Candida albicans is the most common cause of yeast infections. The most frequent type of yeast infections are vaginal thrush in females followed by oral thrush and skin infections. However whilst the larger percentage of infections are associated with females, yeast infections in males occur quite frequently as well.
The most common yeast infection in males is in the groin and is often referred to as jock itch. A yeast infection in the groin causes a red moist rash which sometimes spreads to the genital area. The rash causes discomfort and itching. Be careful because jock itch is not always caused by a yeast as it is sometimes confused with tinea cruris which is an infection caused by another group of fungi called dermatophytes. It is essential to differentiate between the two infections so that the correct treatment is used.
Another common yeast infection in males involves the genital area and is known as balanitis. The symptoms of this this are rash with white patches on the penile skin itself. Balanitis is occurs more frequently in uncircumcised males.
Yeast infection in males can also involve the mouth, palate and tongue areas. This is called oral thrush. The symptoms of oral thrush look like thick, white spots which appear on top of a red and and inflamed lesion. In more serious cases the yeast infection can spread to the throat and sometimes even down to the oesophagus. This is a rare complication of oral thrush and it is necessary under these circumstances to take systemic antibiotics prescribed and overseen by a doctor.
Yeast infections in males frequently infect other warm, sweaty, moist areas of the body such as under the arms and in the folds of skin in obese people. Symptoms are similar in appearance to jock itch. Sometimes the nail folds are involved and this yeast infection is called paronychia. A yeast infection can be the cause of nappy rash in baby boys. The symptoms of this are a painful, moist, red rash which may spread to the genital area.
Candida in males is usually superficial involving the outer surfaces of the body. It is rarely life threatening. However in immuno-compromised people such as cancer patients, transplant patients, patients with catheters inserted, or those people suffering from AIDS whose immune system is not functioning properly, a systemic yeast infection called Candidemia may develop. The result of this is that Candida gains access to the blood stream and spreads to the internal organs of the body.
Some men often get recurrent or chronic thrush. This can have a devastating affect on them in terms of discomfort, emotional stress and relationship embarrassment. Treatment of thrush with antifungal creams and other medications may give instant relief from symptoms but in time the symptoms reappear for no obvious reason. This is the reason why alot of sufferers choose to use natural remedies.
Yeast infections in males are most commonly caused by Candida albicans which live naturally on all surfaces of the body such as the skin, the mouth, throat and in the digestive tract. Candida albicans is carried by approximately 80 to 90% of the population. Candida is prevented from establishing infections by the body’s natural defence systems. This includes the competition from the normal microbial flora which resides on the body.
Yeasts such as Candida albicans are opportunistic pathogens, which mean they can only cause infections when the body’s normal balance is altered for some reason and conditions then become right for the yeasts to overgrown and invade the tissues and cause yeast infection. In males these conditions include:
– Antibiotic therapy which eradicates the body’s resident flora and the yeast is then able to multiply out of control. Yeasts are not affected by the antibiotics prescribed for bacterial infections and once the competition has been knocked off they are free to multiply
– Diabetes where the body has higher sugar levels encouraging yeast to grow. Yeast can withstand the high sugar levels which have a bacteriocidal effect on the normal bacteria.
– Poor diets such as those high in simple carbohydrates
– Allergies to certain foods or chemicals causing local inflammation and itching
– Intolerance or reaction to external chemicals such as the use of certain washing detergents causing local inflammation
– Physical intolerance or reaction to synthetic underwear or tight jeans
– Other illnesses such as colds and flu’s which lower the body’s resistance
– Serious illnesses such as cancer, transplant or AIDS which reduce the body’s immune response
– The insertion of foreign bodies such as catheters giving the yeast a portal of entry to the body
– The use of steroids which have an effect on the natural resistance
– Stress always which has a detrimental effect on the natural balance of the body
– Excessively sweaty, warm, moist areas of the body are prone to yeast infection
– Chafing or scratching due to running or sexual intercourse etc which breaks the skin or damages the mucous membranes (which is the body’s first line of defence)
Most Candida infections are autogenous. That means that the infection starts from the Candida which are found normally on the body surfaces. However sexual intercourse with a person suffering from a yeast infection could be a factor in the transmission of yeast infections between partners and the cause of recurrent symptoms. Note – yeast is not a sexually transmitted disease (STD).
Since there is a risk of sexual transmission between partners, it is advisable that you and your partner go through treatment for Candida albicans together . This will reduce the probabliity of re-infection.To lessen the risk of transmitting Candida infections between partners, it is advisable to wear a condom, to shower after sex and to change the bed sheets after sexual activity.
Yeast infection in males is relatively common. It can be treated by pharnaceutical medications as prescribed by a doctor or bought over the counter. Alternatively yeast infection in males can be treated using more natural therapies.