Yeast infection in men is an infection caused by the fungus Candida albicans. It is more common in females, but this does not exclude the possibility that males suffer from it.
The greater susceptibility in women is because the vagina is a humid area, covered and with a warm temperature, allowing the microorganism’s proliferation. In males, the most significant susceptibility occurs in those not surrounded.
What causes candidiasis in men?
The candida fungus, when it affects the penis, causes inflammation in the foreskin and glans, which is called balanitis. That is why the main manifestations of candidiasis in men are reddening of the foreskin and glans penis, the appearance of red and white bumps around the penis, itching and burning sensations, and the covering of the glans penis with a whitish coating.This infection starts locally, but the itching can lead to the rupture of the papules and pustules, spreading the disease and irritation in surrounding areas, such as the groin and scrotum.
Causes of yeast infection in men
Although yeast infection can be transmitted to men through sexual contact with a woman with a vaginal yeast infection, yeast infection in men is not considered a sexually transmitted disease. Let’s see, then, what are the causes and frequent risk factors.
Immune system depression
In small numbers, Candida is part of the skin microbiota, whose growth is controlled by the human defense system. In the case of concurrent infections, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, chemotherapy, treatment with steroids or immunosuppressants, or any other condition that can weaken the immune system, there will be a more significant proliferation of the fungus.
Yeast infection in men, as mentioned above, can be caused by direct contact of the skin of the penis with a yeast-infected vagina.
Excess glucose is a risk factor for candidiasis in men, so suffering from diabetes makes them more prone to men because the high concentration of sugar in the urine creates an environment that benefits the proliferation of the fungus.
Not having the penis circumcised favors candidiasis in men since a covered area is maintained, with a warm and humid temperature that allows the growth of the fungus.
Alterations of the intestinal flora
Imbalances in the intestinal flora favor the proliferation of yeasts in feces above average. Therefore, any contact of the penis with any tissue or object passed through the anus can cause candidiasis in men.
On the other hand, these yeasts can also be expelled through the urinary tract to have direct access to the glans.
Does intimate hygiene influence candidiasis in men?
Excessive cleaning of the genital area, especially with irritating substances such as scented soaps, damages the skin’s bacterial flora. This is how the natural barrier is weakened, allowing the entry of other microorganisms in more significant numbers, such as Candida.
What are the complications of candidiasis in men?
Inflammation of the glans penis and prepuce in male candidiasis can cause scarring or adhesions on the penis. This causes pain and difficulty urinating.
In addition, the infection can travel up the urethra and enter the bloodstream, especially in cases where a bladder catheter has been used or in patients with severely weakened immune systems. Systemic infection caused by Candida albicans is called candidemia.
Candidiasis in men is diagnosed by observing the symptoms presented. Only in the cases in which it does not improve with the initial treatment is it necessary to cultivate the affected area’s secretions to confirm the fungus species. Confirmation by direct examination with potassium hydroxide can also be used.
The advantage of these confirmatory studies is that they allow, in addition to determining the species, to know through an antifungigram to which antifungals the microorganism is sensitive. This improves the treatment.
Treatment of candidiasis in man
The infection usually subsides with topical antifungals. Oral drugs are only required in some cases.
Topical antifungals should be applied daily for 7 to 10 days. If there is no effect, oral antifungals are associated for 10 to 14 days, depending on the severity.
The most commonly used drugs are ketoconazole, itraconazole, and fluconazole, taken orally. Clotrimazole is expected as a topical cream. If the condition is recurrent, circumcision is considered since it is usually a factor that limits infectious processes and protects the area from recurrence.However, treatment does not guarantee that yeast infections in men will not return. Therefore, it is essential to accompany the approach of maintaining good intimate hygiene habits.
Recommendations to avoid the proliferation of the fungus
In addition to proper intimate hygiene, the following is recommended:
- Keep the penile area clean and dry. If you are not circumcised, clean under the foreskin with soap and water and then return the foreskin to its normal position.
- Do not wear hot, tight, or wet clothing.
- Preferably use cotton underwear.
- Use a condom and clean the intimate area after each sexual contact.
Yeast infection in men may be a sign of something else
The risk factors associated with candidiasis in men are depression of the immune system and poor hygiene of the intimate area. For the definitive eradication of the fungus, it is necessary to jointly treat the sexual partner, improve hygiene and rule out processes that can generate immune alterations, such as poorly controlled diabetes.Candidiasis in men has sometimes been described as one of the first manifestations of undiagnosed diabetes. Hence, a detailed clinical study is essential when a man has an infection.