Yeast infection is a type of fungal infection that is more significant among women, and preventive measures in lifestyle would be best to adapt to prevent these infections. A regular practice to reduce and prevent the risk of vaginal yeast infections is to wear loose cotton underwear. Other things to avoid are tight fitting pantyhose, douching – which removes some of the normal bacteria in the vagina that prevent infection, scented feminine products, hot tubs and hot baths, and staying in wet clothes like a swimsuit and workout attire for long periods of time.
Usage of antibiotics for the common cold or other viral infections should be monitored to keep yeast infections at bay. Also, it is best to keep clean and dry all body folds that do not get much exposure and allow air flow whenever possible by wearing loose clothes, for instance, when not at work. This prevents the buildup of moisture in the joints and folds, which are areas for bacteria to breed.
When to consult a doctor
Medication is effective for treating vaginal yeast infections, but a longer treatment course or maintenance plan is needed if the infection is recurrent, say four or more times a year. It is best to get an appointment with the doctor in the following cases:
- When over-the-counter antifungal creams do not relieve the symptoms.
- If it is the first time that one has this type of infection.
- If one is unsure about an infection or other symptoms that have developed over a period of time.
- Other conditions and symptoms are extensive redness, swelling, and itching that leads to tears, cracks, or sores.
- If the infection is caused by a less typical type of fungus.
- Uncontrolled diabetes.
- Weakened immune system due to medications or other conditions like HIV infection.
- Yeast infections can usually be cured easily in a few days with antifungal medicines.
- Mouth and throat infections can also be treated with antifungal medication. Oral infections usually respond well to topical treatments, or a systemic antifungal medication may be needed.
- Infections in the skin fold typically respond well to topical antifungal treatments like Nystatin or Miconazole.
- Systemic treatment with antifungal by mouth is used in severe cases or when the topical therapy treatments are unsuccessful.
- A one-time dose of Fluconazole could be 90% effective for alleviating the symptoms of vaginal yeast infection. For severe nonrecurring cases, several doses of Fluconazole is recommended.
- Local or over-the-counter treatment may include vaginal suppositories or medicated douches.
All yeast infection pills require a proper prescription from a doctor, and one should complete the course by following the directions even if the symptoms go away before the prescribed dosage is completed. Medicated creams for yeast infections like Monistat® are available over the counter at stores.