The human body hosts a variety of germs like bacteria and fungi. While some of them are useful to the body, others produce no harm or benefit. There are more than 20 species of yeasts (a type of fungi) responsible for infection in humans. Candida albicans is the fungus which normally thrives on the skin, nails, hair and mucous membranes. Under normal conditions, this yeast doesn’t cause any infections. However, certain medicines or health conditions can result in overgrowth of these fungi, particularly in the warm, moist areas of the body.
The four most common types of yeast infections are as below.
Medically known as oropharyngeal candidiasis, this is a yeast infection caused by Candida albicans in the mouth and throat. The main symptom of thrush is white patches in the mouth or plaques on tongue.
2. Invasive Candidiasis
When the Candida yeast enters the blood stream, it results in an infection which can spread throughout the body. This can be life-threatening and hence requires immediate medical attention.
3. Vaginal Yeast Infection
Genital or vulvovaginal candidiasis is most common in women and causes pain, severe itchiness and a white odorless vaginal discharge. Uncircumcised men are also prone to such genital yeast infections. The most common symptoms are a red rash on the penis and an itching or burning sensation on the tip. Genital yeast infections should be treated promptly as they can be easily passed on to your partner through sexual contact.
4. Skin Yeast Infection
While normally present on the skin and kept in check by the immune system, yeasts can lead to severe skin infections in an immune-compromised condition. This causes skin rashes and itching, which can be corrected with the use of anti-fungal creams.
Yeast infections can be effectively dealt by following these simple tips.
1. Eat More Probiotic Foods
Eating foods such as yogurt, kefir and kvass provide the body with good bacteria that keep yeast growth under control. Have a cup of these probiotic foods twice daily to keep yeast infections at bay.
2. Have Some Garlic
Numerous studies have shown that garlic has anti-fungal properties. Crush two cloves of garlic and have it with a glass of water at night to prevent yeast infections. If the pungent taste of garlic puts you off, opt for garlic supplements. You can buy them here.
3. Wear Loose Clothing
Wearing loose-fitting clothes and undergarments promotes oxygen circulation and prevents yeast infections.
4. Avoid Harsh Feminine Skincare Products
Most soaps and shampoos are harsh on the skin and strip it off its natural protective oils, which make them vulnerable to yeast infections. Use organic hygiene products instead. You can buy them online.
Most yeast infections can be avoided by maintaining good personal hygiene. However, if a skin rash doesn’t seem to go away, you may need to see a doctor.