Thrush in men can be embarrassing, but it is treatable. This is the same organism that causes vaginal yeast infections in women. Fortunately, this fungus can be treated at home, with a physician consulted in severe cases.
Thrush is caused by a fungus called Candida albicans. It is one of the many normal flora living naturally on the skin, teeth, gingivae, oropharynx, vagina or penis, and large intestine of people without causing any problems. This fungus is typically unable to multiply and cause infection, but sometimes the conditions are right for the fungus to grow out of control and cause thrush. The balance of normal flora can be upset and allow the fungus to grow out of control. Skin that remains warm and moist, medicines like antibiotics and corticosteroids, treatments such as chemotherapy, and the medical conditions of diabetes and HIV are all culprits.
Oral thrush appears as white, curd-like patches and lesions in the month, tongue, and throat. Patches that are brushed away will bleed and be red and painful. Thrush treatment at home can be as simple as eating yogurt with active, live cultures, and taking acidophilus capsules or other probiotics will help to restore the normal flora. In more severe cases, the doctor will prescribe an antifungal throat lozenge or liquid. Avoiding food that contains yeast such as beer, bread, and wine, can also help during this time.
Penile thrush will show as red, sore spots on the head of the penis. There may be a cottage cheese like substance under the foreskin, as well as a yeasty smell accompanied by burning and itching. Sex may be painful and the penis can even appear swollen. Home treatment can include spreading a thin layer of the same antifungal product that women use for vaginal yeast infections over the affected areas.
Even probiotics can help. Adding a cup of vinegar to a warm bath may help to get rid of the infection. For severe cases, consult a physician who may prescribe an antifungal pill. It is important to know that sometimes other infections may appear to look like thrush. Once it is cured, a reoccurrence can be avoided by keeping the genitals clean and dry, especially under the foreskin. Wearing loose fitting underwear will help air out the area so that the fungus has less chance to grow in the warm, moist environment.
Thrush treatment for men is available. Do not let this opportunistic organism find an opportunity to grow and spread. By following some of the tips above, this fungus can be kept under control.