function with diet and exercise, and avoiding highly acidic foods (caffeinated beverages, pizza, alcohol, and additives).
Getting the right information on Candidiasis will simplify some of the confusing and interchangeable terms used to describe yeast infections. This list serves as a quick reference to the most common questions on fungal infections.