Female yeast infection is a well-known disease, it is also mentioned (mostly in medical sources) as candidiasis. However, it can also affect men, although significantly rarely. This fungal condition is pretty annoying and may be transmitted sexually. If left untreated, it can lead to extremely uneasy symptoms and even leak out into the general blood circulation, causing dangerous health effects.
Symptoms of Penile Yeast Infection
Symptoms typically include reddish rash. In some occasions, the penis is covered by clearly visible white patches. A whitish substance may be formed under foreskin and in skin folds.
Besides visible symptoms, men can also experience itching on and around the glans. Bathroom visits and lovemaking activities can be accompanied by burning sensations on the penile organ.
Possible Causes of the Infection
Poor hygiene is a possible cause. Penile fungal infections are often linked to bad intimate hygiene. No man wants to be blamed for being a Sloppy Joe, especially when it comes to the genital area. That’s why the disease often lefts undiagnosed.
Non-cleansing or showering regularly is a potential factor, but there are other factors that might play a role: shower gel of poor quality which negatively affects skin of the penile organ, overweight or obesity, consumption of huge amounts of sugar (which create favorable conditions for the fungi growth), using condoms with lubricant, taking antibiotical remedies, antidepressant medications or potent anti-inflammatory drugs, undergoing anti-cancer treatment, (chemotherapy), and using spermicides (birth control chemicals). Candida is an opportunistic fungus, it often presents in the body, but manifests itself amidst auspicious conditions.
One of the commonest causes of infecting with candida is having an unprotected sex with a female who suffers from yeast problems in the genital area.
Although a Candida infection is a quite non-serious malady, it is highly recommended to visit a healthcare professional once you’ve noticed suspicious symptoms. Sexually transmitted infections like gonorrhea cause similar symptoms, the same goes for allergic reactions induced by different causative factors. So you need to exclude other diseases (a doctor should make a differential diagnosis) and then receive instructions for proper treatments. Self-diagnosis and self-treatment may be unsafe.
Proper Therapy of the Condition
The condition can be easily treated with an antifungal ointment (like clotrimazole or miconazole). The course of therapy is 7 to 10 days. Most of topical ointments are prescription-free (OTC) meds, it means you won’t need a prescription to purchase them. Patients usually have good tolerance to medications with topical route of administration, side effects are pretty rare. Oral preparations with systemic action like fluconazole are intended to treat severe infections.
Complications of Penile Yeast Infection
If candidiasis has passed into the chronic stage, it will be very difficult to cure it. It becomes ‘immunized’ to certain medications, and also penetrates deeper into the body. For successful treatment, you may need to take antifungal oral pills.
If candidiasis transformed into a chronic form, it may coexist with serious diseases of hormonal nature, immune disorders or deteriorations in carbohydrate metabolism. In this case, a full and deep medical diagnosis is necessary.
The penile infection can transform into more complicated disease called balanitis. This disease can cause foreskin scars and penile adhesions. Other negative consequences include general weakness and painful urination.
Read our comprehensive article: Male Diseases in Urology
To significantly reduce the risk of candidiasis, the following preventive measures are useful: observing personal hygiene rules, excluding promiscuous activity and unprotected sexual intercourse, regular self-examination of the genitals for various changes, and maintaining the immunity.
I’m an Oncologist and Hematology Specialist primary located in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. I have over 55 years of experience in the medical field and more than 20 years of practice. I’m skilled at the treatment & diagnosis of a large array of ailments & diseases in adults.
- American Board of Internal Medicine Certification in Internal Medicine
- American Board of Hematology Certification in Hematology
- American Board of Medical Oncology Certification in Medical Oncology