Both prevention and medicine are the best ways to treat candidiasis. Generally speaking, you’ll see positive results relatively quickly. However, the condition often comes back, especially when you have not addressed related factors.
Candidiasis is an infection caused by any of the varieties of the “candida” fungus. This infection affects the mucous membranes of your body, like your mouth or genitals. So people with diabetes, AIDS, or pregnant women have the highest risk of getting it.
Treating candidiasis is a four-part process: diagnose it well and early; address any existing related conditions and factors; identify the type of infection it is; and finally, treat it with the proper medication.
Diagnosis: a crucial element in treating candidiasis
The first step in treating candidiasis consists of a correct diagnosis. Many people turn to over-the-counter medication before making sure that they actually have this infection. In fact, two-thirds of people with similar infections make this mistake.
Using the wrong medication can make the infection resistant and harder to treat. You may find relief from the symptoms, but the condition keeps coming back.
It’s best to not assume things just from appearances or take the advice of ill-informed people. Seeing a doctor is a much better idea. If they suspect mucosal or cutaneous candidiasis, they will swab it and analyze it under a microscope.
Candidiasis of the kidney or intestines is diagnosed through urine or stool tests. If systemic candidiasis is suspected, a biopsy will be necessary. With signs of sepsis, or in other words, fungal presence in the blood, a doctor will take a culture with a series of blood draws.
Managing related factors
The second step in treating candidiasis consists of getting control of factors that may be related to this condition. People with diabetes or AIDS are more vulnerable. But people who have had high doses of antibiotics or steroids are also at risk. As well, pregnant women and anybody who has a weakened immune system may get it.
The main steps to take are as follows:
- Change your diet. Fungus is fed by sugar, fermented foods, vinegar, and other fungi. Therefore, it’s a good idea to avoid processed foods like white sugar, refined flour, and anything with sugar, alcohol, or vinegar in it.
- Consume acidophilus. This is a bacteria that considered a probiotic. It finds a home in your intestines and vagina and protects you from harmful microorganisms. You can find it in powder form, liquid, capsules, and foods like yogurt or kefir.
Treating candidiasis, of course, requires strict hygiene. Don’t use mouthwashes that contain chlorhexidine gluconate if the infection is in your mouth. A good substitute is a mouthwash with chlorine dioxide.
Treating candidiasis also means taking medicine. Doctors prescribe it according to the severity of the infection and the condition of the patient. Depending on these factors, the doctor will prescribe a topical or systemic treatment. In the former case, this means creams and ointments, while the later case will mean oral medication.
For skin or nail infections, doctors prescribe topical medications, like gels, ointments, or creams. The most commonly used active ingredients:
To treat oropharyngeal candidiasis, you may use mouthwashes with liquid nystatin. This is enough to clear up the infection for most people.
If the infection goes deep, for example, if it is esophageal, recommended treatment is with tablets or pills for at least a week. This kind of treatment is also commonly used for superficial genital candidiasis.
Further, the most serious cases require hospitalization and IV medication.