Causes of Yeast Infection

Yeast infections, regardless of type or location, are caused by an abundance of Candida yeast. Usually this abundance of yeast happens when there are not enough yeast-fighting friendly bacteria on the skin.

Yeast is present on the skin under normal conditions any way so it is used to acting as a barrier to keep yeast out of the body. However, if there is any break in the skin like a scratch or chafing, yeast can easily enter the under-layers of skin and set up an infection.

Although there are several ways of treating a yeast infection, prevention is ultimately the best treatment. Having a solid understanding of the many causes, and factors that can lead to yeast infection will help you avoid one alltogether.

There are a number of causes that result in the build up of yeast on the skin, which can lead to an infection. Although it is the general assumption that poor hygiene is the main cause of a yeast infection, there are in fact several factors that can result in contracting this condition. Below are some of the most common causes of yeast infection. Visit our men's page to view male yeast infection causes.

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Poor Hygiene

Poor hygiene and infrequent bathing can allow yeast to build up in the crevices of the skin. This is especially true for sweaty skin that doesn't breathe and is allowed to remain moist for extended periods of time. Changing clothes often can help cut down on the production of infection-causing yeast.


Clothes that are too tight or made of a fabric that does not allow the skin to breathe can contribute to the production of yeast. This is especially true of undergarments. When undergarments are too tight or made of synthetic materials, they can result in vaginal or penile yeast infections. If a person has recurring yeast infections, they may have to change the type of underwear they wear to a style or fabric that allows the skin to breathe in order to stave off these infections.


Certain kinds of antibiotics kill the good fungi in the body, which are responsible for keeping the invading yeast in check. This can give the yeast ample opportunity to grow and multiply and eventually set up an infection. Antibiotics are the leading cause of vaginal yeast infections in American women.


As hormone levels in the body fluctuate, so do the numbers of Candida organisms in the body. Some hormones, both the ones occurring naturally in the body and chemically introduced ones, can have adverse effects on yeast production. This is why pregnant women and women who take oral contraceptives are more likely to have yeast infections than others.


Some health professionals believe that too much sugar in the body contributes to an overgrowth of yeast. Since yeast thrive on sugar in the body, diabetics are more susceptible to having yeast infections than non-diabetic people. In fact, frequent yeast infections are a symptom of diabetes itself and one of the warning signs of the disease that people should watch for.


Although most research and studies dealing with yeast infections tends to focus on vaginal yeast infections, men are just as prone to contracting them as women are. Condoms can cause penile yeast infections in two ways – one is by having a reaction to the lubricant used on the condoms, such as spermicides, and the other is having a reaction to the latex of the condom itself. Although yeast infections are not really considered a sexually transmitted disease, they can be passed from one infected partner to the other. Alternately, condoms used by one partner can lead to a yeast infection in the other partner, if they experience any of the aforementioned reactions.

Compromised Immune Systems

Compromised immune systems can lead to a whole host of maladies – including yeast infections. These infections tend to be more serious and more pronounced in people with compromised immune systems because of their inability to resist infections in general.