Commonly known as yeast infection, Candidiasis is a fungal infection caused by nearly 20 species of microscopic fungi classified under the genus Candida. Out of these fungal pathogens, the most common culprit is Candida albicans which is found to be responsible for a majority of instances of the fungal infection. Usually, these fungi exist on most of the body surfaces but can lead to yeast infection with an exponential increase in their numbers, especially in warm and moist body regions. Some of the most common manifestations of yeast infections include thrush or Oral candidiasis, diaper rashes and vaginal yeast infections amongst others.
In Oral candidiasis, usually prominent white patches form on the tongue or palate which cannot easily be removed and attempts at it can lead to lead to damage of the underlying tissue and bleeding. In children, yeast infection can easily be caused in diaper areas and skin folds which provide warm and moist conditions for growth of the fungi. The infection may cause red skin rashes in diaper areas which can be reduced by keeping the affected area dry and clean with frequent change of diapers. Clotrimazole creams and lotions can also be used to treat yeast infections in children which lead to skin and diaper rashes.
In women, the most common manifestation of the condition occurs in the form of vaginal yeast infection which can lead to itching and a burning sensation with whitish discharges from vagina. Women are more susceptible to vaginal yeast infection during pregnancy, menstruation or use of contraceptive pills along with antibiotic or steroid uses. There is found to be a greater incidence of yeast infection in women after the setting in of menopause. Women can easily get an over-the-counter medication as treatment for yeast infections without any special help.
Some of the lotions and vaginal suppositories used for the purpose include Miconazole, Tioconazole and Butoconazole which can be massaged on the affected area for upto a week depending on the severity of infection. However, in case the irritation due to infection increases after using the medications, it is advisable to discontinue its use and seek expert advice. When looking for medication for yeast infection during pregnancy, the patient should ask for professional help instead of going in for self-help to avoid any possible complications. With a variety of available medications and self-help strategies, it is not very difficult to treat yeast infections, especially if the infection has not spread throughout the body.
In case of a systemic candidal infection, specialized treatment approaches need to be adopted as a majority of these instances can prove to be fatal. A systemic spread of the disease can result from comparatively simpler oral or vaginal yeast infections if left untreated or remains unresponsive to common yeast infection medications. It presents the risk of developing into a critical illness which requires special medical attention. There are greater chances of people with severely affected immune system acquiring systemic candidal infection which can become life-threatening.
Some of the most common victims of systemic candidal infections are patients of cancer whose immune response has been weakened due to a strong medication, use of steroids. AIDS patients are especially vulnerable to a variety of yeast infections which can affect some of the vital organs adversely. Esophagitis is found to have a greater incidence in AIDS patients, which leads to inflammation in the throat. They also fall among the high-risk group for acquiring systemic candidal infection which may not be amenable to any common treatment for yeast infections. Use of urinary catheters and IV ports can also make one vulnerable to yeast infections by providing easy access to microscopic fungi for entering the bloodstream or internal body tissues.
There are a variety of medications available for treating different forms of yeast infections, as for instance, people suffering from thrush can gargle with nystatin, an antifungal agent to treat the problem. Some of the important points to be kept in kind include maintaining excellent oral hygiene and if you use dentures, clean them thoroughly before and after use. Other useful yeast infection medications for thrush among adults with thrush include antifungal lozenges and Diflucan pills which can be of great help in containing the oral infection.
There are two basic kinds of antifungal medications that can be of great use in treating yeast infections of varying severity in different parts of the body. These include Azole medications and Polyene antifungals which are prescribed in keeping with individual requirements and a variety of other criteria. Azole medications help treat yeast infections by blocking the manufacture of Ergosterol which makes yeast cell walls resulting in leakage and death of yeast. It is essential to go in for immediate medication or self-help treatment for yeast infections which can otherwise become complicated enough to treat.