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Signs, Symptoms and Treatment of a Yeast Infection

Jul 30, 2008
A yeast infection is simply a fungal infection. Its clinical name is candidiasis. A yeast infection occurs when fungus in the body is placed in an environment which allows it to grow and spread. The fungus then becomes overgrown in the body leading to a yeast infection. There are many causes for a yeast infection and in most cases is easily treated and cured. In some cases yeast infections can become resistant to treatment and become life threatening.

The most common causes for yeast infections are the use of antibiotics and steroids. These medications kill the bacteria that live with the yeast that is usually in the body. Once the bacterium is killed it allows the yeast to over grow and form an unsafe level of yeast in the body. This is known as a yeast infection. Other causes for a yeast infection include a weak immune system, birth control pills, pregnancy, diabetes, and obesity.

Yeast thrives in moist, warm and dark places. The mouth, vagina, skin folds, diaper area and arm pits are the most common locations for yeast infections because they are the perfect breeding grounds for yeast. Those who are overweight can find yeast infections on the skin due to skin folds. Yeast is common under the breast and lower abdomen because of the excess weight. Yeast infections are most common in women and infants, but men can also have yeast infections. Penile yeast infections are not common but can occur if a sexual partner has a yeast infection.

Depending upon where the yeast infection occurs there will be different signs and symptoms. In a vaginal yeast infection the infected area will have an extreme itch, sore and even a white cheesy discharge. A yeast infection of the mouth otherwise known as thrush will also have pain associated with it and the throat, tongue and checks will have white creamy milk like discharge which is difficult to wipe away. The last type of yeast infection known as a superficial yeast infection is one that occurs on the surface of the skin. This type of yeast infection will be seen as a red rash with scalloped edges. This type of rash is commonly found in the diaper area of infants and under skin folds.

Treatments of yeast infections use basically the same type of medication but in different forms for each type of infection. For the most common vaginal yeast infections treatment can be performed at home with over the counter anti fungal medication. Monistat and Femstat are two of the most common at home treatments for a vaginal yeast infection. A cream or ovule is placed in the vagina and left there for 1-7 days until the infection has cleared.

Yeast infections of the skin can also be treated with an over the counter anti fungal lotion like Lotrimin. In infants doctors will prescribe an ointment safe for children, usually called nystatin. Yeast infections of the mouth will require a prescription mouth wash. This mouth wash also contains an anti fungal medication in it. Young children with thrush are limited to this type of treatment while adults can also use a prescription medication along with the mouth wash treatment.

There are also home remedies that can be used to successful treat yeast infections as well as a prescription medication called Diflucan. If you are prone to getting yeast infection it is wise to start the Diflucan medication along with antibiotic or steroid treatments.
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