Thrush, symptoms, causes and treatment
Thrush, also known as candidiasis, is a yeast infection that most commonly occurs in the mouth. This is caused by a fungus called Candida albicans (“Candida”), which occurs naturally in the intestines, vagina and even the skin. Bacteria living in the wet environment of the body are usually controlled by Candida.
Candida is often referred to as an “opportunistic” microorganism. This means that it does not usually cause disease, but under special conditions, such as a weakened immune system, it becomes a pathogen – it can cause disease.
Common oral thrush symptoms
Symptoms of thrush most commonly occur in the mouth and sometimes in the throat. Candidiasis often causes painful, mildly discovered ulcers or skin lesions that usually appear creamy white. Cottage cheese-like, crisp white “cottage cheese” in the mouth and dry mouth are common symptoms of oral rigosis.
Candidiasis in the mouth can spread to the esophagus, making swallowing painful or difficult.
Symptoms of thrush
Candida albicans thrives in humid environments such as wrinkles on wet skin and mucous membranes. Symptoms of skin rash are usually red itchy patches of skin, redness around the nails or around the nails, and in some cases hair loss.
Vaginal thrush: symptoms of yeast infection
Most women experience vaginal thrush symptoms at least once in their lives, and some women have a chronic version that often recurs. Symptoms of vaginal thrush include itching and a burning sensation in the vagina and vulva, especially when urinating. Thrush can also cause pain and swelling. Symptoms are accompanied by a thick white or clear discharge with a characteristic yeast odor.
Thrush infections in the mouth
Oral thrush is the most common type of Candidiasis. This oral infection is caused by Candida albicans, the same microorganism that causes vaginal yeast infections in women.
Typical symptoms of the oral cavities are jaws and white patches or plaques inside the tongue. People with oral cavities often feel they have a barrier that causes “difficulty” in the throat area. On the other hand, oral candidiasis may become undetectable without symptoms or signs.
Diagnosis of oral thrush
Candida can multiply in the mouth for several reasons, including damage to the immune system or taking antibiotics. If oral thrush is suspected, your doctor will follow specific procedures to diagnose the oral infection.
To diagnose Candidiasis, the doctor simply picks up a scratch of skin to see it under a microscope. Candida albicans are easily identifiable, especially when the sample is used to grow a culture. The latter procedure confirms the diagnosis of oral thrush.
Who gets oral thrush?
Persistent illness and stress are factors that seem to reduce disease resistance. Conditions and medications that reduce the effectiveness of the immune system generally allow the spread of fungi that cause oral thrush.
People taking corticosteroids, people with HIV or AIDS, and the elderly usually get oral thrush. In addition, patients with uncontrolled diabetes and pregnant women are at increased risk for oral thrush.
In denture wearers, the area under the discs provides a great environment for Candida albicans. Oral candidiasis is common in the elderly, especially those who wear dentures.
Infants and young children receive oral thrush. See our baby thrush page for more information on identifying and treating the disease. Oral thrush in young children usually does not indicate the development of any other disease or condition.
However, oral thrush in normal healthy adolescents and adults may be a sign of an undiagnosed disease such as HIV or diabetes. See your primary care physician if family members of any age have oral thrush that doesn’t seem to react to treatment.
Prevention of oral thrush
With proper oral hygiene, you can prevent mouth sores, which include brushing your mouth and brushing your teeth regularly. If you are wearing dentures, clean them daily, rinse after a meal, and clean any remaining teeth and gums with a soft brush.
Avoid taking antibiotics without your doctor’s supervision and follow the instructions carefully. Excessive use of antibacterial diamonds can cause oral thrush.
Complications of oral thrush
Because an oral thrush infection can be painful and make it difficult to eat, untreated (or unnoticed in infants) infections can result in inadequate food intake. Untreated candidiasis can lead to make swallowing more difficult as it spread to the esophagus. Candida can also spread to the gastrointestinal tract, lungs, and skin.
Angular chelitis is another complication of oral thrush. People with deep wrinkles in the corner of their mouth or poorly fitting dentures can build up excess saliva in the corner of their mouth. Oral thrush blooms in these wet folds, causing cracking and pain, especially when smiling, eating or talking.
Thrush in infants and breastfeeding mothers
The baby thrush is especially annoying because it can be transferred from the baby to the mother and back. Thrush, or candidiasis, is caused by the spread of the fungus Candida albicans. New mothers, whether breastfeeding or not, should breastfeed to identify the symptoms of the stroller and seek treatment immediately.
Signs of baby Thrush
The baby thrush is usually seen on the baby’s lips and face. It is seen on both the gums and the tongue. While the milk leaves a thick white coating on the baby’s tongue, the thrush will look even thicker. If you wipe your baby’s tongue or other parts of your mouth on your white body and these are easy to remove, it’s likely it’s just milk. If they don’t come out easily, your baby may have oral thrush or candidiasis.
Another way to differentiate between the baby thrush and the milk residue is for the milk spots to come and go, while the thrushes do not.
Baby thrush and breastfeeding
Candidiasis can infect the nipple area for a breastfeeding mother. Once the mother is infected, the fungus can return to the baby during breastfeeding, leading to a chronic stroller.
Candida infection of the nipples can be very painful. Cracks and redness may develop around the nipple and the mother may feel burning and itching. Thrush can cause flaking or dry skin. The thrush can spread inside the breast and infect the milk ducts. The mother may experience severe shooting pains in the breast during or after breastfeeding.
The diaper rash connection
The baby also gets thrush in the form of a diaper rash. Remember that candida blooms in wet and warm areas. In particular, the diaper area and the folds in the skin of the legs and groin are the most sensitive. Baby thrush rarely occurs on the baby’s buttocks.
A baby thrush that appears as a diaper rash looks like a rash of tiny red spots or may form larger red spots with transparent edges. The affected area can be quite painful.
Treatment of oral thrush and vaginal yeast infection
The thrush can be prevented with a few fairly simple measures. Women who are prone to vaginal yeast infection should notify their doctor, especially if they are prescribed antibiotics. Killing the bacteria that cause infection also kills the beneficial bacteria that control Candida albicans, the fungus that causes yeast infections.
Because the mucous membranes and other warm, wet areas of the body provide a great environment for thrush, it is essential to treat the skin surface to reduce moisture and have good oral hygiene conditions for prevention.
Topical and oral thrush treatment
Oral thrush can be treated with nystatin rinse or diamonds. Nystatin is the gold standard in thrush treatment. The idea is to keep in contact with nystatin for as long as possible. Nistatin mouthwash should be circulated in the mouth four times a day, kept in the mouth for as long as possible. Nystatin candies should be sucked slowly and should not be chewed or swallowed too quickly.
Vaginal thrush is treated with oral tablets, vaginal creams or suppositories. Some branded products are Fungizone®, Gyne-Lotrimin®, Monistat® and Mycostatin®. Mycostatin is a brand name for nystatin.
Thrush infections of the nails and skin can be treated with similar creams and ointments. They work well in the affected areas, including the genitals, corners of the mouth and skin folds. The treatment is most effective when the cream or ointment is rubbed gently and thoroughly.
The over-the-counter treatment for the siren includes products that lighten the athlete’s foot and relieve itching.
Oral antifungal agents for the treatment of thrush
Some doctors prescribe a single oral dose of fluconazole to treat a vaginal yeast infection. Other “azole” drugs used to treat candidiasis include itraconazole and ketoconazole.
These oral treatments are not recommended for pregnant women. In fact, doctors who prescribe these insist that women use contraceptives to avoid the occurrence of pregnancy in the treatment of vaginal thrush, as these substances have been linked to birth defects in animal experiments. Topical treatment of vaginal yeast infections occurs during pregnancy.
Systemic thrush treatments
Patients with a compromised immune system, such as those with HIV or AIDS or receiving anticancer drugs, may need cancer treatment. Treatments include azole drugs: ketoconazole (brand name Nizoral®), fluconazole (brand name Diflucan®) and itroconazole (brand name Sporanox®). Following your pharmacist’s instructions is critical: some of these should be taken with meals to help your stomach acids be absorbed.
If these treatments are not effective against systemic thrush, your doctor may give you an intravenous injection of Fungizone (also known as amphotericin B). Treatment is usually limited to about two weeks due to serious possible side effects such as anemia and kidney disease.
Frequently asked questions about thrush treatment
Question: Do I need a prescription for thrush creams and suppositories?
A. No, many treatments for thrush are not prescription drugs. However, a yeast infection can indicate a sign of an underlying disease, so you should discuss treatment options with your doctor to avoid the risk of other infections or infertility.
Question: Can thrush spread among sexual partners?
A. Because thrush can pass between an infant and a mother, you will of course assume that both sexual partners need to be treated if there is thrush in one of them. However, clinical trials in which the treatment of the male partner coincided with the treatment of vaginal yeast infection did not yield significant results.
Question: Do thrush treatments have side effects?
A. Yes, some people feel a burning sensation when they are very sensitive to the creams and ointments used in treatment. Other side effects are rare, but you should read the insert that came with the medicine to be aware of any unusual symptoms that need to be reported to your doctor.
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