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Signs and Symptoms of a Yeast Infection

Dec 4, 2007
Yeast infections are common, so the symptoms have been experienced by most of us, at one time or another. Since the yeast responsible for most infections, Candida albicans, is present almost everywhere, it is also possible for men, women and children to be infected on many parts of the body. Vaginal infections are most common, and the majority of women will experience this problem at least once.

Many women mistake the symptoms of the more common bacterial vaginosis for a yeast infection. In a 2002 study published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 77 percent of women who were self treating for a yeast infection actually had a condition caused by a bacteria or parasite instead, and these ailments cannot be treated with natural or over-the-counter medication. Therefore, you should not rely on the outward indications alone - a professional diagnosis is always recommended.

Vaginal Yeast Infections:

The most common symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection (yeast vaginitis) are:

1. Itching and burning in the vagina and vulva.
2. Soreness, swelling and pain around the vulva.
3. Pain during intercourse or urination.
4. Vaginal discharge. This discharge is not always present, but if there is a discharge it will be odorless or smell like baker's yeast, and usually has a whitish, thick appearance.

The symptoms of the bacterial vaginosis, which is caused by a common bacteria instead of yeast, can include a thin, white or yellow discharge, and the release of a fishy odor. These infections need to be treated as soon as possible, and over-the-counter anti-fungal medications will not kill the bacteria responsible.

Similar symptoms can also be caused by Trichomoniasis, a parasite, Chlamydia and Gonorrhea, which are sexually transmitted bacteria, and irritation caused by chemicals found in soap, colored toilet paper and laundry detergent.

Some women have confused the symptoms of urinary tract infections, kidney infections, appendicitis and pelvic inflammatory disease with the much less serious signs of a yeast infection. Since these are extremely serious illness, it is important to seek professional advice before diagnosing your own symptoms.

Male Yeast Infections:

A male yeast infection is caused by the same organism that causes vaginal yeast infections in women, oral thrush, and diaper rash - Candida albicans.

A male yeast infection shows up as an itching, red rash on the penis. Candidiasis of the penis can also have a white discharge, although uncommon. However, having no symptoms at all is also common and often a more severe form of the symptoms may emerge later.

While male yeast infections are occasionally shared among sexual partners, it is not considered a sexually transmitted disease. Your doctor will prescribe a topical cream to use on the infected area, and it should clear up within a week.

Thrush:

A yeast infection in the mouth of infants and adults is called thrush. It appears as thick white lacy patches that can form anywhere inside the mouth, including the tongue or palate.

If the white patches are scraped away, the area underneath will be red and may bleed. Occasionally, an oral yeast infection can cause the tongue to be red without a white coating.

Older adults often experience thrush under their dentures.

Thrush can be very painful and this can make it difficult to eat and drink, which can lead to dehydration. Any child that goes without drinking liquids for more than 12 hours should be taken to the doctor. The same care should be taken for elderly adults.

Skin Infections:

A fungal skin infection caused by Candida is called cutaneous candidiasis.

You can get a rash caused by yeast almost anywhere, but the more common areas for a skin rash are folded areas like the armpit, in the crotch, under the foreskin, and under the breasts. Obesity can create folds and crevices that form a perfect environment for Candida.

This yeast is also the most common cause of diaper rash.

A Candida rash looks red and flat, with sharp scalloped edges. You may see small pustules around the edges of the rash, the area may itch or burn, and it may be painful. There are usually smaller patches nearby. A rash around the anus may be white or red, and will itch.
About the Author
To learn more about the signs and symptoms of a yeast infection, what natural remedies are safe and effective, and how to prevent chronic yeast infections from coming back, please visit http://www.YourYeastInfection.com
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