12 home remedies for yeast infections
While yeast infection can be a common occurrence, it can be an annoyance and, worse still, embarrassing for women. Although severe infections may require a visit to the doctor’s office and a prescription, there are over-the-counter options and many home remedies for a yeast infection. Learn how to recognize a yeast infection, when to go to the doctor, how to treat a yeast infection at home, and how to prevent a recurrence.
Types of yeast infection
There are different types of yeast infections, but they all happen when an area of the body becomes infected with a yeast-like fungus called Candida (about a yeast infection). This fungus grows in moist, warm, folded areas of skin, such as the groin, under the breasts, or the armpits. “Candidiasis is the primary type of fungal infection in the body: it is caused by yeast and can occur in the mouth, intestine, throat, and vagina,” explains Nikate Sunbal, an internist and gastroenterologist in New York. “If not treated properly with medication, it could potentially get out of control and infect the kidneys and the heart.”
There are many different types of infections caused by the Candida fungus, depending on where they occur in the body and what type of candida is present. While they have some symptom overlap, they can also have different symptoms.
The most common types of candida infection are:
- Cutaneous candidiasis occurs when body skin becomes infected. The most common places for candida grow are the skin between the fingers, toes, nails, armpits, under the breasts, or around the groin. The main symptom is a red, itchy rash.
- Diaper rash in babies can sometimes be caused by candida overgrowth, which occurs when there is a moist environment of wet diapers helping the bleachers to thrive. A red rash appears between the creases of the skin and the small red dots represent the affected area.
- Oral thrush occurs when candidiasis affects the lining of the mouth or throat. Oral thrush appears as white lesions on the soles of the cheeks or on the tongue. Symptoms may also include bad breath, pain during swallowing, taste abnormalities, and dry mouth (more on oral thrush).
- Vaginal yeast infection, also called vulvovaginal candidiasis, occurs when there is an overgrowth of candida in the vagina. Candida albicans is a fungal strain that is common in yeast infections. Symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection are irritation, itching, inflammation, and a thick white vaginal discharge.
- “Yeast infection is common and occurs in three out of four women at least once in their lifetime,” says Dr. Sunbal. Because vaginal yeast infections happen to most women, this article will be devoted to treating and preventing vaginal yeast infections only.
Can a yeast infection go away on its own?
“There is a chance that mild versions of the yeast infection will go away on their own,” Dr. Sunbal explains. “However, it is not recommended that a yeast infection be ignored because it is more likely to return if not treated medically.”
While some individuals may choose to try home remedies for a yeast infection or over-the-counter treatments, there are some people who should see a doctor when they develop symptoms of a yeast infection. These patients are:
Those with frequent yeast infections (four or more times a year)
Those who may have been exposed to a sexually transmitted disease (STD)
Women are unsure if their symptoms are due to a yeast infection
Individuals who have been unsuccessful with home remedies or over-the-counter medications
Patients with uncontrolled diabetes or a weak immune system due to certain medications or conditions such as HIV
What can a doctor prescribe for a yeast infection?
Over-the-counter antifungal medications treat yeast infections and are available in creams or suppositories for internal use. Yeast infections can last from three days to two weeks, so there are treatments available for one, three days, or a week.
There are also anti-fungal and anti-itch creams that come with most treatments to help with the external itch. The most popular brands of anti-fungal creams for treating vaginal yeast infections are Monistat (get a Monistat coupon | What is Monistat?) Or Vagistat. These treatments are also available online for those who do not feel comfortable purchasing them in the store.
Your healthcare provider may prescribe a Diflucan (Diflucan coupons | Diflucan details) Fluconazole (Fluconazole Coupons | Fluconazole details) a tablet that treats vaginal fungal infections, or an anti-fungal prescription such as terconazole (terconazole coupons | terconazole details), which is inserted internally at bedtime.
Home remedies for yeast infection
There are natural ways to treat yeast infection. These home remedies for yeast infection are suitable for those who want to go down a more secretive natural path.
1. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has been found to prevent the growth of Candida albicans, the fungus strain that commonly causes yeast infections.
To use this natural remedy, take a shower, add 12 cup of apple cider vinegar, and soak in the bath for at least 20 minutes.
Never use apple cider vinegar in its full strength. Due to apple juice’s ability to kill bacteria and fungi, it can also kill healthy bacteria in the body. Dilute apple cider vinegar before using it.
2. Boric acid
Vaginal boric acid suppositories treat yeast infections due to the antiseptic properties of boric acid. While research supports the use of these suppositories, it concludes that this should only be used in cases of recurrent and difficult-to-treat fungal infections. Since boric acid is so strong, milder treatments must first be used.
3. Coconut oil
Coconut oil, extracted from coconut pulp, naturally contains anti-fungal properties. A scientific study found that coconut oil can help prevent candida bacteria that cause yeast infections. To benefit from this treatment, simply apply coconut oil to the affected area.
4. Juice or cranberry beans
Cranberry juice has been found to help urinary tract infections by preventing the formation of Candida albicans (the fungi that cause yeast infections). While studies have not shown it can help treat Candida albicans in the vagina, some women claim that it does have results. Cranberry juice and grains are also very high in Vitamin C, which can also help prevent infection.
Over-the-counter vaginal douches may fight yeast infections and relieve inflammation and irritation. However, most studies show adverse effects of flushing, and some studies give positive results. According to the Office of Women’s Health, doctors recommend not showering because douching can lead to problems with pregnancy, vaginitis, and sexually transmitted diseases (STIs).
Garlic oil and garlic are known anti-fungal agents. Studies have even found that it has anti-fungal activity against Candida albicans. While traditional methods may recommend inserting a garlic clove directly into the vagina, the less invasive method is simply adding more fresh garlic to food and incorporating it into more meals.
7. Hydrogen peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is a powerful disinfectant that has been found to kill yeast. It has not been specifically studied on strains of yeast vaginal infection. Before applying to the vagina, be sure to dilute the hydrogen peroxide first.
8. Oregano oil
Oregano oil, or oregano oil, has been shown to inhibit the growth of Candida albicans. To use oregano oil, use a few drops in a carrier agent, such as coconut oil or olive oil, and then apply it to the affected area.
Probiotics contain live bacteria, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, that help promote a healthy balance of bacteria in the vagina. They may treat or prevent bacterial vaginosis and urinary tract infections as well as yeast infections.
Buy probiotic supplements online or in stores. These oral supplements may take up to 10 days to show results. To reduce the duration of the results, some women have used probiotics as vaginal suppositories. Eating yogurt (with live and active cultures) is another good way to increase your probiotic intake.
However, like many natural remedies, there is a lack of evidence that probiotics treat yeast infections. Researchers are still studying probiotics for fungal infections, but many doctors recommend taking one whenever an antibiotic is prescribed, since yeast infection is a potential side effect of antibiotics.
10. Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is an essential oil with anti-fungal properties that some people claim to treat yeast infections. It works by killing the cell walls and membranes of yeast. While more studies are currently needed, a 2015 study found that vaginal suppositories containing tea tree oil were able to act as a fungicide agent thus killing Candida albicans.
As with all essential oils, use a few drops of tea tree oil with a carrier oil when using it on the body. Women can buy vaginal suppositories with tea tree oil online.
11. Vitamin C.
Vitamin C (Vitamin C coupons | What is Vitamin C?) Boosts the body’s immunity, and with the strengthening of the immune system, the body is able to better fight the yeast infection. Add more vitamin C by taking a supplement or eating fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C such as oranges and broccoli.
Yogurt (with live and active cultures) is a good way to treat yeast infections due to its high concentration of probiotics. As mentioned above, probiotics can help fight Candida albicans.