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Diseases & Conditions

Yeast Infection

Yeast InfectionCausesMedicationsPreventionRisk FactorsSymptomsTreatmentTypes

What is YEAST INFECTION?

Yeast Infection is a fungal infection of all types of Candida species (Yeasts), the most common type being Candida Albicans. Yeast infection is also commonly known as Candidiasis, Candidosis, Moniliasis, and Oidiomycosis.

Causes of Yeast Infection

Yeasts are normally present in healthy human beings, their growth being restricted by the body’s immune system and competing microorganisms such as bacteria occupying the same areas. As a result, whenever the immune system weakens due of HIV/AIDS, steroids, cancer treatments, stress and inadequate nutrition can lead to yeast infection. Also, if the balance of microorganisms is disturbed due to various reasons like antibiotics, hormonal or physiological disturbances, which kill bacteria that compete for same resources as the yeasts can result in Candidiasis.

Medications for Yeast Infection

  • Clotrimazole
  • Nystan (Nystatin)
  • Nizoral, Sebizole (Ketoconazole)
  • Diflucan, Trican (Fluconazole)
  • Fungilin, Fungizone, Abelcet (Amphotericin B)
  • VFEND (Voriconazole)
  • Caspofungin

Prevention of Yeast Infection

Candidiasis in general can be prevented by maintaining good bodily hygiene. Candidiasis in diabetics can be prevented by proper control of blood sugar levels. Oral candidiasis can be prevented by maintaining good oral hygiene through brushing and flossing.

Risk Factors of Yeast Infection

People suffering from HIV/AIDs are susceptible to yeast infection with a high probability of becoming systemic.

  • People with Diabetes that is not kept under proper control.
  • People undergoing Cancer treatments.
  • Medications like steroids that suppress the immune system.
  • Sexual intercourse with infected individuals
  • Wearing moist or wet clothing (like swimsuits) for long durations.
  • Hormone replacement therapy and infertility treatment may also increase the risk factor of Candidiasis.
  • Women undergoing hormone changes such as during pregnancy.
  • Newborn babies are prone to Oral candidiasis.
  • The use of contraceptives has been reported as a risk factor since they affect the balance of hormones in women.
  • Use of Antibiotics can cause mild yeast infections to get worse.

Symptoms of Yeast Infection

The symptoms of Yeast Infections are minor and vary depending on the location of the infection. Typical symptoms include red patches, soreness, itching and discomfort. Oral Candidiasis typically appears as cream colored spots or deposits on the tongue and inner lining of the mouth. If the deposit is scrapped off, slight bleeding occurs. In the case of vaginal or vulval infections, the above symptoms may be accompanied by burning and a discharge of a white or whitish –gray cottage cheese like discharge. Symptoms are similar in the cause of infections of the penis, though cottage cheese like discharges in this case is rare.

Treatment for Yeast Infection

Different types of yeast infections require different types of treatments. Antimycotics or antifungal drugs are typically used to treat yeast infections. For typical yeast infections topical creams containing Clotrimazole, Nystatin, Ketoconazole or tablets that contain fluconazole. In the case of severe infections, drugs such as Amphotericin B, caspofungin, or voriconazole are used. Vaginal infections are treated with medicated vaginal suppositories and douches.

Types of Yeast Infection

The different types of Yeast Infection of Candidiasis are:

  • Oral candidiasis (Thrush): Yeast infection of the mouth and tongue.
  • Perlèche (Angular cheilitis): Infection of the corners of the mouth resulting in cracking and splitting and in extreme causes bleeding.
  • Candidal vulvovaginitis: Yeast infection of the Vagina.
  • Candidal intertrigo: Yeast infections found in between folds of skin.
  • Diaper candidiasis: Yeast infections in the region that are in contact with diapers in babies.
  • Congenital cutaneous candidacies: Skin infection found in babies due to the yeast infected birth canals of the mother.
  • Perianal candidiasis: Skin infection caused by Candida Albicans in the exit of the rectum.
  • Candidal paronychia: Candidiasis of folds in nails.
  • Erosio interdigitalis blastomycetica: Skin infection caused by Candida Albicans resulting in thin white oval patched of white skin on the sides of the fingers and on the web of the fingers.
  • Chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis: Chronic yeast infection of the mouth, skin and nails due to the improper working of the immune system.
  • Systemic candidiasis: An extreme Candidiasis infection where it enters the body’s bloodstream and vital organs. This is typically caused due to a compromised immune system.
  • Antibiotic candidiasis (Iatrogenic candidiasis): Candidiasis infection resulting due to antibiotic usage causing competing bacteria to be killed and allowing for fungal growth to increase.