Yeasts infection is caused by fungus known as Candida albicans. These fungi are present naturally in our body and cause disease only when their number outgrows. Yeast infection can occur around dentures, under the breasts, vagina, lower abdomen, beneath skin folds, and nail beds. Although yeast infection is more common in women, it may also affect men. If you are also suffering from candida infection, don’t worry. Yeast infection is curable. A wide range of treatment options such as creams, lotions, tablets, capsules and vaginal suppositories are available to treat candida infection. Most of the candida infection can be treated with topical ointments or oral tablets which may be over-the-counter or prescription drugs and will likely resolve within a week. Home remedies are also available to treat yeast infection. However, for complicated or recurrent yeast infection, you must consult your doctor. If your immune system has been weakened due to any cause, consult your doctor before attempting self-treatment.
Treating vaginal yeast infections:
- A lot of creams and suppositories are available over-the-counter to treat vaginal yeast infection. Antifungal creams containing clotrimazole, miconazole, Tioconazole, or Butoconazole should be applied to the infected area for two to seven days.
- A single dose of fluconazole tablet can cure most of the vaginal yeast infection. Fluconazole is a prescription drug.
- Pregnant women suffering from vaginal yeast infection should consult their physician.
- To prevent vaginal yeast infection, avoid using synthetic undergarments. Always use cotton undergarments, void wearing tight pants. Avoid using scented toilet papers, deodorant tampons, feminine sprays etc.
- Thrush is the name given to yeast infection of mouth. It can be treated by lozenges or mouthwashes containing antifungal agent nystatin which can kill the yeast. Antifungal lozenges and fluconazole tablets can be added to nystatin mouthwash.
- Adults and older children have many treatment options available than smaller babies. Breastfeeding mothers should be assessed for candida infection of the breast.
- For prevention of oral thrush, key thing is to maintain good oral hygiene. It is recommended to brush twice a day and to use a mouthwash.
- If you are using dentures, clean them before each use.
- Any object to be put in child’s mouth should be washed thoroughly.
Treating nail bed infections:
- Treatment of nail bed infections of yeast is difficult. Itraconazole or fluconazole tablets have to be taken under supervision of physician in addition to topical antifungal creams and steroids.
- The antifungal treatments may need to continue for many months to treat nail yeast infections. Treatment of toe nail infection usually requires a longer treatment than finger nails.
- To prevent nail infections, moisture should be avoided. Wearing gloves while gardening also helps to prevent nail yeast infection. Avoid contact with the person having this disease, avoid sharing personal items such as nail clippers, socks etc.
Treating skin yeast infections and diaper rash:
- For superficial skin infections, clotrimazole creams and lotions are helpful. For oral antifungal medications, prescription from a physician is required. Ketoconazole containing creams are also effective and are available on physician’s prescription. The affected area should be kept clean and dry.
- For diaper rashes antifungal creams containing nystatin and supplements containing acidophilus are useful. Frequent change of diaper is recommended to hasten recovery.
- To prevent diaper rashes, the covered area should always be kept clean. Use of cotton diapers should be preferred than disposable ones.
- For treatment of Perlèche, topical antifungal along with mild corticosteroid creams are useful. Minimize licking your lips and lip corners
- Intertrigo is treated with nystatin powder. It acts as antifungal as well as controls the moisture.
Effective home remedies for yeast infections:
Yoghurt: yoghurt is a great natural source of lactobacillus acidophilus bacteria which is a useful bacterium of our body. The person who is getting candida infection, there has been some imbalance in his/her normal bacterial flora thus allowing the yeast to grow rapidly. Thus, supplementing acidophilus bacteria should be a part of candid infection treatment at home. It is recommended to add one or two cups of yoghurt in your everyday diet. It can also be used for local application to the affected area.
Acidophilus and probiotics: Capsules or liquids containing acidophilus bacteria are popularly known as probiotics. It may be a good alternative for people with lactose intolerance or those who don’t like yoghurt. Even if you like yoghurt, consider adding a good quality probiotic along with yoghurt. Probiotics should be taken for a month after completing the course of antibiotics prescribed by your doctor.
Garlic: Garlic is well-known for its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Eating a clove of fresh garlic once or twice daily at the beginning of yeast infection is helpful. Similar to yoghurt, garlic can also be used for local application. If you are having trouble chewing garlic cloves, remove the skin of the garlic clove, mince it and swallow with a glass of water or your favourite drink. If you have difficulty with this also, then try the garlic tablets. Using these tablets gives you the benefit of fresh garlic without facing its strong odor.
Tea tree oil: Application of diluted tea tree oil is an effective remedy for yeast infection. Although it is a strong antiseptic, it may cause irritation to some women. If you feel any irritation, wash the area thoroughly with plain water and discontinue the use. Women can also take a sitz bath after putting few drops of oil in lukewarm water. For vaginal yeast infection tea tree oil suppositories can be used.
Herbs: There are a variety of herbs which are effective to treat yeast infection. These can be either taken internally or applied directly to the affected area. Some of them include:
- Black walnut
- Oil of oregano
These can be used alone or in combination.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be used for diagnosis or to guide treatment without the opinion of a health professional. Any reader who is concerned about his or her health should contact a doctor for advice.