Chronic Yeast Infection
Get Relief from Itchy Skin and Rashes
What is a Yeast Infection?
Yeast lives on your skin and in your body. Your immune system usually keeps yeast at bay; however, antibiotic usage, illnesses, and obesity increase the risk of a fungal infection.
A yeast infection is caused by a specific strain of yeast known as Candida. Although a small amount of yeast is found in the body, a yeast infection occurs when there is an overgrowth of Candida. Most yeast infections are caused by Candida albicans. A yeast infection is a type of fungal infection that affects different areas of the body. Areas affected include the skin, mouth, genitals, throat and blood.
Candida can reside in the digestive tract, mouth, vagina, and skin. Normally, candida causes no harm; however, if it begins to overgrow, it can cause discomfort. Chronic yeast infections are overgrowths of Candida and typically occur in moist areas. A chronic yeast infection is persistent. Here we look into the various symptoms of chronic yeast infection.
Yeast Infection of the Skin
Different fungi and bacteria live on your skin. Most of them do not cause any issues. In fact, many of them are needed to carry out normal skin functions. However, when the fungi and bacteria begin to multiply, a yeast infection of the skin can develop. This condition is also referred to as cutaneous candidiasis or candidiasis of the skin. The symptoms of a fungal yeast infection of your skin include:
- Irritation and Skin rash
- Intense itching or Redness
- Cracked skin
- Inflammation or Painful skin
Yeast infections of the skin can affect any part of the body and are especially common in the folds of your skin. The areas that can be affected include under your breast or belly, between your fingers or toes, armpits, abdomen, vagina, uncircumcised penis or in your groin. You can also develop a yeast infection of the skin around the corners of your mouth or along the edges of your nails.
Yeast Infection of the Mouth
Oral candidiasis, thrush, is a yeast infection of your mouth. It occurs when Candida albicans accumulates in the mouth. Candida naturally occurs in the mouth; however, when there is an overgrowth of this fungus, it can cause oral thrush. The symptoms of oral thrush include:
- White lesions on the inner cheeks and tongue
- Thrush can spread to your gums, the roof of your mouth, the back of your throat, and your tonsils
- Cottage cheese looking appearance on your tongue
- Pain that can make swallowing or eating difficult
- Crack skin around the mouth
- Loss of taste
- Cotton mouth
- Redness or irritation in the mouth
At times white patches (like milk curds) appear on the mouth, lips or elsewhere in the mouth. When the white patch is wiped away, bleeding may occur. Thrush is very common in infants because of the changes in hormones experience right after birth. Research indicates individuals who have a weakened immune system, cancer, diabetes, medications like steroids (prednisone), and oral conditions can increase the risk of developing thrush. Brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day, visiting your dentist twice a year, and limiting the amount of sugary foods you eat can reduce your risk of developing thrush.
Vaginal Yeast Infection
One of the most common type of yeast infection is a vaginal yeast infection. A vaginal yeast infection results in irritation to the vagina and vaginal area and intense itching. Vaginal discharge may be grayish white and have the consistency of cottage cheese. Women may experience burning while urinating due to the irritation of the vaginal area.
Approximately 75 percent of women will experience a vaginal yeast infection during their lifetime. Poor hygiene, a compromised immune system, obesity, antibiotic usage, tight fitting clothing, and pregnancy can increase the risk of a vaginal yeast infection. Vaginal yeast infections cause a variety of symptoms, including:
- Itching or burning of the vulva and vagina
- Redness/swelling of the vulva
- Vaginal rash
- Vaginal discharge that looks like cottage cheese
- Vaginal pain
Causes of Yeast Infections
There are numerous causes that can increase your risk of developing a chronic yeast infection:
- Antibiotics – Antibiotics not only destroys bad bacteria, but also destroys the good lactobacillus bacteria. These bacteria produces acid making the body inhospitable for an overgrowth of yeast.
- Pregnancy – When women are pregnant, their hormones change and they have an increased amount of estrogen in their body, which can alter the body’s natural pH levels. During this time, candida can grow out of control.
- Birth control pills – Women on an estrogen hormone therapy routine or a birth control pill that contains high doses of estrogen are more prone to yeast infections.
- Diabetes mellitus
- Diet compromised of sugars and refined carbs
- Elevated stress levels
- Imbalanced microbiota
- Improperly using catheters
- Increased alcohol consumption
- Weak immune system
If you have any of these risk factors, a change in your diet and some lifestyle modifications can help decrease your risk of a yeast infection.
Invasive candidiasis occurs when Candida enters the blood stream. Patients may experience an atypical fever that does not respond to antibiotic treatment. If the infection spreads to the organs, it can cause serious problems. If the problem is not treated quickly, patients may experience organ failure. Low birth weight infants, patients in intensive care units and those who have a central venous catheter are at a high risk of developing invasive candidiasis. Finally, HIV/AIDS patients often suffer with chronic yeast infections due to a compromised immune system.
Looking for Chronic Yeast Infection Treatment
Patients who suffer with four or more yeast infections each year are often diagnosed with chronic or recurrent yeast infection. There are many causes for recurrent infections, including uncontrolled diabetes, a compromised immune system and hormonal imbalances.
Our integrative practitioners specialize in treatment and prevention of chronic yeast infections, skin issues and other rashes. We focus on treating your whole body rather than just your symptoms. Your diet plays an important role in reducing the risk of a recurrent yeast infection.