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Candidiasis refers to a fungal infection caused by a type of yeast known as candida. It may occur in the mouth and throat as oral thrush (oropharyngeal candidiasis), or as a genital yeast infection (genital candidiasis).
The following causes may result in a yeast infection, or oral thrush:
- The use of antibiotics
- The use of oral contraceptives, or hormone therapy
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- A weakened immune system, especially in patients who have HIV/AIDS, or are undergoing cancer treatments are at a greater risk of developing candidal infections.
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Medications that contain steroids may increase risk of developing thrush.
- Wearing dentures increases the risk of developing oral thrush
- Usually a white creamy looking lesion on the tongue, cheeks, gums, tonsils or roof of the mouth.
- Redness with burning or soreness
- A white lesion that can be scraped or rubbed off, to reveal a red surface underneath.
- Loss of taste
Genital Yeast Infection:
- It mostly affects women, but may occur in males, as an inflammation of the head of the penis and foreskin.
A vaginal yeast infection may have the following symptoms:
- Itching or burning at the vaginal opening, this usually worsens during intercourse or urinating
- White, cottage-cheese like vaginal discharge.
- Redness and rash
- Soreness or vaginal pain
Oral thrush can be diagnosed by
- Taking a medical history and examining the lesion.
- A scraping of the lesion may be used to evaluate under a microscope
- Blood tests may be needed to help rule out any underlying disease
- In some cases, a biopsy may be recommended
Genital yeast infections can be diagnosed with the help of:
- A detailed medical history, including the frequency of yeast infections, or any sexually transmitted diseases.
- Pelvic exam may be performed to inspect the vagina and cervix
- A sample of vaginal discharge or secretions may be tested to determine the type of fungus causing the yeast infections
Treatment for oral thrush includes:
- Antifungal medication in the form of a liquid, tablet or lozenge may be recommended.
- Oral medication may also be recommended if the topical treatment was ineffective.
Management for genital yeast infections may involve:
- Antifungal creams or suppositories may be used. These include butoconazole, clotrimazole, miconazole and terconazole.
- A single dose oral medication called fluconazole may be used if the topical medication is ineffective.
When to consult a doctor?
- A doctor should be consulted if the prescribed treatment has not managed your symptoms effectively.
- A doctor should also be consulted if your infections keep recurring even after being treated.