Treating a yeast infection does not have to break the bank. In most cases, a yeast infection will respond to natural treatments or over the counter medications, which can be purchased most anywhere. Yeast infections can occur most anywhere on the body. Some of the areas that are frequently infected by yeast are: vaginal area or in vagina on women, rectal yeast infections are also possible, in both sexes. Women sometimes experience an over growth of yeast cells under breasts as well. Lactating women can experience yeast infection on the nipples. Babies can get yeast infections in the mouth, or in the diaper area. Although yeast infections of the mouth are more common in babies, adults can also develop yeast a infection in the mouth. Yeast or other fungi can also form between toes or on feet, this is called Athlete’s Foot. In men the genital area can also be infected with yeast organisms, this is called Jock Itch. Yeast infections can also occur behind knees, underarms, under the abdomen or anywhere there is skin on skin contact and can become sweaty or any area that stays moist, such as genital areas on both sexes.
The reasons that yeast infections occur are varied as the areas of the body yeast can affect. Frequently a yeast infection may develop because of a person being on antibiotic medication for a bacterial infection. The antibiotic medication can change the normal bacterial count in all areas of the body and then the yeast is allowed to grow unchecked because the normal bacteria that usually keeps the yeast growth under control is absent or greatly diminished. Anyone who has a compromised immune system is also likely to develop a yeast infection. Elderly people are more likely to develop a yeast infection for several reasons, some of these reasons are bathing less often when elderly, being on antibiotics or other medications necessary for health, or having an otherwise compromised immune system. Babies are likely to get yeast infections because their immune systems are not yet completely formed, or being on antibiotics, or if being breast fed, the mother may be on antibiotics, or if the mother has a yeast infection on her breasts or nipples. Babies are also more likely to contract a yeast infection because of putting things in the mouth from the floor or other environmental area. Always wash baby toys in hot water with dish soap when possible or use a baby safe antibacterial spray to keep the child from getting a yeast infection or Thrush. Many people also contract a yeast infection on their feet from showering in a community or shared shower. Keeping the possibility of Athlete’s foot down is easily accomplished by cleaning the shower floor and surrounding areas with bleach and enforce rules to wear flip flops or shower shoes. Living in a humid environment also makes getting a yeast infection much more likely, since the yeast organism requires moisture to grow and flourish. If a person has diabetes it is more likely they could contract a yeast infection, being on chemotherapy, having the immune system chemically altered by medical professionals because of organ transplants is another reason someone could develop yeast infections. There are other medical and environmental reasons a person may develop a yeast infection.
There are several methods to lessen the possibility of developing a yeast infection before a person contracts one. Keep all shower and bath areas clean with bleach or other chemical cleaners. Shower at least once a day, using soap or shower gel. Using an antibacterial soaps or shower gels is not necessary, because all soaps kill germs and yeast. Keep all toys and baby items washed or otherwise cleaned. If on antibiotics, eat yogurt daily to help keep the yeast cell levels under control. If the environment resided in is humid, stay indoors in an air conditioned area until the higher risk is lowered, or shower more often and change out of damp clothing as soon as possible. Do not wear socks and other undergarments more than one day, and do not use towels more than once before washing and drying.
A vaginal yeast infection usually presents itself as a whitish, or off white thick discharge. Sometimes the vaginal yeast infection is clear and runny. There is usually itching or burning associated with the infection. The vulva can become red and inflamed as well. Natural home remedies for a vaginal yeast infection include: keeping the area clean and dry, showering several times a day should help with this. In addition, wearing a panty liner can make staying dry easier, change the liner or pad when it becomes damp or moist. Using baby or other powders should be avoided, this can make the yeast infection worse.
Douching with plain, unflavored yogurt will help to re-balance the natural chemical make up of the vagina. Douching should be done once every three days until there is relief and the yeast infection clears. If the infection does not seem to be clearing up, try an over the counter medication specifically for vaginal yeast infections, such as Monistat, Vagisil, Nizoral or any other brand over the counter vaginal yeast infection treatment. If this does not seem to be clearing the infection, seek medical treatment. Some yeast infections require stronger methods than can be accomplished with home remedies and treatments.
Jock Itch is a yeast infection on the male genital area. This may also affect the inner thighs and lower abdomen. In reality, it can be jock itch and burn. Jock Itch usually presents itself as a red, sore rash on the genitals, thighs, or lower abdomen, or all of these areas. Jock Itch can also be caused by a having sex with a partner who has a yeast infection and then not showering soon after having sex. (This can be a female or male partner.) Yeast infections of the male genital area can also occur because of not showering often enough, sweating and the yeast organisms being allowed to multiply in the genital area.
Jock Itch can also occur in humid environments because of sweating. Curing Jock itch is similar to treating any other yeast or fungal infection. Keep the area dry and clean. Showering several times a day can help with this. In addition, drying the area and rest of the body completely. Do not leave the area damp. Change undergarments as soon as they become damp, this may be several times each day. Do NOT reuse towels. Even towels that have become dry can still reinfect the area with the yeast. Wash all towels before reusing them. Becoming sweaty should be treated by showering as soon as possible and drying the area. Change all under garments after showering or at least daily. If the infection does not seem to be clearing up, purchasing any over the counter Jock Itch medication. Over the counter medications such as Nizoral, Lamisil, any store brand, or any other anti-fungal medication should cure the infection. If this does not clear up the infection seeing a physician will be necessary.
Although Athlete’s Foot is not usually a yeast, it is a fungal infection and it can be treated in the same way as any other yeast infection. With Athlete’s Foot, or yeast or fungal infection of the feet and toes, prevention may actually be more effective than treatment. Prevention should include cleaning the shower floors and other community areas of the bath and shower with bleach or other antibacterial and anti-fungal cleaners. Cleaning these areas completely at least 3 to 4 times per week may be necessary. If Athlete’s Foot is present, continue the cleaning practices above and also keep the feet dry and clean. Change socks every day, do not wear socks for more than one day. If socks become sweaty or damp, change socks as soon as possible, even if this is more than one time per day. Using white, cotton socks may also help to cure the fungus. Using a medicated powder such as Gold Bond or some other store brand may also help. Put the medicated powder in the shoe, or rub the feet with the powder before putting on the socks. Wash the feet daily and do not leave feet or between toes damp, dry completely. If the Athlete’s Foot Fungus does not seem to be clearing up, there are several over the counter medications which can be purchased to treat the fungus. Lamisil AF, Nizoral or other store brand or brand name treatments are effective for curing Athlete’s Foot. Although the following method has not been proven, and is not necessarily recommended, military personnel have expressed a preventative method for avoiding Athlete’s Foot. Urinating on the feet while in the shower. While it may be effective to prevent Athlete’s Foot, it may also pose other health and safety risks to others using the shower facilities.
Treatment for yeast infections under breasts, in creases of thighs or other folded areas on the body can be treated by keeping the area dry and clean. Showering more than one time a day may be necessary. Keep the area dry. If need be, change clothing several times per day. Be sure to wash bras in warm or hot water to help to kill the organisms. If possible, wash the bra with bleach in the wash water. Be sure to dry the bra completely, never wear a damp bra or other clothing in the area of the yeast infection. Yeast infection under breasts usually occurs most often in women who have large breasts, but can occur in anyone. Anyone can develop a yeast infection on creases in the thigh area, underarm area and behind knees and other areas where skin overlaps. Lactating women should keep the nipples clean and dry and wash the nipple area often and after every feeding. Nursing pads should be changed and kept dry as much as possible, and all bras should be washed with bleach and machine dried. DO NOT use over the counter yeast remedies because this can poison the baby and cause severe medical problems for the baby. If this does not clear the infection, see a doctor for treatment that is safe for infants to ingest.
Treatment of babies or children is slightly different than treatment of an adult. Yeast infection inside of a baby’s mouth is called thrush. Babies and small children can also contract yeast infections in the diaper area. The infection in a baby can travel from the mouth, through the digestive system and also infect the diaper area. A baby or small child may actually have a yeast infection in both areas at the same time. Occurrence of both areas being infected simultaneously is very common. Keep all toys clean and disinfected when possible. Do not let the baby put non toy items in the mouth, such as fingers or edges of furniture etc, until the infection has cleared up. Babies and small children should not be treated at home, they should be taken to a doctor and be seen. Over the counter medications to treat yeast infections should NEVER be used on a baby or small child.
Home treatment of yeast infections should stay limited to adults. If the infection becomes worse or does not clear up in a few days, a doctor should always be consulted. This information is not meant to replace treatment of a doctor when needed. This information may be able to clear up a yeast infection at home in some cases.
Sources: Personal Experience