How Candidiasis Is Treated

Candidiasis is a fungal infection caused by a type of yeast called Candida. While Candida is naturally found both on the skin and within the body, it becomes a problem when it overgrows.

There are many species of Candida, but the most common is Candida albicans. Infections involving this type of yeast are quite common, but they are also easily diagnosable and treatable. Infections caused by other strains, however, are more serious.

Candidiasis—or as it’s more commonly known, a yeast infection—can occur in many places in the body, such as the mouth, skin, vagina, and bloodstream.

This infection is usually treated with over-the-counter medications. Prescription medications are also available for persistent infections. People with a weakened immune system may need further medical intervention to properly treat candidiasis.

Doctor and patient looking at a tablet

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Over-the-Counter (OTC) Therapies

Many OTC therapies are available for treating candidiasis, and your treatment will depend on the area affected.

Vagina

Vaginal yeast infections can be treated using medicated creams, tablets, ointments, or suppositories.

Some examples include:

  • Gyne-Lotrimin (clotrimazole)
  • Vagistat (tioconazole)
  • Mycostatin (nystatin)

Skin

Skin infections can be treated using antifungal creams and ointments. While these medications can be prescribed by a doctor, they are also available OTC and include:

  • Clotrimazole
  • Miconazole

It is vital to keep the affected area clean and dry during treatment. This is also helpful for preventing the infection in the first place.

Mouth

When yeast overgrows in the mouth, it’s called thrush. Gentian violet is an option for OTC treatment of thrush. It’s to be applied inside the mouth to cover infected areas. It’s safe for babies and people with compromised immune systems. However, it should not be swallowed, so do use extra caution when using it on a baby or child.

Prescriptions

For persistent or severe candidiasis infections, your doctor may prescribe a prescription medication. Again, the medication needed will depend on the area affected.

Vagina

In the case a prescription will be necessary, a vaginal yeast infection can be treated with a single dose of oral fluconazole, an antifungal medication.

Thrush

Prescription treatment for thrush will be dependent on the severity of your case. Your age, other health factors, and the likelihood for it to spread rapidly will also be taken into consideration.

For mild to moderate thrush cases, your doctor will typically prescribe an antifungal lozenge, mouthwash, or liquid, such as:

  • Mycelex (clotrimazole)
  • Miconazole
  • Mycostatin (nystatin)
  • Diflucan (fluconazole)

Thrush Doctor Discussion Guide

Doctor Discussion Guide Child

Candida Sepsis

Candida sepsis occurs when the Candida yeast infects the bloodstream. For candida sepsis, experts recommend IV medications such as anidulafungin, caspofungin, or micafungin.

Oral or IV fluconazole or voriconazole may be used in patients with normal or low white cell counts who are not critically ill and have no prior treatment with or known resistance to fluconazole or voriconazole.

Prevention

Preventing and understanding the underlying cause of your particular candidiasis infection is vital to prevent an infection from returning. There are a number of ways to keep infections at bay. Again, preventative measures will be dependent on the area affected.

Thrush

Practicing proper oral hygiene is helpful for preventing thrush. This includes brushing your teeth twice daily and flossing once daily. You should also visit your dentist regularly.

People who wear dentures should remove them every night and clean them two or more times a week with white vinegar, chlorhexidine gluconate, or a diluted bleach solution.

Quitting smoking is also imperative. If you’re a smoker, quitting may help prevent thrush.

Skin

Keeping your skin clean and dry is vital to preventing skin yeast infections, particularly in skin folds, since Candida albicans grows best in wet, warm environments.

A Word From Verywell 

If you suspect you have candidiasis, consult your healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and recommended course of treatment. While these infections are generally easily treatable, some cases, such as candida sepsis, can greatly affect your health and wellness.

If you have a weakened immune system, yeast infections can be more difficult to treat and may recur. Talk to your doctor about the best course of action for your specific situation.

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Article Sources
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