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        Candidiasis

When to call the doctor

For healthy children and adults, if you try a medication and it fails or symptoms worsen, then consult your doctor. All people with weakened immune systems should contact their doctors with any new symptoms or infections.

Various conditions can cause nonmenstrual vaginal discharge in women, such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, trichomoniasis, and bacterial vaginosis.

  • If vaginal discharge lasts for more than 1 week, consult your doctor.
  • If yeast infections recur, see your doctor for a more thorough work-up. Candidiasis that comes back may be a symptom of a hidden disease such as diabetes, leukemia, or AIDS.
  • Other symptoms such as bloody discharge, abdominal pain , fever, and increased urination also can indicate more serious problems, and you should seek medical help.

Oral thrush needs a prescription medication and a quick visit to the doctor. If children take no fluids for longer than 12 hours, contact your doctor for possible IV fluid replacement. Any fever or prolonged problems with feeding also warrant a visit to a doctor.

Diaper rash or other candidal infections on the skin can be treated with over-the-counter nystatin powders (Mycostatin, Nilstat, Nystat-Rx, Nystex, O-V Staticin) or antifungal creams and lotions.

If the rash worsens at any time, or if the lesions do not clear in 1-2 weeks, call your doctor.
Fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, or the rash spreading to other parts of your body may be a sign of a more serious illness.

People with weakened immune systems must take all forms of candidiasis seriously and treat them aggressively. The infection may indicate that your immune systems is functioning poorly. Your doctor should evaluate any symptoms of candidal infections.

If you already are being treated for a candidal infection and the symptoms worsen or do not improve, notify your doctor.

Fevers, chills, vomiting, general illness, or worsening rash needs to be investigated promptly.

When to go to the hospital

Most cases of candidiasis do not have to be treated in the hospital. People with weakened immune systems may have more serious infections, however, and may need to be hospitalized.

Women should go to the hospital when fever, chills, nausea and vomiting, or abdominal pain accompanies vaginal discharge. These symptoms can indicate a more serious problem such as kidney infections, appendicitis, or pelvic inflammatory disease. These potential conditions need to be investigated promptly.

If thrush interferes with drinking liquids or eating for long periods of time, people may need to be hospitalized for more aggressive medications and reestablishing body fluids.
Candidal skin infections rarely require hospital treatment.
People with weak immune systems run the risk of the candidal organisms growing in their blood or internal organs, which can cause life-threatening illness. IV medication may be necessary to combat this systemic illness. Your doctor should promptly investigate symptoms of illness or general malaise.

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Self-Care at Home

Most candidal infections can be treated at home with over-the-counter or prescription medication and can clear within a week. But if some other disease has weakened your immune systems , consult your doctor for any new symptoms before attempting self-treatment. You may risk getting an infection.

Yeast infections

Most women can treat yeast infections at home with over-the-counter medication

  • Miconazole (Monistat-Derm, Monistat Vaginal)
  • Tioconazole (Vagistat Vaginal)
  • Butoconazole (Femstat)
  • Clotrimazole (Femizole-7, Gyne-Lotrimin)

Massage these remedies into your vagina and surrounding tissues for 1-7 days depending on the formulation. If increased irritation occurs to the area, discontinue the medication immediately.

If you are pregnant, consult your doctor before using these treatments.
If symptoms continue for more than 1 week, consult your doctor.
Thrush
In thrush, swish the antifungal agent nystatin around in your mouth. Take care to maintain excellent oral hygiene.
All objects put into a child's mouth should be sterilized after each use.
Breastfeeding mothers should be evaluated for Candida of the breast.
If you wear dentures, clean them thoroughly after each use and practice good oral hygiene.
Adults 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 creams and lotions can be applied to superficial skin infections. Other medication need a prescription and a visit to your doctor.
The affected area should be kept clean and dry.
For diaper rashes, frequent diaper changes and the use of barrier creams will speed recovery.
If your immune systems is weak, your doctor may handle minimal local infections with home care. More serious infections may need IV medication given at the hospital.

Outlook

With proper treatment, most candidal infections go away without further problems. Vaginal yeast infections, thrush, and diaper rash usually clear in 1-2 weeks. In people with weakened immune systems, these infections can come back and become hard to treat.

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