Yeast infection is caused by the Candida Albicans yeast fungi, which are naturally present in the mouth and the skin. These fungi are usually kept in control by the good bacteria that coexist with them. However, if a man has a weak immune system, or uses antibiotics and corticosteroids frequently, the beneficial bacteria may not be enough to keep the yeast fungi in check. The most common yeast infections among men are those that occur in the mouth (oral thrush) and on the penis (penile thrush). Both types of yeast infection can cause discomfort and sometimes pain but they can easily be treated.
Common Symptoms of Oral Thrush in Men
Thrush may appear in the oral cavities as white spots on the tongue or on the lips. There may be some lesions on the inside of the cheeks that may bleed if you try to rub them. Oral thrush can also appear as cracks on the mouth. In severe cases, it may affect the taste buds and may spread to the throat and the esophagus.
For some men whose taste buds are affected, a lowered appetite may result, which can cause other problems. Ulcers in the esophagus may also result once the esophagus gets infected.
Common Symptoms of Penile Thrush in Men
When thrush appears on the penis, the head of the penis will look red and inflamed. There may be some discharge coming out of the penis which has an unpleasant odor. The area around the penis may sometimes appear scaly and white. This condition occurs more often among uncircumcised men, who may have a build up of discharge around their foreskin which has the consistency of cottage cheese.
Treatments for Oral and Penile Thrush in Men
The most common treatments given by doctors for oral thrush in men are anti-fungal medications such as lozenges or tablets and some oral suspensions for thrush that has reached the throat and the esophagus.
Penile thrush in men can cause itchiness, discomfort and pain. A man may pass on this infection to his sexual partner, so the best treatment is prevention through safe sex, by using condoms. Proper hygiene is also essential in preventing the spread of the infection. Men who are uncircumcised should take more time to clean under their foreskins.
A balanced diet with plenty of vegetables and fruits is recommended for men who have oral and penile thrush. This can be done by avoiding foods that are high in yeast and sugar content, and replacing these with vegetables that are high in vitamins and minerals. A good dose of probiotics (good bacteria) could also help minimize the overgrowth of the Candida Albicans fungi in the body. A stronger immune system is also necessary to build a defense against all infections, and this can be achieved by eating the right foods, exercising regularly, drinking plenty of water and getting enough sleep.