Self-Care at Home
Most candidal (yeast) infections can be treated at home with over-the-counter or prescription medication and will clear up within a week. If some other disease has weakened a person's immune system, the person should consult a doctor about any new symptoms before attempting self-treatment because of the risk of infection.
- Vaginal yeast infections
- For thrush, swish the antifungal agent nystatin around in your mouth then swallow the liquid. Take care to maintain excellent oral hygiene.
- All objects put into a child's mouth should be washed or sterilized after each use.
- Breastfeeding mothers should be evaluated for Candida infection of the breast.
- If you wear dentures, clean them thoroughly after each use and practice good oral hygiene.
- Adults and older children have several treatment options not available to babies, such as troches (antifungal lozenges) or pills such as fluconazole (Diflucan) to help clear the infection in addition to nystatin.
Skin and diaper rash
- Clotrimazole (Lotrimin) creams and lotions can be applied to superficial skin infections. Other medications require a prescription and a visit to your doctor.
- Other antifungal creams, such as ketoconazole (Nizoral), which is available by prescription, is helpful as well.
- For paronychia, a skin rash around the nails, avoiding moisture can be helpful. Oral itraconazole (Sporanox) or fluconazole (Diflucan) can also be helpful and can be prescribed by a doctor. Topical antifungal and topical corticosteroids are also used.
- Perlèche is treated with topical antiyeast or antifungal agents, and often with a mild corticosteroid cream. Limit lip licking of the corners of the mouth. Placing a bit of petroleum jelly on top of the antiyeast agents can be helpful as well.
- The affected area should be kept clean and dry.
- For diaper rashes, frequent diaper changes and the use of barrier creams speed recovery .
- Intertrigo can benefit from the use of nystatin powder, which decreases the amount of moisture and also acts as an antiyeast agent.
A wide array of treatment options is available to treat candidiasis. Options include creams, lotions, tablets or capsules, troches (lozenges), and vaginal suppositories or creams. Talk to your doctor to find the option that is right for you.
- Azole medications are a family of antifungal drugs that end in the suffix "-azole." They block the manufacture of ergosterol, a crucial material of the yeast cell wall. Without ergosterol, the yeast cell wall becomes leaky and the yeast die. Fortunately, ergosterol is not a component of human membranes, and azoles do not harm human cells.
- Polyene antifungal medications include nystatin and amphotericin B. Nystatin is used for thrush and superficial candidal infections. Doctors reserve amphotericin B for more serious systemic fungal infections. The antifungals work by attaching to the yeast cell wall building material, ergosterol. These medications then form artificial holes in the yeast wall that cause the yeast to leak and die.