How to get rid of a yeast infection
Apple cider vinegar
Candida commonly known as yeast infection is caused by group of fungi called Candida albican. They generally affect the vagina but may also develop under the breasts, nails bed, lower abdomen, around dentures and beneath skin folds. Pregnancy, chronic health conditions, stress, steroids, antibiotics, diabetes and contraceptives may increase the risk of getting the yeast infection.
Some signs are burning, itching, swelling, and feeling pain in the vagina during sex, when urinating experiencing burning sensation and vaginal discharge that is odorless. Candida albicans are considered as a part of normal vaginal flora however their overgrowth may cause yeast infection. These symptoms can be managed with the help of over the counter creams. Within a couple of days, they respond to the treatment if the condition is uncomplicated.
However, if the symptoms get worse then contact the doctor. Other species of Candida may also cause infection such as Candida glabrata, Candida krusei, Candida parapsilosis and Candida tropicalis.
Generally, the infection caused by Candida albicans is easy to treat. There are many over the counter medications available to treat vaginal yeast infections. These medications are available in the form of antifungal cream, tablet, ointment, suppository or medicated tampon. They belong to the azole drugs – which is a class of antifungal drugs. They include clotrimazole, fluconazole, terconazole, miconazole, tioconazole, butoconazole. These medications are given along with other drugs which help relieve the symptoms. Side effects of these medications are generally mild. While using creams and suppositories do not use tampons, diaphragms and condoms. Pregnant women should avoid fluconazole.
Some species of Candida are resistant to first line drugs. Azole drugs work best against C. albicans, and also other resistant Candida species. C krusei is completely resistant to fluconazole and C. glabrata strains are far less susceptible to the drug than C albicans. Nystatin may be prescribed to treat non – albicans yeast infections. It is available in the form of vaginal cream, and tablet. It should be applied or taken for 14 days.
Nystatin- it is an anti fungal agent naturally occurring, it is derived form the filamentous bacteria and is most widely used. Since it is not easily absorbed by the body hence it is extremely safe. But due to this, infections that are entrenched in the digestive system lining cannot be eradicated by these medicines. But up to one extent nystatin is able to reduce the symptoms of yeast infections. It can be used for at the most for two weeks.
Azole drugs- these drugs are mostly used to treat vaginal yeast infections and also chronic Candida. But they do have certain side effects. The azole drugs ketoconazole, itraconazole and fluconazole get completely absorbed in the digestive system. It may damage the liver and kidney. People with chronic or systemic fungal infection can use it but at a greater risk. Fluconazole and itraconazole are found to be safer.
Fluconazole (Diflucan) is used to treat chronic systemic Candida albicans, Candida tropicalis and Candid parapsilosis. Itraconazole (sporanoz) is used to treat skin and nail infections. Mostly combination of azole and nystatin drugs is prescribed. Good results can be achieved due to the combination of both drugs.
Another newer class of medicine is voriconazole. It is available in tablet form effective against Candida albicans, Candida lusitaniae, Candida parapsilosis and Candida tropicalis.
Another medicine posaconazole is available in liquid form. It is effective against Candida krusei and Candida glabrata.
Enchinocandins- they are not azole drugs. They cause cell death by affecting the biofilm and cell wall of the yeast. Their mechanism is same as that of coconut oil. They are effective against Candida krusei and Candida glabrata. The medication in this class of drugs includes anidulafungin, caspofungin and micafungin. All these are administered via IV.
Polyene antifungal- they are used for fungal infections that are life threatening. They are given intravenously. One such is amphotericin B. Sometimes on a stool test results rhodotorula yeast can be seen, for such polyene antifungal can be used as drug of choice. Even for other Candida species it is effective except Candida lusitaniae.
Fungal infections of skin, fingernails, toenails and hair can be treated using medicines such as griseofulvin, FULVICIN-UF, GRIS-PEG. Another medicine is lamisil. It is used to treat yeast infections on the skin. Another topical medicine is Mycelex which is also used to treat yeast infections on the skin.
Some may be prescribed douching in case of vaginal yeast infection or an oral rinse for thrush.
Over the counter creams- some topical preparations are available such as Monistat and Gyne-Lotrimin. These are 3 and 7 days’ regime and are very effective.
Prescriptions creams- Gynazole-1 that is available as a single dose cream and terconazole that is available in 3 and 7 days’ regimens are two topical yeast medications. They need prescription. Terconazole is available under the brand name Terazol and Zazole.
Pill or cream?
The yeast infection pill such as fluconazole (diflucan) is the most convenient pill considered than the cream that is applied intravaginally. However, both are effective 90 percent of the times. But still patients consider the oral treatment than applying the cream. Creams are available over the counter and the side effects are usually less and mild whereas the pill may cause side effects such as headache, stomach upset and rash. In addition, a single dose of fluconazole may take more time to relive the symptoms. However, the resistance to this pill is uncommon and the pill is less expensive.
Some people may opt for home remedies. The most effective ones are
- Boric acid suppositories
- Tea tree oil
- Probiotic yogurt and supplements
Yogurt- a good bacteria lactobacillus in yogurt controls the infection growth in our body. Use plain and unsweetened yogurt. Apply it on the affected area on the skin. Leave it for 20 to 30 minutes or over night. In case of vaginal yeast infection, the tampon should be dipped in the yogurt and then inserted in the vagina for two hours. Also yogurt can be included in our diet.
Cranberries- they fight against yeast infections since they have antifungal and antibacterial properties. Drinking unsweetened cranberry juice speeds up the healing process. Cranberry tablets can be taken 2-3 times a day.
Coconut oil- the antifungal properties of coconut oil kills the fungi which causes the infection. On the affected area apply coconut oil externally thrice a day. Also equal proportion of coconut oil and cinnamon oil can be applied on the affected skin area.
Apple cider vinegar- they help to get rid of the fungal infection. In one cup of warm water add two tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and drink twice a day. In hot water bath add some drops of vinegar and for an hour soak your body in this water. It helps lessen the irritation and itching.
Boric acid- it has antifungal properties but not recommended for pregnant women.
Dilute it in water and apply the solution over the skin area that is affected area. Rinse it after few minutes. Repeat this for two weeks.
Garlic- its antifungal properties help in treating any form of yeast infection. Crush few garlic, make a paste and apply it on the affected area. Mix garlic oil in vitamin E and coconut oil and apply it on the affected area. Garlic cloves can be eaten; it helps to treat yeast infections although it may cause bad breath.
If the recurring yeast infection is caused by C albicans then the normal yeast infection treatment will be effective, howsoever if the infection is caused by other species of Candida then treatment such as nystatin may be needed in the form of vaginal cream or tablet or gel that contains flucytosine and amphotericin B. Some women get recurrent yeast infections or chronic yeast infections. The reason is yet not clear but there are several risk factors such as estrogen therapy, diabetes, birth control pills, pregnancy and conditions that affect immune system.