What is a Candidal Infection? Know its Causes, Symptoms, and Home remedies
Candida infection, also called candidiasis or yeast infection, is a type of fungus that is the single biggest cause of fungal infection worldwide. A Candida infection can occur in any part of the body. This fungus can live on all surfaces of the skin. The numbers of this fungus usually thrive in warm and moist areas. When these fungi multiply in more quantities than normal, the problem of candida infection arises.
How does it spread?
Candidiasis is caused by a species of yeast called Candida albicans, but other species of Candida can also cause infection. Candida infection spreads through the bloodstream to other parts of the body. Candida problems are caused by taking more antibiotics, consuming more sugar, having a high carbohydrate diet, drinking more alcohol, and having a weak immune system. In order to cure a Candida infection or yeast infection and to find the right treatment for it, it is very important to get a thorough examination of the condition. If candidiasis infection is left untreated, it can lead to systemic infection, which may adversely affect other parts of the body.
Types of Candida infection
There are mainly four types of candida infection-
- Oral Thrush
- Candida infection on the skin
- Yeast infection in the vagina
- Nail fungus (fungal infection of the nail)
Symptoms of Candida infection
The symptoms of Candida infection may vary from person to person. They mainly depend on the location of the skin.
Oral candida infection or oral thrush-
This condition is also called thrush. In this, sticky spots appearing red below and white above start forming on the tongue, palate and other parts of the mouth. These spots sometimes appear like a stain made from milk or curd. But they cannot be cleaned so easily. As easily as the spots made from milk or curd are cleaned. Thrush can also become a painful condition which may cause difficulty in eating food. A person suffering from thrush should always stay hydrated. This infection can also cause the tongue to become completely red.
Candida infection on the skin-
One of the main symptoms of Candida infection is persistent and intense itching of the skin. Some other symptoms of this infection are red rashes on the skin, whose size keeps increasing continuously. Rashes occur in skin folds such as the genitals, buttocks, under the breasts and other parts of the skin. Infection occurs in the follicles, which start to appear like pimples.
Candida infection in the vagina-
Having a candida infection in the vagina develops the following symptoms:
- Severe itching in the vagina.
- Swelling and redness in the vagina or vulva (outer part of the vagina).
- Pain and burning sensation while urinating.
- Pain during sexual intercourse.
- A thick white discharge from the vagina.
Candida infection in nails-
Candida causes infection in the nails and cuticles, as well as in the corners of the mouth. The symptoms of which are as follows-
- Thinning or thickening of the nail.
- The nail becomes very fragile and breaks on its own.
- Fraying or roughness of the nail.
- The shape of the nail is crooked or distorted, yellow, brownish, or discolored white nails.
- Appearance of yellow spots on the underside of the nail.
Causes of Candida infection
Causes of Oral thrush-
- Weakening of immunity.
- Bacteria and fungi.
- Skin infections caused by candida
- Hot and humid weather.
- Tight clothes.
- Not changing undergarments.
- Weakening of the immune system due to diabetes, pregnancy, and other medical conditions.
- Humid skin.
- Use of corticosteroids or other drugs that affect the immune system.
Causes of Candida infection in vagina-
Normally, balanced levels of yeast and bacteria are present in a woman's vagina, but a disturbance of this balance causes candidiasis. In general, the Lactobacillus bacteria create an environment that does not encourage the overgrowth of yeast. But if the yeast becomes dominant, then the symptoms of yeast infection can emerge.
Vaginal candida infection is not a sexually transmitted infection (STI) but can be spread through physical contact. This infection is very common in women.
Causes of Candida infection in nails-
There are many types of fungal microorganisms that cause fungal infections in the nails. These germs usually seep in through small cuts in the skin or if the empty space between the nail and the base (nail bed) under it. When the fungus in the nail gets a favorable environment with warmth and moisture, it starts growing.
Methods for Prevention of Candida infection
- Wear loose-fitting cotton underwear.
- Don't wear tight pants.
- Eat sugar and sugary foods in moderation.
- Don't drink alcohol.
- Change birth control pills. If you have frequent infections, ask your doctor to make changes to your birth control pills.
- Maintain oral hygiene. Keep brushing and flossing (cleaning teeth with thread) regularly. Keep changing your toothbrush regularly until the infection is cured.
- Keep the dentures clean. Seek help from a doctor to clean dentures properly and to prevent recurrent infections.
- If someone has got a cold or flu, don't take antibiotics because colds and flu are caused by viruses. Therefore, taking antibiotics does not cure it, but the risk of getting candidiasis infection increases.
Risk factors for Candida infection
The risk of candidiasis increases in the following situations-
- If the person uses antibiotics, corticosteroids, or both.
- There is an increased risk of vaginal yeast infection in pregnancy.
- Using hormonal contraceptives or contraceptive devices also increases the chance of vaginal yeast infection.
- Uncontrolled diabetes.
- Being immunocompromised.
- Poor diet and lack of sleep can also increase the risk of this infection.
- The problem of candidiasis can increase if you are more ill.
- If the patient is undergoing treatment for HIV, AIDS or cancer.
- Weakened immunity of the patient.
Home remedies for Candida infection
Salt has antiseptic, cleansing, and pain-reducing properties. Therefore, put half a teaspoon of salt in a cup of lukewarm water and rinse the mouth well.
Curd contains probiotics that have good bacteria that help in treating candidiasis infections of the mouth. Curd proves beneficial even if there is difficulty in swallowing due to ulcers or sores in the throat or mouth because it is a soft food item.
Coconut oil has antifungal properties that help to provide relief from Candida infection. Therefore, using coconut oil can be of great help during candidiasis.
When to go to the doctor?
Most cases of candida infection do not require hospitalization for treatment, but people who have weak immunity do. They can get serious candidiasis infections. In such a situation, the patient needs to be admitted to the hospital. If yeast infection is associated with the following conditions, then see a doctor as soon as possible-
- Taking antibiotics or steroids for a long time.
- Diabetes, etc.