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Fungal Control: How to Control and Prevent Candidiasis

Dr. Afroze Ashraf Khan

3 min read

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Candidiasis is a fungal infection that takes on different aliases depending on the part of the body it affects, such as Oral Thrush, Vaginal Yeast Infection, and Diaper rash (in infants). However, most cases clear up with the following over-the-counter medications and natural topical treatments within 1-2 weeks. However, we highly recommend seeing a gynecologist for an accurate treatment plan.

Skin:

1-OTC Medications:

Since the infection is usually skin-deep, antifungal medication in powder or cream form can be applied directly onto the affected area. This will help contain the infection and eradicate excess Candida (the yeast that cause the infection). The key candidiasis antifungals include Clotrimazole, Miconazole, and Tioconazole.

For treating severe cases of diaper rash in infants, the antifungal nystatin should be applied instead of petroleum jelly and talcum powder to keep the infection from spreading.

2-Natural Treatments:

For mild infections, diluted apple cider vinegar or tea tree oil, garlic or coconut oil can be applied. However, patients with autoimmune conditions like diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and cancer should consult with the best internal medicine specialist in Karachi before trying a natural remedy.

Vagina:

1-OTC Medications:

Antifungal medications are directly inserted into the vagina for maximum effect. Clotrimazole and Miconazole creams can be applied using a special applicator for about 7-14 days. Alternatively, prescription-grade Clotrimazole or Miconazole suppositories can also be inserted daily for 3-7 days. Slightly stronger Tioconazole and Terconazole are available as creams, ointments, and suppositories.

2-Gentian Violet:

Made from coal tar, this natural dye can be found in special tampons that are inserted 1-2 times a day for 1-2 weeks until the infection clears up. However, it should be handled carefully as the dye can stain undergarments and clothes.

3-Boric Acid:

Prescription-grade boric acid suppositories can be inserted inside the vagina twice daily for 2 weeks in case -azole medications (Clotrimazole, Miconazole, and Tioconazole) are ineffective. However, it may cause irritation in some users.

Note:Antifungal vaginal creams and suppositories cause slight burning and irritation and can weaken latex condoms and diaphragms, hence increasing pregnancy risk.

Mouth:

1-OTC Medications:

While daily Fluconazole tablets for 7-14 days are the best treatment for oral thrush, 4-5 Clotrimazole lozenges can also be taken daily for 1-2 weeks as an alternate solution. If these medications are ineffective, Itraconazole pills, or liquids that are swished thoroughly in the mouth and swallowed, can also be taken.

2-Gentian Violet:

For oral thrush treatment, a cotton swab is dipped directly in the dye and coated over the affected patches. Gentian violet often leaves a temporary stain on the inside of the mouth and should not be swallowed as it can cause digestive problems.

Invasive Candidiasis:

if the infection spreads throughout the body via the bloodstream, Anidulafungin, Micafungin, and Caspofungin are either given intravenously on their own or taken orally with Fluconazole.

Prescription-Grade Anti-Fungal Medication:

1-Azole Drugs:

For severe infections, particularly esophageal candidiasis, higher potency azole drugs are prescribed for a comparatively longer time period. These medications can either be taken orally or intravenously (inserted directly into the vein), depending upon the patient’s condition. However, they can harm the developing fetus and are not recommended for pregnant women.

2-Amphotericin B:

For severe and advanced cases of candidiasis or if the Candida yeast becomes resistant to azole drugs, Amphotericin B is administered intravenously at a hospital. Side-effects include allergic reactions, nausea, vomiting, headaches, kidney, and bone marrow damage.

Prevention:

  • Take cold-to-lukewarm baths, not showers, as sitting can clear vaginal yeast, and dry yourself and your pubic hair thoroughly afterwards.
  • Avoid using soap on the vagina as it kills the good bacteria.
  • Wipe from front to back after using the toilet to reduce yeast in the rectal area.
  • Either properly sterilize the underwear worn during a previous infection by boiling it separately or discard it.
  • Change clothes immediately after swimming or exercising and regularly change your socks and undergarments
  • Wear loose cotton or linen underwear and avoid tight clothing.
  • For recurring diaper rashes in infants, remember to change the diaper frequently and avoid plastic pants and disposable plastic diaper coverings.
  • Consider changing contraceptive methods (if any) in case they might be contributing towards recurring infections.
  • Make sure that your partner isn’t infected to avoid re-infection despite treatment.
  • Antibiotics are ineffective for flu treatment and only increase Candida growth and hence, should be avoided.
  • If you use inhaled corticosteroids for asthma treatment, rinse and brush your teeth after every use.
  • Reduce sugar consumption to keep high blood sugar from increasing Candida
  • Eat live, probiotic yogurt which contains the Candida-moderating Lactobacillus acidophilus bacteria, especially if you take long-term antibiotics.

A weakened immune system increases the risk of candidiasis spreading through bloodstream and damaging other organs. So if you are undergoing treatment for HIV/AIDS, cancer, or another autoimmune condition and experience severe throat pain, headaches or high fever, consult your doctor immediately for prompt treatment.

You can also book an appointment with a top Multan in Gynecologist, Karachi and Islamabad through oladoc.com, or call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT Doctor for your dermal concerns.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Dr. Afroze Ashraf Khan - Author Dr. Afroze Ashraf Khan is among the Best Gynecologists in Lahore. Dr. Afroze Ashraf Khan is a Gynecologist practicing in Lahore. Over the last 22 years, she's been helping patients get treatment of various medical conditions. You can book appointment with Dr. Afroze Ashraf through oladoc.
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