Yeast infections can happen to anyone irrespective of age and gender. Unlike fungal infections that are highly prevalent in the monsoon season, yeast infections can occur in any season. Particularly, women are victimised the most with this annoying infection. If left untreated, yeast infections can worsen over time cause severe skin damage. Experts suggest providing first-aid to these infections if they are mild but if it is causing acute pain and discomfort to you, it is better to visit a doctor for the right treatment. In this article, we will briefly talk about yeast infection causes, types and home remedies to prevent it from spreading & recurring.
Causes and Types of Yeast Infections
When a yeast-like fungus comes in contact with your skin, it causes yeast infection. Yeast infections occur in areas that are folded(such as armpits and breasts), moist and warm. In most cases, ‘candida’ causes infection and it is called candidiasis. This is a common and dangerous infection that mostly attacks the vagina, throat, gut and mouth. It should be addressed immediately or else it can cause damage to your heart and kidneys. Yes, a small infection can lead to major health issues.
Here are different types of yeast infections
- Cutaneous Candidiasis: This infection occurs particularly in between the nails, finger, armpits, toes, around the groin and under breasts. This causes an itchy red rash.
- Diaper Rash: Small babies who wear diapers get this rash which is actually an infection caused by fungi. This happens when babies wear wet diapers for a long time. Parents can identify this infection with red dots and rash around the creases.
- Vaginal yeast infections: This is highly common in women and appears around the vagina. The medical name for this is vulvovaginal candidiasis. Itching, irritation, inflammation are the signs of vaginal infection.
- Oral thrush: This yeast infection typically happens inside the mouth and causes white lesions around the mouth lining, tongue and cheeks. Dryness in the mouth, bad breath, tastelessness and pain while eating or swallowing are some signs of oral thrush.
Natural Remedies To Treat Yeast Infection
If you identify the problem at its initial stage, you can easily control it through natural remedies. However, this may not work for all especially if the infection has worsened. If you are willing to take the natural route to yeast infections treatment, here are some remedial options that you must try.
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a proven remedy for treating infections easily and effectively. It inhibits the growth of fungus that is causing the infection.
- In one cup of water, add one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and mix well.
- Apply this on the infected part using a cotton ball.
- Alternatively, you can take ACV bath by adding one cup of ACV to one bucket of water or bathtub. Soak the infected area of the body in this water for 15 minutes.
NOTE: Always dilute ACV in water before use as it is acidic in nature and may disturb the skin’s pH balance causing destruction of healthy bacteria.
Another acidic compound that can be used to treat yeast infections is boric acid. It has antiseptic and antifungal properties that can cure yeast infections by destroying the infection-causing fungi.
Do you know that coconut oil has antifungal properties? Coconut is found to be effective in combating candida that is the main cause of yeast infections. All you have to do is apply coconut oil to the affected area multiple times a day. This would help in healing from the infection as well as relieving itching and redness. Coconut oil also moisturises dry skin.
Cranberry juice is effective in combating urinary tract infections. Probably this is why it can also aid yeast infection particularly vaginal yeast infection. Women who are dealing with this issue must consume cranberry juice as it helps in restoring pH balance and eliminating the bacteria. Cranberry pills are also available in case you want to have them in place of cranberry juice. But ask your doctor before doing so. Know its dosage and other important information before taking the pills.
This is another home remedy and rather food for yeast infection control. Yes, consuming garlic is very important if you are dealing with yeast infections. You can also use garlic oil topically but this is not a certified remedy like garlic consumption. You can mix a drop of garlic oil with one tablespoon of coconut oil and apply it to the infected area. Garlic has antifungal properties that can fight the candida bacteria and relieve symptoms of yeast infection.
This is not really a natural remedy but indeed an effective solution for yeast infections. Hydrogen peroxide has antiseptic and antifungal properties that can kill yeast and fungi.
Dilute hydrogen peroxide in water and then apply it on the infected skin using cotton. Keep it for 15-20 minutes and then wash it off with water. Do not use it in excess as it can alter the natural pH of the skin.
We know oregano as a seasoning but oregano oil is derived from the herb. It is shown to inhibit the infection-causing bacteria if applied topically. Just mix a small part of oregano oil to a carrier oil preferably coconut oil and olive oil. Now apply this on the infected skin gently using a cotton ball.
Probiotics not only aid weight loss but also help in inhibiting the growth of bad bacteria and fungi. Probiotics promote good bacteria buildup to counteract the infection. Women, who deal with vaginal issues and other intimate infections must consume probiotics. There are several probiotic foods, drinks and even supplements that you can have on a daily basis.
We just talked about the effectiveness of probiotics in aiding yeast infections. Yogurt is one of the best probiotic food. It has live cultures to defend the skin against bacteria and fungi. Yogurt has Lactobacillus acidophilus which is a potent probiotic culture that inhibits yeast growth thereby relieving the infection. Consuming yogurt daily is advised that too plain and unsweetened yogurt. However, some women with vaginal infections also insert yogurt using a tampon. But we would suggest consulting a doctor about this.
Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is an essential oil that is widely used in treating skin infections. It can also come in handy in treating yeast infections. It has got amazing antibiotic, antiseptic, antifungal properties that can kill the yeast by destroying its membranes. There are several studies that found vaginal products with tea tree oil are effective in preventing vaginal infections and promoting intimate health.
To use, mix two drops of tea tree oil with one teaspoon of coconut oil or olive oil.
Apply this on the yeast infection area and leave it for at least 20-30 minutes before washing it off. This would be the best treatment to inhibit candida then and there.
Yeast infections are very common and it is easy to treat them without needing medications. One can get rid of the infection within a couple of days by trying these natural remedies. However, if the infection has become severe and you have got it around the intimate area, it is suggested that you see a doctor before taking up any remedy to prevent any complication.
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