All Your Options for Getting Rid of a Male Yeast Infection Fast

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Yeast infections, though commonly associated with females, can happen in males too. Male yeast infections generally affect the penis and are especially common in men who are uncircumcised.

You can get a penile yeast infection, also known as penile thrush, by having condomless sex with someone who has a vaginal yeast infection. Poor hygiene, being overweight, the overuse of antibiotics, and medical conditions like diabetes and HIV can also contribute.

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This article details the signs and symptoms of a penile yeast infection and explores the various treatment options. It also offers tips on how to avoid this treatable medical condition.

Male Yeast Infection Symptoms

The most common cause of a yeast infection is the fungus Candida. There are over 150 species, with Candida albicans being the most common. Candida is present on the human body but is usually well controlled by the immune system.

A yeast infection, also known as candidiasis, is simply the overgrowth of Candida. This is often due to an impaired immune system.

Symptoms are more common in uncircumcised males, simply because the foreskin provides the ideal, moist environment for the fungus. They include:

  • Genital itchiness
  • Redness and swelling or the foreskin or head of the penis (balanitis)
  • Trouble pulling back the foreskin
  • Cracking or bleeding of the foreskin
  • White, foul-smelling discharge
  • Small rash-like bumps on the penis that may contain pus
  • Pain during urination or sex

When balanitis in uncircumcised men is severe, it can lead to the inability to retract the foreskin (phimosis) or the inability to return the foreskin to its normal position (paraphimosis). Both are medical emergencies.

That said, some people with a penile yeast infection may not have any symptoms at all.

Recap

A penile yeast infection can cause balanitis, the swelling of the foreskin or head of the penis. Genital itching, rash-like bumps, a foul-smelling discharge, and pain during urination or sex are other possible symptoms.

Treatment

Penile yeast infections are commonly treated with topical antifungals. These are medicated creams or ointments that you apply to the skin to kill the fungus. Some are available over the counter while others need a prescription.

Among the topical antifungals your doctor may recommend are:

  • Desenex (miconazole)
  • Lotrimin (clotrimazole)
  • Selezen (imidazole)

These medications are applied to the affected skin and can usually resolve an infection within seven to 21 days. 

If these topical antifungals do not provide relief or you are immunocompromised, your doctor may prescribe an oral antifungal like Diflucan (fluconazole) for seven to 14 days.

You can protect others, and give your body a chance to heal, by avoiding sex until the infection is fully resolved. Having sex with a penile yeast infection may not only transmit the fungus to the vagina but to the anus as well.

Also refrain from masturbation to ensure proper healing.

Recap

Penile yeast infections are commonly treated with topical antifungals that are applied to the penis or foreskin. If these medications fail to resolve the infection, an oral antifungal like Diflucan (fluconazole) may be prescribed.

Prevention

Obesity is linked to an increased risk of yeast infections in men. Maintaining a healthy weight is one way to reduce the risk. Using condoms during sex also helps.

Proper hygiene can also help. This includes washing the penis and foreskin thoroughly with warm water and drying the area thoroughly. Avoid irritating soaps, deodorizers, or perfumed lotions.

Wear breathable underwear to keep the penis and groin dry.

When to See a Doctor

It helps to see a doctor if the symptoms are severe or unusual. If the problem is related to a tight foreskin, circumcision may be recommended. 

If you decide to self treat and OTC treatments don't work, or the yeast infection recurs, it’s important to see a doctor for an evaluation.

There may be an underlying cause for the infection, including undiagnosed diabetes, an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), HIV, or penile cancer.

Summary

Penile yeast infections (a.k.a. penile thrush) are caused by the overgrowth of the fungus Candida albicans. This can lead to redness, swelling, and itching of the penis and foreskin, as well as a foul-smelling discharge and small rash-like bumps. Uncircumcised men are more commonly affected.

Penile yeast infections are usually treated with topical antifungals, though severe cases may require an oral antifungal. Good hygiene, weight loss, and the consistent use of condoms can help reduce your risk of penile thrush.

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