Yeastinfections are caused by an abnormally large amount of the candidafungus collecting in one place on the body. The typical places forthese infections to arise are the warm, moist crevices of the bodysuch as the groin or mouth. Normally the body would prevent the yeastfrom building up enough to cause an infection, but when the immunesystem is weak, the candida can spread and accumulate easily.Antibiotics kill off the good bacteria that control the candidafungus, allowing it to promulgate.
Typicalsymptoms of yeast infections include the skin becoming red in thearea, itchiness and possible fluid discharge. Scratching of the areamay aggravate the skin, causing flakiness and the rupturing ofpossible pustules. Yeast infections in the mouth look like white orred patches on the inside of the mouth and on the tongue,occasionally accompanied by a white or yellow crust on the lips.
Womenare more susceptible to yeast infections than men, especially in thevaginal area, which are usually caused by the strain 'candidaalbicans'. They are therefore also more susceptible to recurringinfections. Changes in the balance of hormones or the acidity of thevaginal fluids, usually occurring during menstruation or pregnancy,can give rise to yeast infections. Serious diseases such as AIDS anddiabetes can increase the risk of fungal infection. AIDS weakensthe immune system, allowing the candida to flourish. Diabetessufferers typically consume large amounts of sugar in their diet andsince yeast is nourished by sugar, people with high sugar intake willbe at more risk of yeast infections. Stress or lack of sleep can alsobe contributing factors to yeast infections, as they both cause aweakening of the immune system.
Any ofthese factors, if left unchecked, may cause yeastinfections to return even after being treated. Essentially, thelonger these conditions exist, the more likely it is that a yeastinfection will remain or return at a later time.
Oncethe cause for recurrent yeast infections has been established, onecan go about eliminating the contributing factors. Since the funguswill propagate in warm, moist areas, wearing tight fitting clothingcan increase the risk of infections in the groin. Certain topicalcreams can help kill off the fungus and relieve the itchiness, orelse there are alternatives like oral medication or suppositoriesthat are available. A very persistent yeast infection may be anindication of some underlying health problem and a doctor should beconsulted if the infection lasts for an abnormally long time or if itbecomes painful or worsens considerably.