What Causes Yeast Infection (Candida Albicans) and How to Treat It?

Candida albicans, also called yeast, along with a few other types of bacteria are normally present in relatively small numbers in the crotch (groins). Sometimes, the yeast multiplies rapidly and take over, causing a full-fledged yeast infection, also known as candidiasis or moniliasis. This can be due to a change in the skin environment, injury, sexual transmission, or HIV.

Factors Supporting Growth of Yeast

Common environmental changes that favor yeast growth includes increased pH, increased heat and moisture, allergic reactions, elevated sugar levels, hormonal fluxes, and reductions in the populations of bacteria that are normally present.

These can generally be traced to a few categories of culprits:

  1. Antibiotics are probably the leading cause of yeast infections. Say you take an antibiotic to cure your sinus infection. The antibiotic kills the unwanted bacteria in your sinuses, but can also kill the “good” bacteria in your crotch, upsetting the balance of your local ecosystem, allowing the yeast to take over. (antibacterial deodorant soap can have the same effect.)
  2. Clothing: Crotch yeast flourish in non-cotton, tight, or dirty clothes that trap heat and moisture. Use unbleached, undyed cotton underwear and breathable clothes. It’s a good idea to change the underpants regularly, like maybe once a day. If at all possible, don’t sleep in underwear; if you do, put on clean stuff. Yeast can live in the underwear, so be sure to wash it well, particularly during and after a yeast infection.
  3. Chemicals, such as inks, dyes, and perfumes, can upset the balance in the crotch or trigger allergic reactions that lead to yeast infections. You should never soap your crotch. There are other, less obvious sources of nasty chemicals, for example, colored, perfumed toilet papers. If you think that’s a problem, try an unscented, undyed toilet paper, like Scott. Even better, use a recycled, unbleached eco brand. Similarly, some laundry detergents and fabric softeners have allergenic dyes and perfumes. Try an eco brand, or something like Arm & Hammer fragrance free detergent.
  4. Condoms can promote yeast infections in two different ways. First, a lot of condoms come packaged with a lubricant that contains nonoxynol-9, a spermicide. Nonoxynol-9 is linked to yeast infections. If you suspect this is a problem, try using a condom that doesn’t have a spermicidal lubricant, and use a different spermicide or additional barrier protection. Condoms can also cause yeast infections if one is allergic to latex, although this is less common. If this is the case, try some of the newer plastic (polyurethane) condoms.
  5. Steroids used in the treatment of disorders like arthritis, asthma, or lupus can contribute to yeast infections. Diseases such as diabetes also make the person prone to yeast infection.
  6. Sexual transmission: Candida can be transmitted between people by direct contact. If you or your lover has an active infection you should be extra-careful to follow the safer sex guidelines: wash your hands or change your gloves in between touching your own crotch and your partner’s. It’s not uncommon for a yeast-infected woman who has unprotected sex with a man to infect her lover, treat her own infection, and then get reinfected next time she has sex with him. If you think your male lover might have a yeast infection, get him some treatment, and practice safe sex at least until both of you are sure that your infections are gone.
  7. Weakened immune system: Person with compromised immune systems due to HIV or Lyme disease are extremely prone to suffering from yeast infections. In addition to the yeast infections, such people are particularly susceptible to thrush, a yeast infection of the throat, or esophageal yeast infections.

Medical Treatment

  1. There are many over-the-counter anti-fungal treatments available (e.g. monistat, terazol etc). These can be applied twice daily on the affected part for at least a week.
  2. Keep the area clean and dry.
  3. Wear loose cotton innerwears.

Medical Advice (Q&As) on “What Causes Yeast Infection (Candida Albicans)?

  1. Elona

    I have small pimples around the lips of my vagina and inside it. White discharge comes out and it’s itchy, painful when I touch it and I think it’s swollen and I have continuous headaches. I’m only 14 years and I haven’t told anyone and I am afraid to go see the doctor. Please help me heal it myself.

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Sounds like a candida infection. You need to keep the area clean and dry. Wear loose cotton underwear only. Start applying an anti fungal cream (clotrimazole/ monistat, both are available over the counter) liberally over the affected area.

      Apply the medicine thrice a day, including once at bedtime, when you can allow the medicine to stay over the affected area for some while.

      The treatment should respond within 2 to 3 days. Continue applying the cream for a week.

      If you do not feel any relief, oral anti fungal medication would be required. Read above on vaginal candidiasis.

      Reply
  2. melida

    I have dark spots on my butt. I think it’s acne scars but I have also been seeing that it has scabs, what can I do to treat this?

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      They are very likely to be acne scars. Do they itch or give any other symptom?

      Just keep the area clean and dry. Scars like this gradually shrink by themselves in due course of time.

      Scabbing is exfoliation of the outer most skin layer. Newer skin from beneath would slowly replace the older one, which would exfoliate, giving you cleaner buttocks.

      Reply
  3. Anonymous

    I am 20yrs, I do suffer tonsils often due to cold and after taking a lot of antibiotics I discovered that I had the growth of yeast in my vaginal area. I was treated and it got cured. Later I have discovered that I have a black tiny pimple and I had popped it. What came out of it is blood what can it be, I have never done the sex.

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Firstly, treat your vaginal yeast infection promptly. Read above in details about managing it.

      Since it is already popped, the pimple is likely to heal by itself. You just need to keep the area clean and dry.

      As far as your tonsils are concerned, you may have to get them excised out surgically. Discuss this with your doctor.

      It is not proper to take too much of antibiotics. Make a habit of maintaining good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth twice a day, including once at bedtime. Rinse your mouth adequately and gargle your throat everyday. This would reduce the frequency of infection in your tonsils.

      Reply
    2. Barbs

      I have sticky and whitish discharges which is excessive and itching there. I took amoksiclav tablet and flagyl. Now the itching has stop but the discharges are still coming. Sometimes I experience fowl smell discharges right after coitus. Please what is the problem

      Reply
  4. lilia

    I have what looks like a pimple. It’s red only. But it hurts so much. It’s in my vulva area. Is this normal or I may have a STD? I also have itching discharge. What looks like cottage cheese, burning. I started treating my self with monistat thinking it was an yeast infection but after 48 hrs I felt something. What is found out is red like a pimple. I’m on a 3 day treatment, this is my 2nd night. I’m going to see a Doctor tomorrow but I will like to know sooner. I’m so scared.

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      If you are sexually active, it is better to get yourself checked up and screened for the presence of any STD.

      This does sound like vaginal candidiasis. You may continue using monistat. Keep yourself clean and dry. Read above in details.

      Reply
  5. Charleen

    I recently had a bladder infection and thrush which came all at once and I bought over the counter drugs. During the last day of the cream treatment for thrush, I discovered the pimples so I used the same cream on it as well. It is now very red and burning. How do I treat this? I’ve had a pap smear 3 months ago and all is well.
    My last HIV test was 2 years ago and I’ve had a check done for sexually transmitted diseases 5 years ago. All clean. My husband and I have been together for 10 years.

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      The skin and mucosa of the vaginal canal may have got irritated due to the infection. This irritation is likely to have manifested in the form of pimples.

      Stop using the anti fungal medication. Just keep the area clean and dry. Wash it daily with plain water. Dab dry it. Wear loose cotton underwear to keep the area well ventilated.

      You may apply a mild anti inflammatory cream, like 1% hydrocortisone cream, over the affected area for relief. Apply it twice daily for a week.

      Also, try including a bowl of home made curd in each of your major meals. Curd is a natural probiotic, and would help you to regain your normal vaginal flora and pH.

      Reply
  6. Leveen lawrence

    I am having itch in the vagina and it seem like blemishes. Only in the area where the bumps are itches. I wanna know if I can home treat it.

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      This may be some yeast infection. Do you have any discharge from the vagina? Any redness or swelling down there?

      Reply
  7. Ema

    I’m 16. My inner labia is red and I could see tiny blisters or pimples there. It has turned red, it is itching and there is a burning sensation while urinating. What could be this and please suggest me a way to cure it.

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      This may be an yeast infection. Is there any discharge from the vagina, curdy secretions or any smell from there?

      You need to keep the area clean and dry. Wash the area daily with plain water, no soaps. Wear loose cotton underwear only.

      An anti fungal cream (Candid) may be started. Apply it liberally down there over the affected area, twice daily for a week.

      Reply
      1. ema

        I have not seen any discharges as you told, but it’s really itching. What should I do to stop this itching? Will using candid on my labia minora have any side effects or problems?

        Reply
        1. ema

          Dr. it’s me….EMA again. I noticed something whitish like substance under the labia minora in my vagina. I’m very scared. Don’t no what should I do. Please help me. Will I be OK. Rite now, I’m very stressed. Please tell me what should I do.

          Reply
          1. Buddy M.D. Post author

            As suspected earlier, this is an yeast infection. Nothing to worry. Just start using candid as soon as possible.

            You also require to insert the ointment into the vaginal canal. An applicator is usually provided with the cream. You may use it for insertion.

        2. Buddy M.D. Post author

          Appears to be a fungal infection. Keep using candid ointment. This ointment in available to be used in the vaginal area by the name canestan etc. You may buy that one.

          As the fungus goes, the itchiness will subside.

          Reply
  8. d

    I woke up one night with horrible itching sensation in and around my vagina and now after two days of it I have pimple like formation which is gradually spreading and itches like hell. Also, there is some pus like formation in the pimples. Please help.

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Appears to be an infection, likely to be fungal. You need medications as soon as possible.

      Look for over-the-counter anti-fungal treatments or see a doctor for examination. Read above.

      Reply
  9. Vivian

    I am a virgin and am 19. The mouth of vagina is itching and notice some red injury. Am not really sure if it’s pimple. I have used mycotin and it’s back. And sometime inside the lips do itches.

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      This is likely to be a fungal infection. You may continue with what you have used, or buy monistat ointment from the market.

      Apply it liberally over the affected area. Also, wear loose cotton underwear, assuring that it is clean and dry down there.

      Reply
  10. Clarisse

    Hey, I have a problem with an yeast infection that never left. I have had for some years now and my Doctors only prescribe Fluconazole 150mg x2 but it never works. I get burning sensations and itching on the outside of my vagina (not the labia or vulva). I also have mild thrush. I have seen plenty doctors, tried to eat a balanced diet as well as incorporate yogurt and Probiotics in my diet but nothing seems to work. Please help me.

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Are you taking any medicine on a regular basis, like antibiotics etc.?

      There are some factors that may contribute to recurrent or prolonged fungal infections down there. These include diabetes, prolonged courses of antibiotics, poor nutrition etc.

      For now, you need anti fungal therapy. Another oral course of medicines is not required. You may buy an anti fungal ointment, like candid-V from the market.

      Apply it twice daily over the affected area in your groin. With the help of the applicator provided, insert the ointment into the vaginal canal at bedtime.

      Do this for a week to see results.

      Take care of your nutrition. Have plenty of fruits and vegetables. Include yogurt in each meal. Limit your intake of sweets.

      Reply
      1. Clarisse

        Hey, I take antibiotics once on a yearly basis mostly when I get sick. I do eat a balanced diet with fruits and veggies. I also take yogurt but the kind my country sells have sugar even if it is supposed to be the “plain” yogurt. I will try to get a fungal ointment, my country doesn’t have the Candida V. I am sorry but I still have my hymen and I am not sure I can get it up my canal. Do you agree with the use of Garlic and other herbal remedies? Also, I heard that yeasts love sugar but how do I escape rice, bread, cheese and starch in general that turns into sugar during digestion? Do you think I need to go on a sugar free diet? UPDATE:: Although I’ve had the vaginal yeast problem and mild itch and thrush, I’ve soaked myself in 8 8oz glasses of lukewarm water and 3 tablespoons of vinegar for 5 minutes for 3 days last week. Since Saturday, I’ve seen an increase in yeast flow out and a burning sensation that doesn’t happen when I pee.

        Reply
        1. Buddy M.D. Post author

          It’s alright to have bread, rice or starch in general for your meal. They do get converted into sugar, but do not appear in the vaginal mucosa in a harmful way.

          However, try getting plain yogurt or home made curd on a daily basis.

          Don’t insert the ointment into the canal, forcing your hymen. Only surface application on a regular basis is adequate.

          Which anti fungal do they have, is canesten available?

          Reply
          1. Buddy M.D. Post author

            Get canesten cream. Start applying it from today over the affected area, inserting it gently (not too deep) into your vagina with your finger. Do this twice daily, once at bedtime, so that the drug gets a chance to stay there and get absorbed better.

      1. sherly

        Hi! I’m 25 and married. I’m having a hard time down there. It itches as hell, and I’m having white discharge. I don’t have any pimple though but since I tend to scratch it often at night, blisters starting to form. I was stressed the past few days and been busy, so I didn’t get any chance to go see a dr.

        I thought I was pregnant, but it was weird that it itches a lot. I need help, I’m in the philippines right now. I don’t know which ointment should I use.

        THANKS!

        Reply
        1. Buddy M.D. Post author

          Looks like candidiasis in the vaginal area. You may start using an anti fungal cream from today itself.

          Buy monistat vaginal cream from the market and apply it liberally down there twice daily. The treatment would include inserting the ointment inside the vaginal canal.

          The complete treatment may take around 15 days. Do complete treatment, otherwise the infection may happen again.

          Reply