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By Sasha de Beausset Aparicio, MSc

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What Is Candidiasis

Candidiasis is an infection which takes place when the fungus Candida starts to spread more than normal throughout the body. This fungus is normally living inside the body at a very low rate, and it can spread under certain conditions.

Three types of infection were classified, depending on the place of eruption: oral, genital, and systemic. It usually spreads through spores, and, in some cases, sexual intercourse. This disease affects a large number of female populations in the case of genital Candidiasis, but men can also be carriers.


The main cause of the fungal infection is a low patient immunity, which makes it hard for the body to fight the newly formed spread and also hold back the already existing fungi present on and in the body. This can happen through improper nourishment, if not all the important nutrients are absorbed, and so the development of a healthy immune system being close to impossible. Previous excessive medication can have the same effect of unbalancing the body’s immunity, or in some cases just previous treatment will lead to the same infection.

Hormonal imbalance is also a major factor for the appearance of this disorder, either from natural or unnatural causes like steroids and other medication based on hormones, which can influence the chemical balance of the body.

Patients can reach a weakened state favorable for the infection even through stress, which puts the body into an alert mode, consuming resources that were previously used to immunize the body to fight the uncomfortable state.

In rare cases, diseases that attack the immunity system can lead to this type of infection, or even making it immune to treatment, the fungus not being a high priority for the body in this situation.

In the case of genital Candidiasis, the cause is usually improper use of hygiene products or methods, for example internal vaginal washes or showers, which may appear as a clean method but it leads to unbalancing the vaginal flora, and so killing bacteria and organisms that are beneficial. In rare cases, the fungi spores can be caught from public places with low hygiene, especially bathrooms.

Signs & Symptoms

The symptoms differ according to the area and type of the infection. In the case of oral Candidiasis, an irritation on the inside part of the cheeks and tongue can be observed, which gradually turns into white colored lesions, which can cause bleeding if removed or touched in a way that brakes or scratches their surface, or even blackening of the tongue. This usually leads to temporal taste loss.

Genital Candidiasis starts with the same irritation on the skin in the genital area, followed by an itching sensation, and later white secretions that vary in viscosity and can have unpleasant odors, depending on how far the infection is. Pain is specific, especially when touching and during sexual contact. Swelling of the area affected or around it is common after the early stages, when the infection has spread on the external area of the genital organs. This infection is followed by a burning sensation or even difficulties while urinating.

A very important symptom is fever. If present, medical aid is absolutely necessary, because this indicates a larger infection, which may have or will spread through the body and time is the most important factor in that situation.

Diagnosis Candidiasis

In the early stages any symptom is recommended to be followed by a medical checkup, because every case depends foremost on the immunity system of the patient. The faster you find the disease, the more chances you have of defeating it without complications.

Because the type of fungi can be different and more severe, sometimes a culture analysis is necessary, especially in the cases where the symptoms keep showing up, even after treatment. This is done by taking samples of the secretion or the damaged skin by a specialized medical staff inside a laboratory.

Treatment for Candidiasis

If there are no severe symptoms, the patient can medicate at home with the aid of a pharmacologist. Usually, the medication is consistent of anti-fungal pills, and other substances that strengthen the immune system. Special creams can also be used for the external part of the infection, and some even for the oral treatment of the disease, depending on the severity of the case.

Hygiene is extremely important during treatment, the affected area has to be clean and dry most of the time, and the clothes need to be disinfected and from a fabric that is not in any way harmful for the skin and the recovery conditions needed.

The most common practice is usage of antibiotics, but this must be done under the supervision or with the dosage given by a doctor, the treatment is specific to every patient, depending on many personal factors that can be determined only by a specialist. Any mistake can turn a regular infection into a systemic one which can be fatal.

Preemptive treatment is effective in any stage of the disease as it is for people who are not afflicted by it. It is very important that every person knows how healthy their bodies are, what their strengths and weaknesses are, so that proper nourishment is sustained. Changes in stressful work or life environments are recommended as much as possible; a balanced emotional life helps the development and sustainability of the human body.

A healthy sexual life can be considered treatment; usage of condoms is a plus, especially in the case of sexual transmitted diseases that can lead to the infections. Internal tampons are not recommended, especially during the recovery, because they can damage the newly formed tissue and mucus necessary to stabilize the affected area.
In the case of oral Candidiasis, gargle using salted water or other products with similar effect is recommended, due to the fact that it disinfects the area; it treats it without too much physical stress on the tongue and surrounding area, which could otherwise damage the tissue. The disease usually lasts one week or ten days during treatment. If after this period the symptoms still reoccur, further medical analysis is necessary.