The fungus that causes candidiasis (more commonly known as a yeast infection) is called Candida albicans. Women with these infections usually experience genital itching or burning, with or without a cottage cheese-like vaginal discharge. Antifungal drugs are the treatment of choice for Candida albicans infections. Proper diagnosis is advised before self-treating with these or any other medications.
Candidiasis, also known as a yeast infection, is a common fungal infection that occurs when there is an overgrowth of the fungus Candida albicans. Candida albicans is always present in the body in small amounts. However, when an imbalance occurs, such as when the normal acidity of the vagina changes or when a person's hormonal balance changes, Candida albicans can multiply. When this happens, symptoms of candidiasis appear.
Women with Candida albicans infections usually experience genital itching or burning, with or without a cottage cheese-like vaginal discharge. Males with genital candidiasis may experience an itchy rash on the penis.
Nearly 75 percent of all adult women will have at least one genital yeast infection in their lifetime. On rare occasions, men may also experience genital candidiasis. Candida albicans infections occur more frequently and more severely in people with weakened immune systems.
There are some other conditions that may put a woman at risk for genital candidiasis, including:
- Diabetes mellitus
- Use of broad-spectrum antibiotics
- Use of corticosteroid medications.