Thrush in men
Thrush in men is an urogenital infection of a fungal nature. Thrush in men is similar in origin to thrush in women, but has differences in clinical manifestations. In addition, if a woman's thrush is an independent isolated the disease, in men, a prolonged, chronic genital candidiasis always indicates serious systemic disorders.
The disease got its name thanks to the sites of a characteristic white or white-gray plaque on the genitals, in appearance resembling sour milk.
"Culprits" for the development of the disease are Candida microscopic fungi. As part of the conditionally pathogenic microflora, they are present in the body and are completely harmless in small amounts. They can be found on the skin (especially around natural openings), in the oral cavity, in the intestines and genitals. Especially comfortable fungal population feels in warm places with high humidity - in the inguinal folds and mucous membranes. Candida fungi have the ability to form colonies. Growing up, they firmly attach to the surface of cells, destroy them and penetrate into the underlying tissue - this is how specific dense white raids are formed.
Growth and reproduction of the fungal microflora is controlled by the immune system, so violations in its work are the most frequent cause of thrush. Most often, the symptoms of thrush provoke uncontrolled use of antibiotics.
Candida fungi "love" glucose, so most often successfully multiply in tissues with high sugar content. In patients with diabetes mellitus and metabolic disorders, thrush is more often recorded.
Thrush in representatives of the stronger sex is much less common than in women. This is due to the peculiarities of the structure of the genital organs: the mucous membrane of the vagina is more suitable for reproduction of the fungus flora than the skin of the male external genital organs. In addition, regular hygiene procedures prevent reproduction of fungal flora.
Symptoms of male thrush are not always pronounced enough, the disease in most patients is manifested by small symptoms, and in 10-15% of all the infected men thrush has an asymptomatic course. Because of poorly expressed symptoms, the disease often acquires a chronic form with episodes of relapse.
Unlike female representatives, a significant number of male population prejudices visits to the doctor, preferring self-diagnosis and self-treatment. Acquiring at random medicines for the treatment of sexual infection, they do not cure the disease, but only remove the active signs of thrush in men. In such situations thrush becomes a chronic disease. The most unfavorable is the situation when the patient begins to be treated with antibiotics, suspecting himself of a venereal disease, as a result the fungal population begins to multiply intensively, and the disease becomes acute, worsening the patient's condition.
Diagnosis of thrush in men does not cause difficulties, even in the absence of active complaints from the patient, the symptoms of thrush are easy to see with the usual external examination of the genital area. However, in cases where the candida flora develops in common with other pathogenic bacteria, diagnosis of thrush in men causes difficulties.
Episodes of uncomplicated acute genital candidiasis in somatically healthy men with a good immune system respond well to therapy if the cause of the disease is eliminated along with the pathogen. Prolonged leaking complicated thrush in men is cured difficult, as the infection rises to the overlying organs - the bladder, prostate and kidneys.
Medicines for treatment of thrush in men are similar to those for therapy of candidal inflammation in women and are represented by a wide group of antifungal drugs for systemic and local use.
The issue of transfer of thrush from a partner during intimacy is of equal interest to both men and women. Often at a gynecologist's reception, patients are asked whether the male is a milkmaid and vice versa - men are interested in whether they could "infect" a partner. The appearance of thrush in men often causes bewilderment, since the disease is mistakenly considered only female.
Genital candidiasis is often detected in both sexual partners, which may imply a sexual way of spreading. However, it also appears in young children and non-sexually active adult patients, indicating an independent nature of the disease. This dual nature of the disease does not allow to give an unambiguous answer about the possibility of sexual transmission of the disease.
The mechanism of transmission of fungal infection to the sexual partner is associated with the presence of (or her) injuries (injuries, abrasions, etc.) on the skin and mucous intimate area, as well as major changes in the mechanisms of immune defense. Therefore, the situation where the source of the disease in a woman is a male carrier of thrush occurs if:
- In the area of the woman's external genitalia, there are areas with a damaged outer layer of skin or mucous membranes. Such places are not protected from penetration of conditionally pathogenic microorganisms, the fungi caught on them easily penetrate deep into the ground and begin to multiply.
- A woman has pronounced inflammatory processes in the genital area. With inflammation, the mechanisms of local defense are weakened, and the inflamed tissue becomes loose and more easily passes into the undesirable microflora.
- The dysbacteriosis of the vagina in the partner creates ideal conditions for the development of the disease after sexual contact with the owner of the thrush.
Similar conditions for sexual transmission of fungal inflammation apply to men. All these mechanisms are unlikely if the sexual partner is healthy and has a good immune system. In addition, sexual intercourse with the source of candidiasis should be continuous and regular. Long-standing chronic thrush in men or women is more dangerous in terms of sexual transmission than acute.
Causes of thrush in men
The only reason for thrush is an excessive increase in the number of Candida fungi. Male genital organs are not a "suitable" place for thrush development, since the penis is located outside, and the fungi are washed off regularly during hygiene procedures. It is extremely rare cases of thrush development in circumcised men.
In contrast to the female body, thrush in men almost always indicates a serious unhappiness, which caused the growth of fungal microflora.
The fungal population begins to show aggressiveness and becomes pathogenic when the following provoking factors appear:
- Most often (80%) fungal infection of the genital organs in men is caused by abnormalities in the work of local and general immunity against the background of severe infections, immunodeficiency states, hypovitaminosis and metabolic disorders. Inflammatory processes in the genitals (especially venereal diseases) negatively affect the state of local immunity, reduce the ability of the genital area to resist infection and create the conditions necessary for the reproduction of fungi.
- Mushrooms tend to tissues, rich in glucose. This explains the frequent occurrence of thrush in men with diabetes.
- The intake of antibiotics and certain hormonal drugs increases the risk of fungal infection.
- Fungal microflora prefers closed skin or mucous membranes with high humidity. Therefore, non-observance of the basic rules of personal hygiene (washing) can lead to excessive multiplication of fungi in the intimate zone. A man who neglects regular hygiene procedures has a better chance of getting a thrush. Particular attention to intimate hygiene should be given in hot weather, when the sweat glands on the skin in the genital area work in a strengthened mode.
However, thrush may also appear after too zealous hygienic procedures. Too frequent water procedures lead to the fact that the skin of the penis becomes too dry, and this makes it vulnerable. The use of aggressive hygiene products (soap, gels and others) can also cause irritation and local allergic reactions.
- Obesity predisposes to the development of thrush for two reasons: a metabolic disorder changes the state of the immune system, and excessive fat deposition provokes increased sweating and creates the necessary for Candida "wet" and warm climate. In addition, it is more difficult for a fat man to observe the proper hygiene of the genitals.
- Stress and excessive psycho-emotional stress negatively affect immunity, increase the work of sweat glands, increase body temperature. Against this background, the fungal microflora is easier to increase its number.
- Thrush in men can provoke some local inoffensive situations, accompanied by a violation of the integrity of the skin or mucosa in the genital area, for example, thermal and chemical burns and / or injuries. Wearing too tight underwear sometimes leads to the appearance of irritations on the delicate skin of the genital organs, prevents normal heat transfer in this zone and provokes the development of thrush.
- In partners of women suffering from chronic vaginal candidiasis, the risk of getting a thrush increases 4 times compared to those who do not contact sick partners. Candidiasis of the penis in some situations can appear after a long sexual life with a woman suffering from chronic thrush. This condition is called "conjugal thrush" and implies joint therapy.
Whatever the reasons for the increase in the size of the Candida population, in healthy men the thrush episode has no negative consequences and a bright clinic. Often, the disease is of a short-term nature, cured due to internal protective reserves or quickly passes against a background of a single course of antifungal therapy.
Symptoms and signs of thrush in men
The most common initial symptom of thrush in men is inflammation of the skin of the glans penis - balanitis. Occurs as an independent disease is extremely rare, as the inflammatory process quickly spreads to the foreskin, and the disease proceeds in the form of balanoposthitis - the inflammation of the head and foreskin of the penis.
Symptoms of inflammation increase with the spread of fungal infection and correspond to the stage of the disease.
At the onset of the disease (stage of catarrhal inflammation) on the skin of the penis in the area of the coronary sulcus and foreskin, redness, small swelling and a slight mucus appear. The patient is worried about the feeling of burning, itching and discomfort. At this stage, as a rule, patients rarely seek qualified help, try to cope with the situation on their own or do not take any measures at all.
At the next, erosive stage, the wetting skin of the penis is damaged, small erosions begin to appear on it. Fusing, they form extensive ulcers, which are covered with a characteristic gray-white dense coating. After removal of the plaque, a bright red erosive surface is found. There may be a narrowing of the foreskin (phimosis). Increasing edema leads to an increase in the existing symptoms and the appearance of pain, including during urination, erection and / or sexual intimacy.
Inguinal lymph nodes increase after the aggravation of the inflammatory process, can be painful.
Sometimes on the skin of the penis with a thrush appears atypical for candidal lesions in the form of spots or "pimples". Such skin rashes are allergic in nature and can make diagnosis more difficult.
Disorders caused by candidiasis, create favorable conditions for joining a secondary infection, especially in a weakened organism. In this case, the clinic will be supplemented with symptoms of purulent inflammation.
If the inflammation has affected the urethra, urination will be painful and accompanied by burning. Candid urethritis in men develops in the absence of adequate attention to one's condition from the ill. Most of the signs are similar to acute gonorrhea. To the existing symptoms are added disorders of urination in the form of dysuria, burning and itching during the passage of urine through the inflamed urethral canal. Urine becomes turbid and acquires a sour smell. If the mucous urethra is damaged significantly, in the urine there may be an admixture of blood flowing from the ulcers on the urethral mucosa.
At night, when the fungi and products of their vital activity are in the urethra for a long time, a thick white mucus secret with inclusions in the form of threads or flakes is formed and accumulates in it. In the morning, the patient discovers it during urination.
To very rare, complicated forms of thrush in men is candidiasis pyelocystitis - a fungal infection of the bladder and kidneys. The disease is severe, with severe fever and pain syndrome.
Relapses of chronic candidiasis infection are detected in men with severe somatic pathology and immunodeficiency conditions.
One of the most negative scenarios is an attempt at self-medication with the help of antibiotics, if a patient has a fear of a potential sexually transmitted infection. In this case, the disease is aggravated.
Diagnosis of thrush in men begins with an external examination of the genitals. An experienced physician will easily detect skin changes characteristic of candidiasis - inflammatory "spots" covered with a gray-white coating. Often, the patient clearly indicates the cause of the onset of symptoms of the disease, for example, taking antibiotics, exacerbating diabetes mellitus, changing the rhythm of hygiene procedures and so on. The presence of chronic vaginal candidiasis in the sexual partner has a certain diagnostic value.
Fungi have the ability to associate with other representatives of opportunistic microflora and participate in a joint infectious process. In such situations, the picture of the disease is much more pronounced, but the symptoms typical for thrush can be hidden under the mask of other infectious diseases.
Laboratory diagnostics can detect fungal microflora as a causative agent of infection. For diagnosis, microscopy of smears and sowing of the contents of erosions or ulcers of the affected area of the skin of the penis are used. However, the mere presence of Candida in the test material does not indicate a disease in view of the fact that the fungi are contained in the tissues of a healthy person. The correct diagnosis is made only on the basis of the analysis of the survey data, external examination and laboratory research.
Sometimes the cause of thrush in men can not be established, in this case it is considered that candidiasis has the character of a secondary disease.
Treatment of thrush in men
The success of therapy for thrush in men depends on the cause of the disease. Modern medicines for treatment of thrush in men without serious difficulties can cope with the disease if it is caused by local causes: violations of the regime of intimate hygiene, micro-trauma, disorders of the mechanism of local immune defense, and so on.
If the patient has systemic disorders of the endocrine, hormonal or immune nature, thrush can not always be completely eliminated. Often in patients fungal infection occurs in a chronic recurrent form, and treatment measures help only to eliminate acute symptoms and increase the duration of the remission period. To completely cure such patients from genital candidiasis, it is necessary to eliminate an unfavorable background, and this is not always feasible, as, for example, in case of diabetes mellitus, autoimmune diseases and other such ailments.
Before starting treatment with the patient, a conversation is held about the need to observe simple rules during therapy, sexual rest, a diet with a limited content of fats and carbohydrates, timely proper hygiene of the genital organs is recommended. Also, during the treatment of thrush, men should refuse to take foreign medicines, especially antibiotics.
Sometimes the doctor has to teach the patient the correct rules of sexual hygiene. Since the fungus flora loves a moist environment, after the shower it is necessary to wipe the skin of the genital organs dry. It is necessary to give preference to free underwear made of natural cotton, because close synthetic underwear does not allow the skin to "breathe", irritates it and promotes the development of thrush in men.
If there is a possibility of sexual transmission of infection with thrush, joint sexual partner of the patient is invited for joint antifungal therapy, so that after the treatment there is no re-infection.
In healthy men, episodes of thrush are easily eliminated at the initial stages of the development of the inflammatory process. Proper genital hygiene helps to reduce the number of fungi on the skin of the genital organs, and changing the pH of the medium with an aqueous solution of baking soda (1 tablespoon per 1 liter of boiled warm water) suppresses the reproduction of Candida. If the skin of the penis and surrounding tissues is too moist, it should be doused with a weak (pale pink) solution of potassium permanganate.
Traditional medicine successfully copes with local inflammatory phenomena at the initial stage of their appearance. Decoctions of all your favorite daisies have an anti-inflammatory and soothing effect on the affected skin. Chamomile broth can be prepared by yourself, pour 2 tablespoons of dry herbal mixture with one liter of boiling water, and then bring the resulting mixture to a boil. After the broth cools down, you can use it for washing or baths. In a similar way, thrush therapy with calendula and other medicinal herbs is performed.
Any independent attempts to control the symptoms of thrush should be suspended if within the first two to three days the clinical picture does not change or worsen. Reception of any antibiotics is unacceptable. In some cases, an antimicrobial medication purchased independently in a pharmacy helps to eliminate the symptoms of the disease, but does not guarantee a further relapse.
Medicinal antifungal agents for the treatment of genital candidiasis in men and women are completely analogous and differ only in the ways of application due to anatomical differences in the structure of the genital organs. If thrush in men is caused by exogenous (external) causes, a successful course of local treatment is sufficient for successful therapy. More complex cases involve the use of systemic antimycotic drugs (tablets).
Antifungal creams or ointments are used as the initial remedy for the treatment of thrush. The drug is applied to the areas of the affected skin according to the recommendations of the doctor (usually up to two times a day) for a week or ten days. Before applying the antifungal cream, it is necessary to thoroughly rinse the genitals with warm water without using aromatic cosmetic means of personal hygiene. After showering, carefully dry the skin with a natural fiber towel.
Sometimes after applying the cream on the skin of the penis, additional skin rashes appear and the itching increases. This may mean an individual intolerance to the drug, so its use should be stopped and consult a doctor to replace it.
Tablets for thrush in men are taken in conjunction with local treatment. As a rule, the combined use of local and systemic therapy is prescribed for patients with weakened immune system, chronic thrush against the background of concomitant therapeutic pathology. The duration of treatment and the course doses of drugs are selected individually.
Fungal flora sometimes causes severe itching and allergic rashes on the skin of the genital organs, to eliminate them the patient is prescribed antihistamines (antiallergic) drugs.
If a man has serious impairments in the functioning of the immune, endocrine and other important body systems, isolated thrush therapy will be unsuccessful and will only bring temporary relief. In such cases it is necessary to treat not the yeast infection, but the disease, which it provoked.
Drugs for thrush in men
Through the pharmacy network, a significant number of antifungal agents are being sold. They differ in the number of components, names and prices, but in the composition of each of them predominantly one substance of antimycotic action predominates:
- Miconazole as part of a spray (Dactarine) or cream (Mikozone);
- Ketoconazole in the cream (Dermazol or Nizoral), ointments (Mikoket, Sebazol or Mikozoral) or tablets (Oronazol, Fungavis Fungistab and others);
- Econazole in the composition or cream of Ifenek, Ecodax cream.
- Clotrimaz in the cream (Amicon, Imidil, Candide, Kanesten), ointments. Clotrimazole is very popular in the form of the same name ointment.
Antifungal action tablets also contain a basic antimicrobial substance (Miconazole, ketoconazole, etc.) and all kinds of "supplements" in order to eliminate the symptoms of inflammation, allergic manifestations and stimulate the processes of restoring the integrity (regeneration) of damaged tissue structures.
All antifungal agents have a pronounced antibacterial effect against Candida and some representatives of the opportunistic microflora, which, as part of the microbial association in conjunction with fungi, potentiates the infectious process. Penetrating into the breeding site of fungi, they damage the cell wall of fungi, prevent their colonization and stop the process of introducing pathogens into epithelial cells.
Prevention of thrush in men
If thrush develops against the backdrop of systemic diseases, the only measure to prevent it is adequate therapy for the underlying ailment.
Simple measures to prevent thrush should be observed by all men.
Regular personal hygiene is of paramount importance. During a normal daily shower, the fungal flora is mechanically removed by water from the genitals. If hygiene measures are ignored, the population of fungi may begin to increase and provoke the development of thrush.
Wet skin is easily traumatized, and if moisture remains in the folds of the skin, Candida will certainly "settle" in them. To avoid this scenario, you should keep the skin of the genitalia dry.
Inconvenient underwear should be replaced by a free and cotton.
Random sexual intercourse and frequent genital infections seriously damage local immunity and reduce the body's ability to resist fungal infection. In addition, the culture of intimate life is a measure of the prevention of many more dangerous sexual infections.
The need for proper nutrition plays an important role in the prevention of thrush. In the presence of obesity thrush in men develops more often, as the skin forms more folds and sweats more.
The diagnosis of thrush in men is made only by a doctor. Not always patients know where to go for help and ask: if a yeast infection in men - which doctor? With any symptoms of trouble in the genital area, a man can consult a urologist or a venereologist.