Yeast infection, or candidiasis, may be more common among women, but men can also experience it. This can lead to inflammation of the penis head, which is called Candida balanitis. Contributing factors, like sexual intercourse with someone already infected with candidiasis, could lead to an infection. Uncircumcised men are also more prone to balanitis. This article explains the symptoms, causes, and male yeast infection treatment.
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More About Male Yeast Infection Treatment, Home Remedies, Symptoms, Causes, and risk
What Is Yeast Infection in Men?
This is an infection of the area surrounding the penis and testicles. This results from the overgrowth of Candida, a common kind of fungus present on one’s skin. As a result, inflammation of the glans penis or balanitis could happen. Up to 3% to 11% of males experience this during their lifetime. Also called a penile yeast infection that can spread to one’s partner.
Causes and Risk Factors
One of the significant factors leading to candida balanitis is moist and occluded areas, which attract an imbalance of Candida. In the same vein, one common cause of the disease is engaging in sex with someone who has vaginal candidiasis. However, note that such fungal infections are not sexually transmitted. Instead, they’re a product of the overgrowth of Candida, causing inflammation.
Uncircumcised men also have higher chances of getting infected with this fungal disease.
Other common causes include the following:
- Use of shower gels, scented soap, or fabric conditioners that cause skin irritation
- Poor hygiene, like not taking regular baths and adequately cleaning the genitals
- A humid or moist environment
- Use of antibiotics for more extended periods (This lessens the presence of healthy bacteria in the body, leading to Candida growth.)
- Diabetes (Higher sugar in men’s urine can occur from increased blood sugar, causing yeast growth.)
- Diseases that impair the immune system, including HIV
- Use of wet clothing and tight-fitting underwear
- Condoms with lubricants
To prevent the possibility of an infection, men should try to avoid these risk factors.
Fungal overgrowth on the penis can be uncomfortable and disturbing. Yeast infection symptoms may either appear gradually or suddenly. Here are the most common symptoms of candida balanitis:
- Irritation or itchiness under the foreskin
- White or shiny skin on the penis
- Swelling on top of the penis
- Red rashes
- Burning sensation when urinating
- Foul smell
- White discharge (like cottage cheese) under the foreskin
- Feeling of discomfort and pain during sex
- Cracking or sores on the foreskin
Given that Candida is also present in the mouth, one can develop another yeast infection known as oral thrush.
Common symptoms of oral thrush include:
- Loss of taste
- Irritation, redness, or pain under dentures
- White and creamy lesions on the tongue, gums, tonsils, or inner cheeks
- Cottony sensation in one’s mouth
- Redness and cracking at the corners of the mouth
- Difficulty swallowing is also possible in especially severe cases, and the lesions could spread to the esophagus.
Treatments: What Is the Fastest Way To Get Rid of a Yeast Infection?
The fastest way to treat yeast infections is by visiting a healthcare provider. Hence, you receive the proper medication to treat the condition. Fortunately, there are several treatment options, like the following:
If the infection causes inflammation in the head of the penis or balanitis, the doctor will prescribe clotrimazole and other antifungal creams. Men will have to apply this cream to the head of the penis, glans, and foreskin to eliminate the infection. While most antifungal creams do not produce serious side effects, it’s best to ask the doctor about the things to watch out for.
If a sexually transmitted disease causes the symptoms, the doctor will prescribe antibiotics to help treat the infection.
Given that uncircumcised men are more vulnerable to infection, the health care provider may recommend undergoing circumcision. The foreskin that covers the penis in this surgical procedure is removed. This is especially necessary for those who have tight foreskin or phimosis.
If the cause of the infection is linked to diabetes, the doctor will help the patient manage their blood sugar levels. They will also help you develop a more robust immune system.
Are Yeast Infections in Men Preventable?
Candida balanitis is preventable, especially if simple safety precautions are observed. In essence, men should practice good hygiene. For example, they should ensure their genitals remain clean and dry to avoid fungal growth.
Moreover, they must avoid wearing tight-fitting underwear to prevent skin irritation, and a moist environment, which will attract yeast. It’s also best to avoid bath products with strong fragrances.
How Long Do Male Yeast Infections Last?
Balanitis in men can go away after 7 to 14 days, given that early treatment is performed and the response to the antifungal medication is positive. If the man has an active sex life, his partner must also receive treatment. This will prevent the risk of your partner passing the infection back to you.
For repeated infections wherein sexual contact, poor hygiene, and other causes are ruled out; it’s recommended to discuss other potential causes with a doctor. As underlying health issues, like diabetes, might be determined.
Treatment and Home Remedies
Home remedies can give men quick relief from the pain and discomfort caused by the yeast infection. Men can use the following if they’re experiencing mild cases of yeast infection.
According to a 2019 study, honey may help prevent fungi growth. The researchers tested various types of honey against dermatophytes and Candida albicans. Their results showed that manuka, Agastache, and tea tree honey could effectively manage fungal infections, given their high levels of fungicidal activity.
A natural probiotic, yogurt helps facilitate the growth of positive bacteria. Thus, it can help manage infections like candida balanitis in men. You can either eat the yogurt or apply it to the affected areas.
A 2015 study focusing on females experiencing vaginal infections showed the therapeutic effects of yogurt, honey, and vaginal cream were more effective than clotrimazole in easing the symptoms. Such a combination may also work for men with infections.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Another famous home remedy that may also be effective in treating candida balanitis is apple cider vinegar. It works as an antifungal against Candida, as shown in a 2015 study. However, more research is needed to illustrate its benefits further.
At first, men may worry about the smell of apple cider vinegar. However, the smell of the vinegar fades quickly. Remember that applying vinegar to sensitive skin like the penis can cause skin reactions. It is thus recommended to dilute the apple cider vinegar using a little water. Do not directly apply cider vinegar to the penis.
Tea Tree Oil
Research showed that tea tree oil has antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. These antifungal properties can help manage candida balanitis once you apply them to the affected area.
Tea tree oil is also effective in treating Candida albicans, another type of fungal infection caused by Candida. In addition, it helped combat yeast resistance to common antifungal medications. Tea tree oil is available in different concentrations. Use olive oil to dilute it, especially when pure tea tree oil is used.
Garlic also contains antibacterial and antifungal properties. A 2010 study assessed the therapeutic effects of clotrimazole, commonly used for candida balanitis, and cream from garlic and thyme. Results revealed that garlic and thyme provided fewer side effects but similar healing properties.
Those who want to use garlic as a home remedy can consume it raw, purchase an over-the-counter garlic pill, or pick a concentrated supplement. Make sure to read the instructions carefully and consult the healthcare provider, especially if there are no signs of relief.
Coconut oil can be a home remedy because it has various health-related benefits. These include keeping the skin moisturized, repairing hair, and easing constipation. Research also showed that coconut oil produces antimicrobial effects when dissolved in water. Another study noted the effectiveness of coconut oil against Candida albicans.
Men experiencing balanitis can take coconut oil by mouth. They can also mix it with baked goods, oatmeal, and other food items.
Antibiotics are known to kill bacteria that cause infection. However, they can kill positive bacteria, too. As a result, they may result in yeast infection. For instance, vaginal yeast infection occurs when Candida in the vagina becomes out of control. This causes irritation and itchiness in the vagina and the vulva.
Similarly, prolonged use of antibiotics can cause balanitis in men. That is why patients should only take antibiotics as prescribed by the doctor and give feedback immediately on any reactions.
An Impaired Immune System
Individuals with a weak immune system caused by age, a few medications, or health conditions are more likely to experience the overgrowth of the candida fungus. It would be harder to combat disease with an impaired immune system.
For instance, those who take TNF inhibitors for autoimmune diseases like inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, or corticosteroids for asthma have higher chances of yeast overgrowth. In addition, individuals with HIV/AIDS and cancer are also more vulnerable to recurring yeast infections.
Connect With Qualified Healthcare Providers Online
Yeast infections already bring a lot of pain and discomfort, so any patient would want to skip the long queue and connect with a healthcare provider immediately and conveniently. Fortunately, it’s easy to contact these providers online and experience same-day treatment.
Board-certified doctors will diagnose and treat the yeast infection by prescribing the necessary medication and designing other treatment plans. If symptoms are not relieved, several doctors are just a text or call away.
Frequently Asked Questions
Vaginal yeast infections in females are more common, but men can get penile yeast infections, too.
Symptoms of yeast infection in a man include redness, a burning sensation on your genitals, and moist, shiny skin on your penis. Other symptoms include white discharge under the foreskin, swelling on top of the penis, and discomfort during sex.
Treating this infection includes over-the-counter antifungal medications like clotrimazole. Various antifungal creams are also available for topical application. In addition, your doctor may prescribe a one-time dose of fluconazole or other stronger oral medications.
Common remedies for balanitis include tea tree oil, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, and garlic. However, the results will vary for each individual. Visit a healthcare provider to get the proper treatment.
Mild cases of balanitis may be gone in three days, sometimes even without treatment. However, it will take one to two weeks for moderate and severe cases to clear up.