Have you also ever had fungus on your genitals and did not know why it could be? Although women usually suffer more from this problem, men also suffer from this disease at least once in their lives. But what causes men to get fungus on their genitals?
Even if we are not aware of it, the appearance of fungi or candidiasis is not something sporadic. This is because the yeast-like fungus of the genus Candida (the cause of candidiasis in both men and women) lives naturally in low quantities on the skin and mucous membranes. However, the problem begins when our immune system is altered in some way and is unable to control the candida fungus which then grows to cause candidiasis in some area of our body. Generally, the most common fungus in our body is the Candida Albicans.
What is penile candidiasis?
Candidiasis is a disease that occurs in humid areas of our body such as on the skin, on the genitals or in the mouth. Likewise, there are many other types of candidiasis that can develop in our body depending on the area and the severity of the candidiasis, incuding the intestinal, anal or invasive candidiasis.
Penile candidiasis in particular is a disease effecting the penis: either on the penis, on the head of the penis (causing balanitis) or in the foreskin (causing balanoposthitis).
Why does penile candidiasis arise?
There are many causes for why penile candidiasis can appear in men. However, here are the most common reasons why this disease can occur on the male genitals:
- Having sex with a person with candidiasis: although it is not considered a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD), the transmission of candidiasis can occur when having unprotected vaginal or oral sex So condoms not only protect you against a range of STDs, but they also protect you against genital yeast!
- Taking antibiotics for a bacterial infection for an extended period: although antibiotics for this type of disease prove to be very effective, not only do they kill malignant bacteria, they also kill the bacteria responsible for controlling the candida fungus.
- Disorders in the intestinal flora: having problems with the intestinal flora can cause the yeast population to increase considerably in our faeces (anal candidiasis), so the contact with a garment that has had previous contact with the anus can transmit the disease to our genitals. Be careful with your underwear if you suffer from candidiasis!
- Failure to maintain good male intimate hygiene: using perfumed gels, soaps or lubricants in the intimate area and not drying well after showering can stimulate the growth of the Candida fungus. This is because candidiasis tends to occur more often in the warm and humid areas of our body.
- Suffering from type 1 or type 2 diabetes: with this type of diabetes, the levels of glucose in the blood can rise too high, which favours yeast growth in different areas of the body, including the male genital area.
- Having an impaired immune system: diseases such as HIV or renal failure can affect your immune system making it unable to control the levels of the candida fungus. in our body.
What are the symptoms of genital yeast?
Each person is different. That is why not all men suffer from the same symptoms resulting from genital fungus. However, some of them are more common than others depending on the severity of the penile candidiasis.
- Balanitis or balanoposthitis: the inflammation of the head of the penis or in the foreskin is usually a very common symptom in men suffering from penile candidiasis. In addition, balanoposthisis usually causes irritation and redness while balanitis usually causes rashes, irritation, redness and a kind of white coating that may develop pustules on the skin (small pus-filled blisters).
- Itching and burning sensation
- Pain during urination or sexual intercourse: although in many cases the symptoms disappear on their own, we run the risk if left untreated that it may spread to the man's scrotum producing a slightly more serious candidiasis.
- Lumpy discharge under the foreskin
- Blotchy rash on the head of the penis
How to treat penile candidiasis?
Candidiasis is a disease which can be very distressing for both men and women. Moreover, although sometimes the symptoms disappear without treatment, in many cases they don't.
It is very advisable to, if you think you suffer from penile candidiasis, to go to your doctor so that he/she can tell you what to do. He/she will most likely prescribe you some antifungal antibiotics, which can be either oral or topical to be applied to the affected area.
However, if you think you are suffering from a mild infection and for some reason you are unwilling or unable to go to the doctor, there are medications that you can ask for at the pharmacy without prescription and which are just as valid as the others. Medications such as Miconazole o Clotrimazole are usually very effective in treating male candidiasis.
Can candidiasis be prevented?
In many cases it is difficult or impossible to prevent Candidiasis, especially if it has been passed on to us by another person. However, there are certain intimate hygiene habits that we would do well to maintain in our daily life if we want to prevent candidiasis.
- Carefully wash the penis with warm water: if we do not maintain proper intimate hygiene in the area of our genitals, it is possible that we may develop candidiasis. This is due to the accumulation of sebum (dead skin cells) in the area.
- Do not use perfumed gels or soaps on the genitals: the use of these products can cause irritation in the male genital area.
- Wear loose-fitting cotton underwear: with this type of underwear the skin is well ventilated and can breathe, becoming less warm and less humid. In this way, we can help prevent male candidiasis.
It seems that penile candidiasis is very uncomfortable, don't you think? Anyway, at least we can be reassured that it is a disease that has many treatments that are within our reach easily and quickly. Even so, if you want to know the home remedies you can add to your daily routine to prevent or cure male thrush, keep reading the following article!