Candida Infection, Adult

A candida infection (also called yeast, fungus and Monilia infection) is an overgrowth of yeast that can occur anywhere on the body. A yeast infection commonly occurs in warm, moist body areas. Usually, the infection remains localized but can spread to become a systemic infection. A yeast infection may be a sign of a more severe disease such as diabetes, leukemia, or AIDS.

A yeast infection can occur in both men and women. In women, Candida vaginitis is a vaginal infection. It is one of the most common causes of vaginitis. Men usually do not have symptoms or know they have an infection until other problems develop. Men may find out they have a yeast infection because their sex partner has a yeast infection. Uncircumcised men are more likely to get a yeast infection than circumcised men. This is because the uncircumcised glans is not exposed to air and does not remain as dry as that of a circumcised glans. Older adults may develop yeast infections around dentures.

CAUSES

Women

  • Antibiotics.

  • Steroid medication taken for a long time.

  • Being overweight (obese).

  • Diabetes.

  • Poor immune condition.

  • Certain serious medical conditions.

  • Immune suppressive medications for organ transplant patients.

  • Chemotherapy.

  • Pregnancy.

  • Menstration.

  • Stress and fatigue.

  • Intravenous drug use.

  • Oral contraceptives.

  • Wearing tight-fitting clothes in the crotch area.

  • Catching it from a sex partner who has a yeast infection.

  • Spermicide.

  • Intravenous, urinary, or other catheters.

Men

  • Catching it from a sex partner who has a yeast infection.

  • Having oral or anal sex with a person who has the infection.

  • Spermicide.

  • Diabetes.

  • Antibiotics.

  • Poor immune system.

  • Medications that suppress the immune system.

  • Intravenous drug use.

  • Intravenous, urinary, or other catheters.

SYMPTOMS

Women

  • Thick, white vaginal discharge.

  • Vaginal itching.

  • Redness and swelling in and around the vagina.

  • Irritation of the lips of the vagina and perineum.

  • Blisters on the vaginal lips and perineum.

  • Painful sexual intercourse.

  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).

  • Painful urination.

  • Bladder infections.

  • Intestinal problems such as constipation, indigestion, bad breath, bloating, increase in gas, diarrhea, or loose stools.

Men

  • Men may develop intestinal problems such as constipation, indigestion, bad breath, bloating, increase in gas, diarrhea, or loose stools.

  • Dry, cracked skin on the penis with itching or discomfort.

  • Jock itch.

  • Dry, flaky skin.

  • Athlete's foot.

  • Hypoglycemia.

DIAGNOSIS

Women

  • A history and an exam are performed.

  • The discharge may be examined under a microscope.

  • A culture may be taken of the discharge.

Men

  • A history and an exam are performed.

  • Any discharge from the penis or areas of cracked skin will be looked at under the microscope and cultured.

  • Stool samples may be cultured.

TREATMENT

Women

  • Vaginal antifungal suppositories and creams.

  • Medicated creams to decrease irritation and itching on the outside of the vagina.

  • Warm compresses to the perineal area to decrease swelling and discomfort.

  • Oral antifungal medications.

  • Medicated vaginal suppositories or cream for repeated or recurrent infections.

  • Wash and dry the irritation areas before applying the cream.

  • Eating yogurt with lactobacillus may help with prevention and treatment.

  • Sometimes painting the vagina with gentian violet solution may help if creams and suppositories do not work.

Men

  • Antifungal creams and oral antifungal medications.

  • Sometimes treatment must continue for 30 days after the symptoms go away to prevent recurrence.

HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS

Women

  • Use cotton underwear and avoid tight-fitting clothing.

  • Avoid colored, scented toilet paper and deodorant tampons or pads.

  • Do not douche.

  • Keep your diabetes under control.

  • Finish all the prescribed medications.

  • Keep your skin clean and dry.

  • Consume milk or yogurt with lactobacillus active culture regularly. If you get frequent yeast infections and think that is what the infection is, there are over-the-counter medications that you can get. If the infection does not show healing in 3 days, talk to your caregiver.

  • Tell your sex partner you have a yeast infection. Your partner may need treatment also, especially if your infection does not clear up or recurs.

Men

  • Keep your skin clean and dry.

  • Keep your diabetes under control.

  • Finish all prescribed medications.

  • Tell your sex partner that you have a yeast infection so they can be treated if necessary.

SEEK MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • Your symptoms do not clear up or worsen in one week after treatment.

  • You have an oral temperature above 102° F (38.9° C).

  • You have trouble swallowing or eating for a prolonged time.

  • You develop blisters on and around your vagina.

  • You develop vaginal bleeding and it is not your menstrual period.

  • You develop abdominal pain.

  • You develop intestinal problems as mentioned above.

  • You get weak or lightheaded.

  • You have painful or increased urination.

  • You have pain during sexual intercourse.

MAKE SURE YOU:

  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.