The 2016 revision of the clinical practice guideline for the management of candidiasis lists a large number of specific treatment regimens for Candida infections that involve different Candida species, forms of antifungal drug resistance, immune statuses, and infection localization and severity. Gastrointestinal candidiasis in immunocompetent individuals is treated with 100–200 mg fluconazole per day for 2–3 weeks.
Diagnosis of a yeast infection is done either via microscopic examination or culturing. For identification by light microscopy, a scraping or swab of the affected area is placed on a microscope slide. A single drop of 10% potassium hydroxide (KOH) solution is then added to the specimen. The KOH dissolves the skin cells, but leaves the Candida cells intact, permitting visualization of pseudohyphae and budding yeast cells typical of many Candida species.
Signs and symptoms of candidiasis vary depending on the area affected. Most candidal infections result in minimal complications such as redness, itching, and discomfort, though complications may be severe or even fatal if left untreated in certain populations. In healthy (immunocompetent) persons, candidiasis is usually a localized infection of the skin, fingernails or toenails (onychomycosis), or mucosal membranes, including the oral cavity and pharynx (thrush), esophagus, and the genitalia (vagina, penis, etc.); less commonly in healthy individuals, the gastrointestinal tract, urinary tract, and respiratory tract are sites of candida infection.
Aside from sex with a partner who has a yeast infection, several other risk factors can increase your odds of developing a penile yeast infection. Being uncircumcised is a major risk factor, as the area under the foreskin can be a breeding ground for candida. If you don’t bathe regularly or properly clean your genitals, you also put yourself at risk.
Try it: If you’re having recurrent yeast infections and you’re on hormonal birth control, talk to your doctor. They “may try to change the type of birth control to see if that helps,” Dr. Wider says. If you need to change your hormonal birth control for whatever reason and you’re prone to yeast infections, your doctor may recommend a preventative round of fluconazole just to be safe, Dr. Ross says.
Once thrush or a vaginal yeast infection are detected, take precautions so that thrush doesn't reoccur or spread to other family members. Wash your hands carefully, especially after diaper changes and using the restroom. Boil all artificial nipples for 20 minutes a day, including all breast pump parts. Use paper towels and disposable nursing pads, and discard after one use. Finally, launder everything that comes in contact with mom and baby in very hot water and wear a clean bra every day.
Some of the medicines used to treat yeast infections are available without a prescription, but you shouldn't just buy one if you think you have a yeast infection. It's important to see a doctor for your diagnosis because if you actually have another type of infection, it could get worse if not properly treated. Also, over-the-counter medicine should not be used by anyone younger than 12 or girls who might be pregnant without talking to a doctor first.
Systemic candidiasis occurs when Candida yeast enters the bloodstream and may spread (becoming disseminated candidiasis) to other organs, including the central nervous system, kidneys, liver, bones, muscles, joints, spleen, or eyes. Treatment typically consists of oral or intravenous antifungal medications. In candidal infections of the blood, intravenous fluconazole or an echinocandin such as caspofungin may be used. Amphotericin B is another option.
Individuals who treat their asthma with corticosteroid inhalants are at an increased risk of developing candida in the mouth, leading to systemic candida overgrowth. (2) It is imperative that individuals using corticosteroid inhalers for asthma follow the directions for swishing the mouth out after each use. If oral candidiasis is detected, it can be treated with the gargling of coconut oil and a drop or two of essential clove oil.
Candida species can be present in healthy women in the vagina without causing any symptoms. In fact, it is estimated that 20% to 50% of women have Candida already present in the vagina. For an infection to occur, the normal balance of yeast and bacteria is disturbed, allowing overgrowth of the yeast. While yeast can be spread by sexual contact, vaginal yeast infection is not considered to be a sexually-transmitted disease because it can also occur in women who are not sexually active, due to the fact that yeast can be present in the vagina of healthy women.