Candidiasis in men: symptoms, causes and treatment

Yeast infection is an infection that can also affect men. Below we explain the main forms of clinical presentation, their causes and some therapeutic aspects.

Physician reviewed and approved Diego Pereira on November 28, 2021.

Last update: November 28, 2021

When you think of yeast infections, it is often done in the context of female genital health. Although it is true that statistically women are more prone to them, it must also be remembered that yeast infection in men is a real problem. Today we tell you what it consists of, why it is generated, what its symptoms are and how it can be treated.

Infections by Candida in man they have three manifestations: in the genital area (balanoposthitis), inside the mouth (thrush) or on the surface of the skin (superficial mycosis). Here we explain everything you should know about these cases of yeast infection in men.

Symptoms of yeast infection in men

Yeast infections in men do not usually cause symptoms right away, and when they do, it is usually mild in intensity. As we have pointed out, this infection can develop in different parts of the body. We proceed to review your symptoms according to the site of infection.

Balanoposthitis symptoms

The inflammation typical of balanitis usually causes pain and a lot of discomfort in patients.

It is also known as balanitis and, according to the researchers, up to 60% of cases are due to infection by Candida. It is characterized by the following:

  • Swelling and redness of the glans or foreskin.
  • More odorous secretions in one or both areas.
  • Itching and irritation.
  • Development of small, rash-like bumps (these may leak pus).
  • Discomfort during sex.
  • Pale spots on the glans or foreskin.
  • Burning when urinating.

Genital yeast infection in men usually occurs in those who are not circumcised. The use of certain products, poor hygiene and poorly controlled diabetes can also cause it to develop in those who are.

Symptoms of oral yeast infection in men

Although the genital manifestation groups most infections, it can also develop in the form of canker sores in the mouth.

Investigators usually classify cases as acute (pseudomembranous and erythematous), chronic (pseudomembranous, erythematous, plaque-shaped, and nodular), and associated lesions (prosthetic stomatitis, angular cheilitis, and median rhomboid glossitis). Let’s see its symptoms:

  • Creamy white lesions in the oral cavity (tongue, cheeks, gums, tonsils and the roof of the mouth).
  • Redness, inflammation and burning of the affected areas.
  • Slight bleeding when the lesions are rubbed to remove them (with a tongue scraper, for example).
  • Loss of taste sensation.
  • Cracking and redness of the corners of the mouth.

Mild cases, which are the majority, remain in the upper oral cavity. On the contrary, in severe cases, the lesions can extend to the esophagus. This happens in principle in patients with a compromised immune system.

Symptoms of skin infection by Candida

The third most common manifestation of yeast infection in men is a skin infection. It can affect any surface of the skin, although it is more common in folds and in humid or warm areas.

The infection can also be concentrated in the nails, around them or in the corner of the mouth (without becoming oral candidiasis). Similarly, it can be responsible for athlete’s foot and diaper rash. We write down its symptoms:

  • Red or purple spots in the affected area.
  • Skin rash.
  • Cracks at the edges or in the center of the eruptions.
  • Creamy pustules.
  • Peeling of the affected area.
  • Appearance of whitish areas.
  • Pain, irritation and inflammation.

Lesions of this type are very common in obsessed patients, with compromised immune systems, or with diabetes. Although these are the preferred groups, anyone can develop cutaneous yeast infections in men.

Causes of yeast infection in men

Men with some degree of immunosuppression, such as those with cancer or HIV, are more likely to develop yeast infections.

Candida albicans is the scientific name of the species most involved in these infections. Although it can remain in the body without doing damage, under normal conditions the immune system maintains its population in balance to prevent it from overflowing.

That is, every healthy person has a certain amount of the fungus on their genitals, in their mouth, or on the surface of their skin. Most of the infection processes are focused, as we have seen previously, although they can also be general.

In fact, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reminds us, there is the invasive candidiasis. It is an internal infection that affects organs such as the brain, heart, bones, eyes, and other parts of the body.

Many situations can cause the population of Candida increases, gets out of control and manifests some of the symptoms that we have pointed out. We leave you with some of them:

  • Have poor hygiene.
  • Not being circumcised.
  • Prolonged use of antibiotics (they do not attack fungi, but they do attack bacteria that keep them under control).
  • Have diabetes
  • Being overweight.
  • Having diseases or health conditions that compromise the immune system (HIV, for example).
  • Wearing very tight clothing that encourages sweat or heat build-up.
  • Use some hygiene products (soaps, deodorants and others) that irritate the skin.
  • Living in very humid or cold environments.

Treatment of yeast infection in men

Most episodes of yeast infection in men do not require treatment. A high percentage of these are mild and disappear after a couple of days or weeks. As the Urology Care Foundation points out, you can keep the following in mind:

  • Wash the affected area and change clothes at least once a day (especially after sweating or in hot weather).
  • Use antifungal creams directly on the affected area.
  • Opt for over-the-counter medications.

In chronic cases you should consult a specialist to avoid complications. It is also advisable to do it when the infection is persistent (despite being mild) or when you experience it frequently.

Yeast infection in men is a very common infection that can also be easily treated. It is very important not to neglect yourself, and to see a specialist when an underlying problem is suspected. Modifying some habits is also important to reduce the frequency of cases.

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