What is Yeast Infection?
Yeast infection is the more common term for the fungal infections candidiasis or thrush. Yeast infection is called as such because the fungal infection is caused by the species candida, or the yeast family.
Yeast infection can be classified as oropharyngeal / oral candidiasis or thrush, which affects the mouth, throat and / or tongue. The other classification is vaginal yeast, where the female genitalia is affected.
Thrush is characterized as the appearance of white lesions in the mouth. This can be located commonly in the tongue or in the inner cheeks, but can also spread to the roof of the mouth or tonsils. Symptoms include the appearance of a cottage cheese-like substance, weakened sense of taste, pain and bleeding when scraped. The infection usually affects babies and people who wear contraptions in the mouth like braces or dentures, and those with weakened immune systems. This is only a mild irritation in most cases and is easily treatable, but can be more serious for those with compromised immune systems like those with HIV.
Vaginal yeast is found in the female genitalia, however men can also be affected, usually through sexual contact. Symptoms include the itchiness, swelling, discomfort and the discharge of a creamy white (or greyish) curdled fluid. In males, symptoms include reddish rashes or patches near the penile forehead, itching and a burning sensation. Vaginal yeast infection is very common among women, affecting at least 3 out of 4 women at least once in their lives.
Yeast infection is easily treatable through the use of antifungal drugs. Topical ointments such as clotrimazole, ketoconazole, and fluconazole are usually used. In some cases this is also supplemented by oral medication such as fluconazole.