It is characterized by irritation, inflammation, itching, and white discharge. It’s advised to visit a gynecologist in the presence of these symptoms to confirm the diagnosis and rule out other possible conditions, especially if it’s the first episode. In the case of recurrent episodes, the following home remedies can help treat yeast infections. It is advised to consult a doctor first because the doctor may prescribe medications along with home remedies:
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C boosts the immune system. A strong immune system can reduce the recurrence of an infection. Citric fruits and tomatoes are rich in vitamin C, and vitamin C may also be taken as supplements. Local application of vitamin C should be avoided because it is acidic and can irritate the vaginal tissue.
- Hydrogen peroxide: Hydrogen peroxide is an antiseptic. It may not work against every species of yeast. Adding hydrogen peroxide to a bath or diluting it in water can help with yeast growing on the genitals. Diluting (half water and half hydrogen peroxide) and applying it to the genitals can help. Dilution is very important because peroxide may cause extreme skin irritation.
- Boric acid: Boric acid is a powerful antiseptic that can help treat infections that are resistant to other remedies. Boric acid vaginal suppositories were used to treat vaginal infections in the past. However, boric acid is toxic in large amounts. It can lead to kidney damage, acute failure of the circulatory system, or death. Hence, boric acid should not be applied to broken skin or taken orally. It should not be used during pregnancy.
- Probiotic suppositories and supplements: Probiotics can help restore the normal bacteria–yeast balance throughout the body. Probiotics are present in fermented foods such as yogurt. Oral probiotics contain strains of Lactobacillus acidophilus bacteria that can restore the balance between the digestive tract and vaginal flora. Oral supplements can take about 10 days to show effects. Vaginal suppositories have quicker results. Applying plain yogurt over the affected area can help.
- Tea tree oil: Tea tree oil is an essential oil that helps kill fungi, bacteria, and viruses. Tea tree oil is extremely strong; hence, it should be diluted with a carrier oil, such as jojoba or coconut oil, before applying to avoid irritation. Vaginal suppository containing tea tree oil not taken orally.
- Apple cider vinegar: Apple cider vinegar has many medicinal uses. Mixing half a cup of apple cider vinegar to a warm bathtub and soaking for 20 minutes can help kill harmful bacteria and fungi, including yeast, due to the acidity of the vinegar. Apple cider vinegar can also be incorporated into the diet.
- Oregano oil: Oregano oil made from wild oregano, or Origanum vulgare, contains thymol and carvacrol, which are powerful antifungals. Mixing three to five drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier oil such as jojoba oil and applying it to the skin can help but should not be applied close to the vagina. It can also be inhaled through a diffuser.
- Coconut oil: Coconut oil has several health benefits, including antibacterial and antifungal properties. Pure, organic coconut oil can be applied directly to the affected area.
- Garlic: Garlic is effective against fungus and is an effective Candida killer. Garlic may be added to the diet. Inserting garlic in the vagina should be avoided because it causes severe burning and pain.
How to prevent vaginal yeast infections?
The following tips can help reduce the number of episodes or prevent vaginal yeast infections:
- Reducing the consumption of sugar and processed foods
- Wearing loose-fitting, breathable cotton underwear and clothes
- Avoiding wearing wet clothes or bathing suits for a long time
- Avoiding antibiotics unnecessarily without a prescription
- Avoiding vaginal douching without consulting a doctor
- Avoiding vaginal deodorant sprays and scented vaginal lotions
- Eating a healthy, balanced diet
- Maintaining overall body hygiene
When to call a doctor?
Home remedies may or may not work to treat a vaginal yeast infection. Some home remedies may provide relief within a few days, whereas some may take up to a week or longer.
It is advised to consult a doctor before resorting to home remedies, especially during pregnancy. It is important to seek medical attention if the symptoms worsen or if new symptoms appear at any point during treatment or if the symptoms do not resolve in a week or two.
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Vaginal Yeast Infection
Vaginal yeast infections in women are caused by an organism called Candida albicans. Symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection include vaginal pain with urination, vaginal discharge, odor, and itching.
Treatment is generally OTC medications. A man can contract a yeast infection from his female sexual partner. Symptoms of a yeast infection in men include penile itching. Treatment is with oral or topical medication.
Yeast Infection QuizHow much do you know about vaginal yeast infections? Learn the causes, symptoms, and treatments of a yeast infection with the Vaginal Yeast Infection Quiz.
Yeast Infection vs. Diaper Rash in Infants, Toddlers, and ChildrenDiaper rash in infants, babies, toddlers, and children is caused by Candida, the most common type of fungus. Signs and symptoms of diaper rash includes red, elevated skin that may be visible under and in the creases of the skin, groin, or anus. Yeast diaper rash is not painful. Treatments for diaper rash include antibiotic creams, lotions, natural home remedies, over-the-counter (OTC) medicine, and oral antibiotics. Yeast infections in infants, babies, toddlers, and children can cause diaper rash and thrush. Signs and symptoms of thrush include thick, white lacy patches on top of a red base that can form on the tongue, palate, or elsewhere inside the palate. Treatment for yeast infections caused by Candida fungi are similar to the treatments for diaper rash. If Candida gets into the bloodstream of an individual they may get sick with or without a fever. If the Candida infection spreads throughout the body up to 45% of people may die. Even with common mouth thrush can cause critical illness and may be more resistant to normal treatment.
Yeast Infections (Thrush in Babies) PictureThrush is a yeast infection that causes white patches in the mouth and on the tongue. See a picture of Yeast Infection (Thrush) and learn more about the health topic.
Yeast infections vs. STDs in Men and WomenSTDs, also termed sexually transmitted diseases, are infections that are mainly transmitted to others during direct sexual contact. A yeast infection is the invasion and multiplication of a fungus (yeast) in or on the body.