What Causes a Yeast Infection to Occur?
An ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure, especially when it comes to yeast infections. Once you learn the yeast infection’s causes and symptoms, you will be armed in the fight against it. While you may not be able to avoid all yeast infections in the future, you will know how to protect yourself from most of them.
Yeast infections are caused by levels of yeast that have gotten out of control. This can happen due to a number of factors. Fingers and toes that develop yeast infection in their webs were infected due to excessive sweating. Invest in some loose, cotton socks; they help your feet get more air and dry the sweat that invariably occurs when feet are confined in shoes.
Vaginal yeast infections can come about when a woman is having her period or is pregnant. This is due to hormonal changes that occur in her body at these times. Birth control pills and steroids also contribute to vaginal yeast infections. A stressed-out emotional state or a compromised immune system can also allow a yeast infection to spring up. Yeast infections have been known to occur due to vaginal injuries.
All types of yeast infections can be caused by taking antibiotics. In the normally functioning human body, the yeast fungus is kept to reasonable levels because our “good” bacteria kills some of it. However, if we take antibiotics to kill off “bad” bacteria, we often get rid of the good stuff along with it. This leaves the yeast with no natural predator; so much yeast is allowed to grow that an infection takes place. This is a good reason to take antibiotics only when absolutely necessary.
How Can I Recognize a Yeast Infection?
The answer depends on which part of the body is being attacked. Oral yeast infections, also known as thrush, are fairly common in babies. Thrush will appear as a red patch of skin in the mouth; often, this rash will be coated with what appear to be milk curds. However, this is not milk; do not try to clean it off, or bleeding will result. A rash on the skin from a yeast infection will usually have a scalloped shape and may have several patchy, red areas on the surrounding skin.
A vaginal yeast infection will have symptoms including redness, irritation of the tissues, and swelling. There may be a white discharge that is noticeably thicker than the discharge that occurs with ovulation. In some cases, it may be clumpy to the point that it resembles cottage cheese. There may be discoloration. Urination is likely to cause burning pain, and intercourse may also be uncomfortable. The vaginal area will probably be very dry and itchy.
I Have a Yeast Infection; Now What?
Not so fast – you still need to see a doctor to make sure that you do, indeed, have a yeast infection and not some other kind of infection. Your doctor will be able to prescribe a medication to help your body fight off the yeast infection.