Penile yeast infection (informally known as Thrush) is something that is surprisingly common given the fact that the majority of people think that Thrush is something that only affects women. The official name for penile yeast infection is Candidiasis. The name itself actually gives us a clue as to what the condition is all about because the root of word is a derivation of “Candida” which is generic term for a group of yeasts.
Candida is present in most people. It is exists in several areas within the human body where it is kept in balance by good bacteria. The balance is however quite a delicate one, and when it is disturbed it often results in yeast infections, the most common of which is vaginal Thrush in women, and penile Thrush in men.
Penile yeast infection often manifests itself on the head or glans of the penis. Typical symptoms can include:
- Spots or inflammation on the glans
- The skin at the tip of the penis turning red
- The glans becoming itchy and possibly sore
- The glans may begin to swell
- Some discharge may be in evidence
- There may be some mild discomfort during urination
- A thick discharge may accumulate beneath the foreskin
- An unpleasant odor may develop
- Sex may occasion some pain
In terms of the spots or inflammation that some men experience, if left untreated, these can turn into minor lumps.
The most common causes of penis yeast infection are a weakening of the immune system, or a reaction to a course of antibiotics. It can also be contracted through sexual intercourse with a woman suffering from vaginal Thrush. Men who suffer from diabetes, or who have been diagnosed HIV positive, are at greater risk of developing penile Thrush.
Candida flourishes in warm, moist conditions. It is therefore essential to ensure that you dry all parts of your body (it can develop anywhere – not just on the penis), after washing, bathing, or showering. You should also take care if you use perfumed shower gels, as these can cause penile irritation. This will cause minor skin irritation and it is on damaged skin in particular where Candida can more easily get a hold.
We mentioned earlier that discharge can gather under the foreskin. However, if of course one is circumcised that will not be the case. It is also a fact that circumcised males are less likely to contract a penis yeast infection in the first place.
Whilst penile thrush is not a serious condition, once symptoms have been detected you should seek treatment. Treatment is available in several options including over the counter creams and ointments. Athlete’s foot cream may also be used as this contains clotrimazole, important in fighting yeast infections.
Men with a penis yeast infection should inform their sexual partners and refrain from sexual intercourse until the condition has been cured. Ensuring that good personal hygiene is observed is key, and the wearing of loose undergarments will help to keep the genital area aired and dry.