Yeast infection is a common medical problem worldwide. It is caused by the candida species and hence, is known as candidiasis. No doubt, specific strains of yeast inhabit healthy individuals without the manifestation of noticeable symptoms. It is observed that the yeast population is kept under control as long as the body's metabolism is functioning properly. In case of any disturbances in the normal body functioning, the yeast strains multiply significantly, resulting in a yeast infection. Hence, people who have a weakened immune system or an underlying health condition are highly susceptible to yeast infections. The symptoms of an external yeast infection should not be confused with an infection caused by a ringworm, as the symptoms are almost similar.
Yeast infections may occur superficially in the form of skin rashes, or in the internal organs of the body. In most cases, systemic symptoms of yeast infections are severe and life-threatening. As compared to systemic infections, external yeast infections are often mild and treatable.
External yeast infection is caused due to various reasons, for example, prolonged antibiotic administration, hormonal imbalance, sexual transmission, strong skin products, or tight clothing can lead to candidiasis. One of the major reasons for causing a yeast infection is prolonged usage of antibiotics, which kills the helpful bacteria. This disturbs the overall microbial balance of the body, thus favoring the growth and multiplication of yeast. Other possible causes for include hormonal imbalance, sexual transmission, improper diet, harsh skin care products and tight clothing.
The most commonly observed yeast infected areas are ears, armpits, groin, and vagina. External yeast infection symptoms include severe itching, redness, swelling, burning, soreness and pain in the affected skin area. Frequent scratching of the infected area may lead to bleeding and other infections. Another noticeable symptom is the development of white, yellow, or green patches. The same symptoms develop in the case of external vaginal yeast infection, in which infections occur in the vaginal area. Very rarely, does the affected skin area ooze out fluid.
The diagnosis of an external yeast infection is done by a physical examination and a microscopic observation of the cell sample, which is collected from the affected area. In order to confirm an infection, the physician may conduct culturing of the swab taken from the affected skin area. Within a few days, yeast colonies will develop in the culture medium. After correct diagnosis, the physician will prescribe appropriate ointments along with drugs and medication, for treatment of the yeast infection.
External yeast infection treatment options include over-the-counter or prescription, antifungal ointments and skin creams. A suppository can also be used, which is specially formulated for treatment of vaginal yeast infections. Administration of oral antifungal tablets and capsules should be undertaken under proper medical supervision. In other words, self administration of the drugs is strictly not recommended, as they may interact with other medication (if any). One word of advice is to complete the medication course as directed by the physician. Otherwise, there are high chances of recurrent external yeast infections.
Natural Remedies and Cure
Some of the effective natural remedies for curing an external yeast infection include, application of yogurt mixture, tea tree oil, oregano oil, and aloe vera juice. Personal hygiene is a necessary step to combat the symptoms. The affected area should be kept clean and dry. Consuming ample amounts of yogurt that contains Lactobacillus bacteria can help control the multiplication of yeast. Many doctors are of the opinion that a Candida cleanse diet that is low in fats and sugar aids in starving the yeast to death. Making healthy lifestyle changes, inculcating correct hygiene habits, and taking prescription medications can help get rid of the yeast fungus.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by an expert on the subject.