Indications of a Yeast Infection

Although the vast majority of yeast infections are caused by an abundance of one particular type of yeast (Candida), the infections don’t just happen on one particular part of the body. Depending on the location of the infection, the symptoms that each person may experience can vary a great deal. External and systematic yeast infections produce starkly different symptoms and vary greatly in severity.

Most yeast infections are simple and benign enough that they can be treated at home using over-the-counter creams and ointments or other home remedies. Sometimes professional intervention is needed to prescribe a stronger medication if the infection does not respond to home treatment.

People with compromised immune systems should seek medical attention at the onset of symptoms of a yeast infection to avoid the possibility of serious illness. Additionally, those with yeast infections that are not responding to treatment, have lasted longer than seven days or have gotten worse should be seen by their physician as soon as possible.

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Common Symptoms

When a yeast infection occurs on the skin, a bright red, painful rash with scalloped edges will be present. Yeast infections of the skin usually occur in warm, moist areas of the body where the yeast can thrive. Folds of the skin, armpits, the groin area and under the breasts are all common areas where this rash may present. The diaper area on infants is an ideal place for yeast to grow and these types of infections are often confused with simple diaper rash.

Infants will also sometimes have a build up of yeast organisms in the mouth, which results in a type of yeast infection known as thrush. It is characterized by a white, lacy patches on a tongue that is very red. Thrush can be painful and make eating extremely difficult. Older adults are prone to thrush infections as well.

Vaginal yeast infections are, by far, the most common type of yeast infection. Symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection include itching, burning and pain during urination and intercourse. There may also be a white, clumpy discharge that accompanies the infection. Penile yeast infections in men have the same symptoms as vaginal yeast infections, but their rash may be more apparent.

Uncommon Symptoms

The uncommon symptoms associated with yeast infections are the ones that happen internally, caused by a systematic yeast infection. These types of yeast infections are exponentially more serious than those affecting the skin and are difficult to treat. Systematic yeast infections usually begin much like thrush does in the mouth, but the infection quickly spreads down the throat, esophagus and eventually into the entire gastrointestinal (GI) tract. People with compromised immune systems, such as cancer patients and those suffering from HIV and AIDS, are most susceptible to this type of yeast infection.

Systematic yeast infections can produce ulcers all along the GI tract, which makes swallowing even liquids nearly unbearable. Chest pains, pain in the upper abdomen, nausea and vomiting may accompany a systematic yeast infection. If the infection remains untreated and spreads to the brain or blood stream, noticeable changes in mental function and faculties as well as a general overall feeling of malaise and flu-like illness - with or without fever - may occur. Fever, chills, abdominal pain, spreading of the rash to large portions of the body and bloody discharges are rare symptoms of a yeast infections, but ones that should be evaluated by a medical professional promptly.