What is candidiasis?

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Candidiasis: Overview

Candidiasis (say "kan-dih-DY-uh-sus") is a yeast infection. Yeast normally lives in your body. But it can cause problems if your body's defenses don't work as they should.

Some medicines can increase your chance of getting a yeast infection. These include antibiotics, steroids, and cancer drugs. And some diseases like AIDS and diabetes can make you more likely to get yeast infections.

There are different types of yeast infections.

Thrush is a yeast infection in the mouth. It usually occurs in people with weak immune systems. It causes white patches inside the mouth and throat.

Yeast infections of the skin usually occur in skin folds where the skin stays moist. They cause red, oozing patches on your skin. Babies can get these infections under the diaper. People who often wear gloves can get them on their hands.

Many women get vaginal yeast infections. They are most common when women take antibiotics. These infections can cause the vagina to itch and burn. They also cause white discharge that looks like cottage cheese.

In rare cases, yeast infects the blood. This can cause serious disease. This kind of infection is treated with medicine given through a needle into a vein (I.V.).

After you start treatment, a yeast infection usually goes away quickly. But if your immune system is weak, the infection may come back. Tell your doctor if you get yeast infections often.

How can you care for yourself when you have candidiasis?

  • Take your medicines exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor if you think you are having a problem with your medicine.
  • Use antibiotics only as directed by your doctor.
  • Eat yogurt with live cultures. It has bacteria called lactobacillus. It may help prevent some types of yeast infections.
  • Keep your skin clean and dry. Put powder on moist places.
  • If you are using a cream or suppository to treat a vaginal yeast infection, don't use condoms or a diaphragm. Use a different type of birth control.
  • Eat a healthy diet and get regular exercise. This will help keep your immune system strong.

How well does boric acid work to treat a vaginal yeast infection?

More research is needed to find out how well boric acid works. Symptoms return in some women. Check with your doctor to see if you need to continue using boric acid over several months to relieve your symptoms.

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