What is Candida albicans ?
Candida albicans is a yeast organism that is normally found in the mouth, gut, on the skin and any mucus membranes like the vagina and rectum; it can cause infections when the natural resistance of the body to its overgrowth is minimized. Fungal infections, yeast infections and oral thrush are all forms of Candida albicans.
Candida albicans lives in your mouth or intestines and when its populations gets out of control, it will weaken the intestinal walls hence penetrating into the blood stream and releasing toxic products through the body. As the infections spread, the toxic products released can cause damage to the body organs or tissues thus wrecking havoc on the immune system of the body. The fungus can also travel through the blood stream and negatively affecting heart valves, intestines and throat. Candida albicans can be an infectious agent when there is an alteration in body environment which makes to grow beyond control.
Causes of Candida albicans
Candida albicans infections of the skin, mouth and vagina results from no apparent reason but a common cause may be due to antibiotic use that can destroy the harmful and beneficial microorganisms in the body hence allowing candida albicans to multiply in the body; this will lead to yeast infections. Candidas infection of the penis is commonly experienced among uncircumcised men than the circumcised ones; this may be due to sexual intercourse with an infected person. Also when the body resistance is very low, as in the case of AIDS and leukemia, candida albicans can enter into the blood stream resulting in serious infections of vital organs.
The condition will appear with creamy-white or bluish white patches on the tongue; the tongue may be inflamed or may appear beefy red. These patches can also appear on the throat or mouth lining. Diaper rash is also a symptom resulting from skin inflammation that may appear red or scaly.
Vaginitis, often characterized by yellow or white discharge. This results in the inflammation of the vaginal walls and the vulva leading to burning and itching. Infections on the toenails or fingernails will appear red followed by an appearance of painful swelling around the nails and development of pus.
Penile infections are characterized by balanities or inflammation of the penis head. Bloodstream infections affect the kidney, lungs, eyes and other organs, leading to high fever, anemia and chills. In extreme case it may cause rashes or shock.
Candida albicans can be diagnosed via laboratory tests such as blood cultures, blood tests and wound cultures; physical examinations and medical history. Tissue biopsy is necessary in the diagnosis of invasive systemic disease.
Most of the infections of candida albicans can be treated at home using over the counter drugs (OTC) or by taking prescription medication such as topical administration or anti-fungal drugs like clotrimazole, miconazole, tioconazole. Oral administration of drugs like fluconazole and amphotericin. Various women prefer a single and oral doze of flucozole for people suffering from vaginal candidiasis as opposed to topical creams. Serious infections may require 1V medications administered at the hospital.
Using anti-fungal drugs can also clear the trouble but can lead to recurrence of the infections, due to reinfections from sexual partner. Use of antibiotics has to be discontinued in case of infections by candida albicans. In the case of diaper rashes, barrier creams and frequent change of diapers can treat the conditions. For people with skin candidiasis, keeping the skin dry will reduce the infection.
Take a look at yeast infection remedies page for more information on how to treat the condition.