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Candidiasis (thrush) is a fungal infection caused by yeasts that belong to the genus Candida. There are many species of Candida yeasts that can cause infection in humans, the most common of which is Candida albicans.
Candidiasis genital infection is much more common in women than men, but when it does occur in males, candidiasis affects the head of the penis (the “glans penis,” informally referred to as the helmet) and the foreskin, if present (the “prepuce”).
The rash is also known as yeast infection, thrush, Candida, candida balanitis, candidiasis and moniliasis.
“Jock itch” does not refer to male thrush. Rather, this is an informal name for a different type of intimate fungal infection in men. Medically termed tinea cruris, jock itch affects the skin around the genitals, a groin infection that is caused by different fungi – Trichophyton or Epidermophyton.
Fast Facts on Thrush in Men
Here are some key points about male candidiasis.
Candidiasis is caused by a yeast fungus, Candida. The first description of the microorganism behind the infection was made over 170 years ago, in 1839, by a 29-year-old university lecturer called Bernhard von Langenbeck. He went on to become one of the most prominent surgeons of the 19th century.
Candida albicans, the thrush yeast. Left: in harmless cell form; Right: in disease-causing form with cells producing hyphae that penetrate tissue. Courtesy: Jim Deacon, The University of Edinburgh
Dr von Langenbeck described the species of fungus Candida albicans. This is the Candida yeast that is most commonly found in candidiasis although other species can also be involved in the fungal infection (Candida glabrata, for example).
Candida fungi are found naturally inside the body and on the skin – it is normal for the microbe to be there. Every human being is colonized by the fungus – but at levels that do not usually cause problems. There is evidence of yeast on the penis in up to a fifth of men who do not have any signs or symptoms of balanitis.
Candida albicans causes problems only under certain conditions that allow it to thrive and grow to numbers that result in candidiasis with the fungal cells producing hyphae, structures that penetrate the tissue.
Our immune system and natural ecology of bacteria normally keep the fungal population in check, but if this balance is disturbed, the fungus can thrive. An example of this is commonly seen with newborn babies that can be affected by thrush while they develop a balanced microbial flora.
Men’s sex performance can be affected by erection and ejaculation problems, collectively known as male sexual dysfunction.The following risk factors make candidiasis more likely:
While genital candidiasis in men – candidal balanitis – is generally sexually acquired, it is not classed a sexually transmitted infection (STI or STD) because it can be present in men who are not in a sexual relationship.
Men who have a female partner with a genital yeast infection (termed Volvo vaginal candidiasis in women) do not need to seek treatment themselves unless they also get symptoms, since sex does not necessarily result in transmission of the fungal infection to men.
Men are recommended to avoid unprotected sex with a female partner until the woman’s infection has cleared up after treatment.
Most Candida infestation is asymptomatic.
Men with genital candidiasis may experience an itchy rash on the penis.The online skin disease atlas Derm net has a collection of pictures showing a range of example rashes on the penis caused by Candida.
Men with genital candidiasis may experience:
Around the head of the penis:
HOME REMEDIES FOR CANDIDA IN MEN
Garlic has a number of sulfur-containing compounds that give it natural anti fungal properties that help fight Candida infections.
Coconut oil works as an effective remedy for candidiasis due to its medium-chain fatty acids like lauric, caprylic and capric acid.
Studies show that these saturated fats have antimicrobial properties that help kill Candida fungi without leading to the development of strains of Candida that are more resistant to other antifungal treatments.
The probiotics present in yogurt, especially yogurt with live cultures, are helpful in fighting off candidiasis or yeast infection. The Lactobacillus acidophilus culture, in particular, keeps Candida yeast in check by producing lactic acid.
Tea tree oil is another effective natural cure for candidiasis as it has antifungal and antibacterial properties.
Oregano oil contains a compound called carvacrol that has been found to inhibit growth of Candida yeast. Scientific studies also found that the oil’s anti fungal and antimicrobial agents can be effective in treating as well as preventing candidiasis.
When purchasing oil of oregano, look for a product that does not contain alcohol and has a high level of carvacrol.
Apple cider vinegar is also considered beneficial for treating Candida infections as it helps restore your body’s natural pH balance.
It is also rich in enzymes that help regulate the presence of Candida. It creates an unfavorable environment for the fungi and encourages healthy gut bacteria to balance the flora in your intestinal tract.
Olive leaf is a potent destroyer of Candida yeasts and fungi due to its natural anti fungal properties. Plus, it has active ingredients called oleuropein that stimulate the immune system.
When the infection clears, continue to drink a cup or two of olive leaf tea or herbal infusion daily as a preventive measure.
Cranberries contain a compound called arbutin that helps kill Candida albicans.
Cinnamon has been found to be active against Candida albicans due to its antibacterial, anti fungal and anti phrastic properties. Studies also found anticandidal activity when using cinnamon oil against other types of Candida yeast, too.
So, include cinnamon in your regular diet by adding it to your yogurt, sprinkling it on your French toast, or simply having cinnamon tea.
The typical dosage of ground cinnamon bark is one to four grams a day (1 gram of cinnamon is approximately a quarter or one-half teaspoon); the typical dose of cinnamon oil is 0.05 to 0.2 grams daily. Follow this treatment for one or two months.
Black walnut bark contains high levels of tannins that have powerful antifungal and astringent properties. It also has an active ingredient, juglone, which has been found to have moderate antifungal and antibiotic effects. To treat a Candida infection, you can take black walnut extract or capsules according to the directions on the label.
In addition to these remedies, you can help prevent growth or spread of Candida by restricting your intake of foods high in carbohydrates and sugars, which tend to fuel yeast growth in the intestine. Plus, you can take probiotics and probiotic supplements. If the infection does not clear within a few weeks, consult your doctor.
Researched and confirmed by Proficient Muteguya Goodrich.