What’s That Terrible Itch? – Candida Albicans Demystified
That burning or tingling sensation in the vaginal area may be driving you crazy with the urge to itch down there, but the cause behind the irritation may need a trip to the doctor. Whatever you do, resist the urge to scratch down there; it can just make the infection worse and typically won’t stop that itchy feeling. Don’t ignore the problem and hope it will go away on its own; be proactive and take care of your body and rid yourself of the infection.
Vaginal itch is the uncomfortable and irritating sensation that many women feel in the vaginal area. The urge to itch the area may eventually consume you until you find a way to put an end to the itchiness. Itching of the vagina can be caused by a variety of things. Using a new soap, laundry detergent, cream, perfume, or contraceptive can cause an irritation to the skin surrounding the vagina. The onset of Menopause can cause vaginal dryness which may result in that annoying sensation down there, even an increased stress level can make you more susceptible to infections that can cause vaginal itching. Another cause of vaginal irritation could be Candida Albicans, better known as thrush or a yeast infection.
Candida Albicans is a fungus that is present in various areas of the body especially the skin and mucous membranes (specifically the mouth and vagina). It typically will not cause a problem unless the environment has changed which can cause the fungus to grow out of control. Although Candida growth is typically caused by an imbalance in the body, the use of antibiotics can enable the fungus to grow out of control due to the medication destroying microorganisms in the body that are very beneficial, resulting in growth of this fungus. The end result is what is typically known as a yeast infection.
The symptoms of Candida Albicans include a yellow or white discharge from the vagina, soreness of the vulva (area around the vaginal opening), irritation during urination and/or intercourse, along with a burning and itching sensation down there. Three out of four women develop a vaginal yeast infection sometime in their life and this is not something you should not be embarrassed or ashamed of.
You can try to treat the yeast infection with homemade remedies or over the counter anti-fungal medications. Some home remedies that many women have found success in include using a vinegar douche, garlic suppositories, or a cream infused with tea tree oil. None of these home remedies have been researched or tested, and these should be used at your own discretion.
If your attempts to get rid of the candida infection are not successful, you should make an appointment with your physician to discuss other treatment options. Your doctor may perform a few tests that could include a pelvic exam, urinalysis, or a skin biopsy. The tests will be done to ensure that it is indeed a yeast infection and not something more serious that would require a different course of treatment.
Typical treatment for Candida may include prescription doses of an anti-fungal cream, suppository or ointment. Your doctor may also try an oral medication that comes in one single dose such as Diflucan. If your symptoms do not subside after these treatments or if they re-appear soon after treatment, you should make a follow up appointment with your doctor to talk about more treatment options.
A complicated yeast infection is one that appears more frequently (4 or more in one year’s time), you suffer from uncontrolled diabetes, you develop sores due to the irritation and itching, or if you are pregnant. When a woman suffers from a complicated yeast infection, long term therapy may be needed in the form of a 14 day oral medication to be taken 3 or 4 times, rather than just once, or a medication therapy used to keep yeast levels in check.
If you are susceptible to getting vaginal yeast infections, there are many things you can do at home to help prevent them from occurring. Some of these things include avoiding the use of scented or colored toilet paper, if you are diabetic you should always ensure that your blood sugar levels are in check, stay away from douches and feminine sprays, keep your weight under control, and only wear panties that have a cotton crotch in them while steering away from synthetic materials. You should also always ensure that your genital area is clean and dry using a non-scented soap. Eating yogurt with live cultures on a daily basis can also be very helpful in maintaining a healthy balance in your body and stopping the fungal growth from re-occurring.
Also, be sure to keep a look out for other symptoms that may indicate something more serious going on other than just a yeast infection. If you notice any unusual symptoms such as unexplained weight loss, excessive thirst, unusual bleeding or discharge, or your symptoms seem to become worse over time, you should contact your physician. Your physician may want to perform other tests and possibly a pelvic exam to rule out anything else that may be going on with your body.
When it comes to the vagina, a yeast infection can typically be treated easily and be rid of quickly, however you should not take a chance if the symptoms just don’t seem to be going away. It could be more than just Candida Albicans and when it comes to your health, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.