Candida

Candida albicans is a yeast that lives on your body and in its orifices.

Description

'Candidiasis’ is usually an overgrowth of this yeast. Yeast being a type of fungus, this is spoken of sometimes as a fungal infection. Sometimes it’s called ‘thrush’.

Yeast infections irritate. In the mouth they look like white flakes, and sore gums. Under babies’ diapers they cause patches of red rash. In women there are white vaginal discharges, and it can hurt to urinate or have sex. There can be yeast infections in fingernails too.

Causes

Yeast likes to grow where it’s warm and moist. It does best when skin is slightly abraded. Thus, the famous ‘athlete’s foot’ and ‘jock itch’ in locker rooms. It does even better if there’s any sort of immune system compromise. Yeast infection is common with overuse of steroids or antibiotics, with oral contraceptives and pregnancy, with menopause, and with diabetes.

Treatment

Yeast infections are easy to diagnose and, in healthy bodies, easy to treat. Treatment is a two- or three-week course of a fungicidal cream or spray.

To keep it from coming back, you keep your affected areas as clean as you can, and, unless it’s your mouth, as dry as you can.

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