Yeast infections are not just something that affects women, men can get them as well. This is because yeast is a fungus that is naturally occurring in the body. It is found in the intestines and in the skin. In fact, there are about one billion yeast cells that live in every square inch of the vagina. Men can get yeast infections as well, but this is less common.
The body's defense system usually keeps the yeast in check. It is only when this system has a breakdown that yeast can grow out of control. There are some risk factors that can make men more susceptible to yeast infections. Among these risk factors are diabetes, obesity, and the use of certain medications.
A common cause of yeast infections in men is the wearing of tight and restrictive clothing. This can make the genital area damp. A moist environment is a perfect place for yeast to grow.
Men can get a yeast infection in the mouth, which is also known as oral thrush or oral candidiasis. This can occur if the man is taking antibiotics. Antibiotics kill off the good bacteria in the body, as well as the bad. Good bacteria keep yeast in check. Without it, yeast can grow out of control. This is not only a problem for men but for women as well.
Keep reading to learn more about penile yeast infections, and how you can treat them.
Penis Yeast Infections: What Are They?
Yeast infections are caused by an overgrowth of the yeast known as candida. This is the same yeast that is found in the body. The difference is that with yeast infections, there are too many of these organisms growing.
There are several names that can be used to refer to a yeast infection on the penis. These include balanitis, candidal balanitis, and penile thrush. However, they are all caused by the same yeast.
This fungus can colonize the penis, causing it to become itchy and red. Yeast infections are generally ill-smelling, and they tend to feel a bit moist. This is because the yeast actually secretes a bit of fluid.
Yeast feeds on sugars. If your diet is full of sugar, it can encourage the growth of yeast. Yeast is also found in the mouth, which means that if you have a yeast problem in your mouth, it can spread to your penis and cause a yeast infection.
How Can You Get A Yeast Infection In Your Penis?
As mentioned above, a yeast infection on the penis can be caused by the spread of yeast from the mouth. However, there are other causes as well.
Crotch yeast infections are more likely to occur in men who wear tight clothing, such as briefs or jockey shorts. This can cause the genital area to become moist, which causes the yeast to grow.
Yeast infections in the penis can also be caused by the use of antibiotics. Antibiotics kill off the good bacteria in the body, which allows the yeast to thrive.
Men who have diabetes or who are obese are more likely to get a yeast infection in the penis. This is because the body's immune system is weaker in these men.
The Symptoms of Penile Yeast Infection
The symptoms of a yeast infection in men are the same as what women go through. These include itching, burning, pain, redness, and swelling of the head of the penis. The infected area might also be covered with white cottage cheese-like discharge. These symptoms are often confused with Smegma. Smegma is a thick, white substance that is meant to protect the head of the penis from germs. This thick substance is usually found under the foreskin.
Symptoms May Include:
- Painful urination
How To Know if You Have a Penile Yeast Infection
There are a few ways to know if you have a yeast infection. The most common symptom of a yeast infection is itching. This is because the yeast infection causes the skin to swell and become inflamed. The affected area will be red and may have small bumps, called papules. These bumps are itchy, and they can burn and sting. They may also produce a white or yellow discharge.
There are also some other symptoms that may occur, including:
- Pain during urination
- A burning sensation during urination
- Burning in the area of the infection
- A thick curd-like discharge that smells fishy
- Burning or itchy skin
- A rash or redness
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- A thick white discharge from the penis
- Pain or itching around the opening of the penis
What Causes a Penis Yeast Infection?
These infections are not caused by poor hygiene, but by the overgrowth of a fungus called Candida albicans. The Candida albicans fungus is normally found in the vagina and the mouth. It is a naturally occurring fungus, which means that the body needs it to survive. However, sometimes the yeast can grow out of control. This is called candidiasis, and it can occur if you are taking antibiotics, or if you are on steroids. It can also occur if you are taking any type of hormone therapy.
Other Causes Include:
- Taking antibiotics
- Taking hormones
- An immune system that is already weakened
- Having a high sugar intake
- Having a low immune system
- Having high-stress levels
What Puts You at Risk of Developing a Penile Yeast Infection?
The primary risk factor for developing a yeast infection is having an impaired immune system. This can be caused by stress, a poor diet, and diabetes. Yeast infections are more common in men that have diabetes because the sugar in their urine stimulates the growth of the fungus. Other risk factors include the use of antibiotics, steroids, and anti-seizure medications, having a condition that decreases blood flow to the penis, such as diabetes and heart disease and being overweight.
You may also be more likely to develop a yeast infection if you are taking medications that suppress your immune system or if you are not circumcised. These include:
- Cancer chemotherapy medications
- High doses of corticosteroids
- Radiation therapy for testicular cancer
How To Treat a Penile Yeast Infection
Yeast infections can be treated with either topical or oral medications. This will depend on the severity of the infection. If you have a mild infection, you may be able to treat it with some over-the-counter antifungal cream or ointment.
If your infection is more severe, you may need to see a doctor. The doctor will prescribe an oral anti-fungal medication such as fluconazole or itraconazole. These medications are typically taken for one to two weeks.
Even after you have been treated, you may have to continue to use anti-fungal creams or ointments to keep the symptoms away. This is because the yeast could still be present in the body.
Preventing a Yeast Infection
If you know you are prone to yeast infections, you should take steps to prevent them. For example, you may have to change your diet. You may need to avoid sugar and yeast.
If you are a man and are prone to yeast infections, you may want to use a condom. This is because the condom protects your penis from outside irritants.
If you have diabetes, make sure that you're using a sugar-free lubricant. If you do use a lubricant, you should apply it to the areas of your body that are affected by yeast, not to the penis.
You should also take a bath or shower every day. This will remove sweat and other irritants from your skin.
You should also make sure that you're wearing loose-fitting clothing. This will help keep the affected area dry and help to prevent irritation.
Treatment is not always necessary for a yeast infection. However, if you are having severe symptoms, it is best to see a doctor. The doctor may prescribe an oral antifungal medication that you take for one to two weeks. You can also treat it yourself with over-the-counter antifungal creams or ointments.
A yeast infection is a common condition. It can be irritating and uncomfortable, but it can generally be treated easily. If you think that you have a yeast infection, you should see a doctor to determine the best treatment for you. If you have a mild infection, you may be able to treat it with some over-the-counter antifungal cream or ointments.
This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical or other professional advice. Your specific circumstances should be discussed with a healthcare provider. All statements of opinion represent the writers' judgement at the time of publication and are subject to change. Phoenix and its affiliates provide no express or implied endorsements of third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products, or services.