Candida infections in most healthy people can be treated at home with over-the-counter or prescription medications. Response to treatment is usually good and may clear within a week. If your immune system is weakened by some other disease (such as AIDS, cancer, chemotherapy), consult your doctor for any type of candida infection.
Vaginal yeast infections: These infections in most women can be treated with over-the-counter medications (such as miconazole, tioconazole, butoconazole, clotrimazole such as creams and gels). The medication is applied as directed on the formulation into the vagina and surrounding tissues for 1-7 days. If it increases the irritation in the area, discontinue the medication immediately. If the infection worsens when you are using over-the-counter medications or it does not clear in 1-2 weeks, consult your doctor. Pregnant women should consult a doctor before using these treatments.
Oral Thrush: If you have oral thrush (or oral candidiasis), consult your doctor as it needs prescription medication. Your doctor may prescribe an antifungal agent nystatin (creams, lotions, gel) to be applied in your mouth. Other treatment options for adults include troches (antifungal lozenges) or pills such as fluconazole. It is important to maintain excellent oral hygiene. If you wear dentures, clean them thoroughly after each use. If your child has oral thrush and does not take fluids for longer than 12 hours, consult a doctor immediately. All objects that your child puts in his or her mouth should be sterilised after every use.
Skin and diaper rash: Most skin and diaper rash can be treated with over-the-counter nystatin powders or antifungal (Clotrimazole) creams and lotions to be applied on the superficial skin infections. If the rash worsens when you are using over-the-counter medications, it recurs after treatment or the lesions do not clear in 1-2 weeks, consult a doctor. Keep the affected area clean and dry. For diaper rashes, frequent diaper changes and the use of barrier creams improves response to treatment.
Candida infection in people with weakened immune systems: Any form of candida infection in an immune-compromised person (person with weak immune system) should be treated by a doctor. Unlike candida infection in healthy people, which is superficial and responds well to treatment, candida infection in immune-compromised people can progress rapidly and cause severe infection. If the infection is superficial or mild, it may be treated with medications prescribed by the doctor at home, but more serious infections may need IV medications given at the hospital.
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