Reddish Skin, Itching and Burning– Do You Have Yeast Infection?
Different microorganisms normally live on the human skin and various organs of the human body. Under normal circumstances none of them causes any problem and people do not even know they exist. However, this can change overnight and due to weakened immune system, stress, the use of antibiotics or numerous other factors some of the microorganisms can overgrow and cause havoc.
Yeasts such as Candida albicans are found to live in the mouth, vagina, rectum and also on the human skin. It can grow out of control even for no apparent reason causing local health issues. Significantly overgrown yeast is known to cause systemic effects. It may enter the blood and reach the intestine, heart or other organs in the body.
Candida yeast infection is known as candidiasis. When it affects the mouth it is called oral thrush and when it causes yeast infection in the vagina, doctors call it vaginalitis, moniliasis or just vaginitis. Candidal onychomycosis is a fungal infection of the nails. Diaper rash, especially if the skin looks red and inflamed, is very commonly known to be provoked by Candida albicans, while adults may suffer from yeast infections of the throat, esophagus or even penis.
Immuno-compromised patients, diagnosed with AIDS or leukemia, for instance, are prone to severe yeast infections. Their immune system is very weak and cannot fight against Candida, which results in serious medical problems.
Symptoms of candidiasis and subsequent treatment for candida depend on the part of the body afflicted by the overgrown yeasts. Mouth thrush is characterized by white coating on the tongue, all over the oral cavity, and also in the throat of an infected person. The mucous membrane under these white patches is red, inflamed and sometimes quite painful for the patient. Women suffering from vaginal candidiasis usually notice unusual white or yellow discharge and the area can be itchy and burning.
As already mentioned, Candida infections can be quite severe. When the infection reaches some of the vital organs in the body, such as the heart, lungs or kidneys patients may develop anemia, heightened body temperature, rash, shock, heart problems, blood in urine, etc. Another possible problem is distortion of the brain functions and seizures.
Generally speaking, Candida infections often do not require more than some over the counter or prescription drugs. Proper treatment for candida can be different creams containing active substances like nystatin, miconazole, clotrimazole or tioconazole. For patients who prefer oral medications, doctors may recommend or prescribe fluconazole or amphotericin B medications. Problematic cases may need hospital treatment for candida and some intravenous drugs.
Candidiasis in babies (diaper rash) is treated with barrier creams. The recommendation includes instruction to keep the skin clean and dry, and to change diapers regularly.
Candida albicans may be transferred from one partner to another during sexual intercourse. For this reason, it is advised to treat both partners at the same time, to avoid recurrent yeast infections.