Yeast Infections Explained: How Do You Get Them and What are Sores

Candida normally lives on skin and inside the body, such as the mouth, throat, gut, and vagina, without causing problems. Learn more how it can cause infection in people

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Yeast Infections Explained: How Do You Get Them and What are Sores

A vaginal yeast infection, also known as vulvovaginal candidiasis, occurs when the healthy yeast naturally resides in the vagina multiplies uncontrollably.


Yeast infections are common types of vaginal infections. It is caused by a fungus called Candida that lives in your vagina and on the skin around it. The fungus can grow out of control when normal bacteria that help keep it under control, such as lactobacilli and acidophilus, are not present or working well enough to control it. This causes an overgrowth of yeast cells in your vulva and vagina. If you have symptoms such as itching, burning or pain during urination then you may have a yeast infection


A yeast infection is not a common sexually transmitted disease (STD) that affects men and women. However, you should remember that it is possible to pass the infection to your sex partner through oral, vaginal or anal sex. Most people with yeast infection don’t have any symptoms, but you may notice an itchy, red rash in your groin area. It can also cause pain or soreness in your vagina, lower abdomen and inner thighs.

Yeast infections are caused by an overgrowth of the fungus Candida albicans. This fungus is normally found in small amounts inside our bodies and on our skin, but it can multiply quickly when conditions favour its growth — such as the use of antibiotics or when there is too much sugar present in the body due to poor diet or diabetes.*

To diagnose a yeast infection doctors will typically ask about any symptoms you have been experiencing; perform tests like urine tests for bacteria; then give you antibiotics if necessary.*

What are yeast infections?

A yeast infection is caused by an overgrowth of a type of fungus called candida, which is normally present in the body. Candida exists naturally on the skin and inside the vagina, mouth, and gastrointestinal tract. But in certain circumstances, it can grow out of control and cause symptoms like itching and burning.

The most common symptom of a yeast infection is vaginal itching or pain with urination that worsens with intercourse. Vaginal discharge may also be present. In men, symptoms include redness around the head (glans) of the penis as well as swelling or inflammation underneath it or in the testicles that may cause discomfort while sitting down

Yeast infection symptoms

  • Itching, burning and swelling in the vaginal area

  • Painful urination

  • A thick, white discharge that looks like cottage cheese or maybe stretchy and transparent.

  • Abnormal vaginal odour caused by vaginal candidiasis. The vagina normally has a slightly fishy odour but if it smells bad, it's probably because of a yeast infection.

  • Pain during intercourse due to irritation of the labia (the folds of skin around the opening to the vagina).

Causes of yeast infections

Yeast infections are caused by a fungus called Candida albicans. This fungus is found in many places in the human body, including the mouth and digestive system. However, when it grows out of control in moist parts of the body such as the vagina (called vaginal candidiasis) or underarms, it can cause irritation and itching. Yeast infections can occur in both men and women but are more common in people with diabetes or a weak immune system.


If you're wondering how is yeast infection diagnosed, usually, it involves a physical examination and the taking of medical history. Your doctor will need to know about any recent changes in your diet and lifestyle, including whether or not you have recently had sex. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, it is especially important to tell your doctor about this so that they can consider how the infection might affect you and your baby.

The doctor will examine your vagina, vulva (the area around the outside of your vagina), rectum if necessary, as well as anus. They may also take some vaginal discharge from inside the vagina using a cotton swab for further testing. A sample may also be taken from underneath the skin near where sores are located for testing purposes as well if needed

Candida can cause an infection if vaginal circumstances shift to favour its growth.


There are several options to treat yeast infections. You can try home remedies, such as yoghurt or garlic, but if these don't work and your symptoms persist it's best to see your doctor. Your doctor may prescribe antifungal medication to kill off the infection. If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, make sure to consult with your doctor before taking any medications.

When choosing a treatment option, keep in mind that many common over-the-counter (OTC) medications can cause side effects like itching and burning sensations throughout the body; this includes antifungals like Monistat Cream (and its generic versions).

If OTC medications do not clear up your symptoms within two weeks of use then it is recommended that you speak with a medical professional regarding other treatment options available on prescription from a GP or local pharmacy which may include: clotrimazole cream (Canesten), miconazole cream/ointment/pessaries– all containing zinc oxide.

Home Remedy

  • Eat yogurt. Many people report that eating yogurt has helped them to get over a yeast infection. Yogurt is rich in acidophilus, which can help restore the balance of bacteria in your whole body and fight off the fungus that causes Candida infections.

  • Drink cranberry juice or tea with honey and lemon. Cranberry juice is another common home remedy for yeast infections, since it contains natural acids that have been shown to fight off Candida albicans by making it difficult for the fungus to survive in your body's pH levels. You can also add some honey and lemon to tea, which will help reduce inflammation as well as increase stomach acid production so that there are fewer chances of any leftover food particles lingering around long enough for candida spores from your mouth to get into contact with them again (which could lead straight back into another infection).

Yeast infection in men

A yeast infection in men is a condition that causes the body to be more susceptible to fungal infections, particularly of the skin. These types of infections are usually associated with moist areas or those with high sweat levels, such as underarms and between toes.

A yeast infection in men can be diagnosed based on symptoms alone or by testing for Candida (the type of fungus responsible for this type of infection). Tests also show whether you have other STDs like chlamydia, syphilis or gonorrhoea.

Treatment involves prescription medications and antifungal pills taken orally over several weeks or months to kill fungus living on your skin and inside your body. The treatment also may include topical ointments applied directly to affected areas such as thrush — an oral yeast infection caused by Candida albicans — which affects infants below age 4 months; diaper rash caused by Candida albicans; vaginal irritation that develops into white discharge with no odour but sometimes accompanied by itching and burning sensations during urination; jock itch (also known as tinea cruris) — itchy red bumps on inner thighs caused by wearing tight-fitting underwear; groin itch (also known as tinea inguinalis), an inflammation around the groin area which makes it difficult for a male patient who suffers from diabetes mellitus type 2 due to poor circulation so keep dry after showering/bathing – wear loose cotton socks instead if possible!

Yeast infection in women

Yeast infections in women are common. In fact, up to 75% of all women will experience a yeast infection at some point in their lives. Symptoms include itching, burning and redness around the vaginal area.

In most cases, yeast infections are caused by an overgrowth of the fungus Candida albicans which normally lives on your skin or in your vagina but can grow uncontrolled if you're stressed out or going through hormonal changes like pregnancy or menopause. Yeast infections can be treated with over-the-counter creams and suppositories that contain antifungal medication such as clotrimazole (Canesten), miconazole (Monistat) and tioconazole (Vagistat).

If you have recurrent yeast infections it might be because you're not taking proper care of yourself—for example: not showering after exercising; wearing tight-fitting clothes; not washing properly before sex; using dirty towels; using antibiotics without completing the full course of treatment or engaging in unprotected sex with someone who has thrush (vaginal itching).

Yeast infection in babies

Yeast infections in babies are very common, but it is important that you know the signs and symptoms of a yeast infection and treat it as soon as possible.

Babies can get yeast infections through several different ways. They may be caused by antibiotics, antifungal drugs or if your child's immune system is weak due to an illness such as cancer.

If your baby has a vaginal discharge with an unpleasant odour and itching, they may have a yeast infection. These symptoms can also be seen in adults but will appear differently on children since their genitalia isn't fully developed yet.

How to prevent vaginal yeast infections

To prevent vaginal yeast infections, wear cotton underwear, avoid scented products, and avoid douching. If you're prone to yeast infections, it's a good idea to use condoms during sex. Wash your hands before touching your vagina or inserting things into it (like a tampon). Don't use vaginal sprays or creams unless your doctor says it's okay for you to do so.

What does it look like?

Most people experience a yeast infection as a red, itchy rash on the genital area. It can also cause swelling and burning sensation of the vulva and discharge from your vagina. If you have pain during urination or intercourse, it may be a sign that you have a yeast infection. Yeast infections are most common in warm, moist environments because they thrive in those conditions.

A yeast infection is a common vaginal infection that can be treated.

A yeast infection is caused by an overgrowth of a type of fungus called Candida albicans. Yeast infections are common in women and men, though they're more likely to affect women.

Common symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection include itching, burning or soreness in the vagina; pain during sex; and white or yellowish vaginal discharge with a cottage cheese-like appearance.

You can treat a vaginal yeast infection with antibiotics or antifungal medications — but it's important to avoid any further exposure to things that may have caused your infection in the first place! This means: no douching, no wearing tight-fitting underwear and keeping your pubic hair trimmed neatly so as not to trap moisture near your vulva — all things that contribute to recurring yeast infections in some people.

Yeast overgrowth is associated with urinary tract infections and rectal irritation in certain people.


Most vaginal yeast infections are caused by the fungus candida Albicans However, a complicated yeast infection should not be taken for granted since it may lead to a severe situation. People at higher risk include women and girls of any age. Three out of every four women will experience a yeast infection at some time in their lives. There are several infections present in about half of all women.

Before puberty and beyond menopause, yeast infections of the vagina are pretty uncommon. They can cause redness, swelling, and itching, sometimes with accompanying burning and pain in the vagina and make women feel like they need to urinate all the time. Yeast infections are caused by an overgrowth of yeast cells that normally live in your body's mucous membranes. There are many different types of yeast infections, which can affect different parts of your body or even both at once.

Normally, if you have a weak immune system, uncontrolled diabetes, are pregnant, or have an underlying health condition, you are at risk of recurring yeast infection. If this happens, you should consult your doctor for further health exams to identify the exact cause of the recurrence.

Because women are the backbone of a family's general health, making sure that they have access to high-quality medical treatment may also contribute to an improvement in the health of their children and other family members.

Adopting healthy behaviours is the most effective approach to reducing disease risk, increasing longevity, and leading a happy life. Click here to learn more about women's health.

Or to learn more about fungal infections, click here to read about the various infections and their corresponding treatments.

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