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Thrush Infections: What to Do If You Have One

The fungus responsible for a thrush infection is candida. Most people are carriers of candida. However, most people’s immune systems are able to keep levels of candida at a manageable level. When the immune system is compromised, or the conditions are super fertile, candida can grow to the point of becoming problematic and causing thrush. Here, we’re going to explain a bit more about thrush. By the time you reach the end of this article you will have a much better idea of the causes of thrush, its treatment and prevention.


What’s Candida? How Does It Cause Thrush?


Candida is a fungus. It doesn’t cause thrush, it is thrush. Thrush occurs when candida grows beyond levels that the body can cope with. This usually happens because the body is compromised in some way, for example it is undergoing chemotherapy, or when the body is underdeveloped, such is the case for babies and toddlers.


Whom Does It Affect?


Candida does not discriminate and is present in most people. Thrush, which is the overgrowth of candida, tends to affect certain demographics more than other demographics:


•Oral thrush affects a large number of newborn babies. Candida is passed on during birth, and the baby begins to exhibit symptoms after a few days. The reason babies are susceptible is that their immune systems do not have the necessary antibodies to fight off the infection.


•Thrush affects people with a compromised immune system. These include people suffering with AIDS and HIV, people undergoing radiotherapy and chemotherapy, people undergoing steroid treatment, and people that suffer with recurrent infections. This is because there immune system is compromised, and usually busy fighting off other infections.


What Are The Symptoms of Thrush?


The symptoms of thrush depend on the location of the infection. Infections usually occur in damp, moist places. There are some common signs and symptoms:


•Whitish patches that look like cottage cheese. These occur in the mouth (the tongue, the throat, and the cheeks), the vagina (both internally and externally) and folds of flesh.

•Itching: this tends to be more prevalent in vaginal infections, but does occur with oral infections, too.

•Red and inflamed patches: occurs anywhere, but does not have to be present with thrush infections.


Often, the only sign of a thrush infection are the white patches. Pain is relatively uncommon, but it can happen. The itching is quite common, and it is incessant.

How Do They Diagnose Thrush Infections?


They’re relatively easy infections to recognise, and are usually diagnosed by visual inspection. Occasionally a dentist or doctor will take a scrape off a sample and send it off for analysis, but this only really happens with recurrent bouts of thrush. Usually, you can just go to a pharmacist and ask them to look at the infection to confirm thrush.



How Is It Treated?


Thrush is easy to treat. Depending on the location of the infection, different types of medication are suitable. All thrush infections respond to a single tablet that you can buy from an oral thrush pharmacy. However, some infections, such as vaginal infections, also respond to topical creams, which offer you an extra level of care. Topical creams can help to reduce itching and soreness, but clearly are unsuitable for oral thrush.