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Many people share the common misconception that only women can get a yeast infection. However, that’s not true. While yeast infections are more common in women, men can also suffer from a penile fungal infection caused by the yeast Candida. In women, it’s known as a vaginal yeast infection.
Anywhere from 3% to 11% of men will experience a yeast infection in their lifetime. In this Rapid STD Testing blog article, we’ll discuss how to cure a male yeast infection, common symptoms, treatments, and prevention methods.
If you believe you may have a yeast infection, don’t wait another day to know for sure. You can order a rapid STD test on our website and visit one of our 2500+ locations for same-day testing. Below, we’ll start by explaining what penile yeast infections are and include common symptoms to watch for that may indicate the presence of Candida.
What Is a Penile Yeast Infection?
A penile yeast infection is caused by a genus of fungi known as Candida. It may surprise you to know that Candida is already present in small amounts on your skin. In healthy people, Candida can be present without causing any adverse symptoms.
However, if an overgrowth of the yeast occurs, it can permeate the surface of the skin, leading to an infection or rash. The ideal environment for Candida is damp, dark, and creased, such as the foreskin of the penis.
How Do Men Get Yeast Infections?
We already stated that the yeast Candida is the direct cause of penile fungal infections in men. As the yeast thrives in a warm, damp environment, this infection often occurs in uncircumcised men. However, many risk factors can directly cause or contribute to male yeast infections:
- Using harsh soaps or deodorizers
- Poor hygiene and lack of bathing
- Wearing wet clothing for a long period
- Failing to rinse soap off the foreskin completely
- Having irritated or damaged skin
- Using lubricated condoms during sexual activity
- Wearing tight-fitting underwear that causes sweating
- Having sex with someone who has a vaginal yeast infection
In addition, yeast infections can be more common for people with certain health conditions. For example, this high-risk group includes people who:
- Are overweight or obese
- Have a compromised immune system due to cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, etc.
- Are currently taking antibiotics
- Have a sexually transmitted infection (STI)
Common Symptoms of Yeast Infections in Men
People with a penile yeast infection who fail to receive treatment can experience symptoms ranging from uncomfortable to painful. If the fungal infection lasts long enough, it could spread to the bloodstream and cause severe health complications. For those reasons, people need to be aware of the risk factors and potential complications of having a yeast infection.
The most common symptoms of a penile yeast infection include the following:
- Thick, white discharge present in skin folds or under the foreskin
- Penile swelling, redness, itchiness, or soreness
- Foul- or moldy-smelling discharge
- Small red spots on the head of the penis
- Shiny white patches on the head of the penis
- Tight foreskin or difficulty pulling the foreskin back
- Discomfort or pain during sexual intercourse
- Burning sensation during urination
Some of these symptoms are similar to other health conditions and STIs. For example, some people may think they have a UTI or yeast infection when they have a different type of STI. Therefore, getting tested and seeing your health care provider if you experience any adverse symptom is imperative. You can get same-day STD testing by ordering a panel on our website and heading to a Rapid STD Testing facility. You’ll receive confidential results within 72 hours.
How Is a Penile Yeast Infection Treated?
Next, we’ll discuss how to cure male yeast infections and the best treatment methods. While male yeast infections may sometimes go away on their own, they can also spread to other areas of the body, such as the scrotum, anus, or thighs. Therefore, it’s important to begin male yeast infection treatment immediately after a positive diagnosis.
In addition, untreated penile yeast infections can cause even worse complications. These include:
Balanitis: Balanitis is the term for a yeast infection of the head of the penis or foreskin. Balanitis can cause penile adhesions or scar the foreskin. It also can cause a burning sensation while urinating or result in painful and swollen glands.
Invasive candidiasis: When a penile yeast infection enters the bloodstream, it’s known as invasive candidiasis. This condition is common in untreated male yeast infections and people with compromised immune systems. It can also occur after catheter use. It’s a severe health condition that usually requires oral antifungal medication to cure.
Antifungal Medication for Yeast Infections
The most common male yeast infection treatment is antifungal medication, typically topical ointment or creams. Most over-the-counter antifungal creams are strong enough to cure male yeast infections. However, severe or long-term cases may require male yeast infection treatments like prescription-strength oral medication (e.g., Diflucan). Additional treatment forms include antibiotics or mild steroid creams.
The most common antifungal creams are as follows:
- Imidazole (Selexen, Canesten)
- Miconazole (Cruex, Lotrimin AF, Ting Antifungal, Desenex)
- Clotrimazole (Lotrimin AF, Desenex, Cruex, Lotrimin AF Ringworm)
- Nystatin (Mycostatin)
The recommended men’s yeast infection cure is antifungal creams, which you should apply for one to three weeks. However, if the medication doesn’t work and your symptoms persist after three weeks, you should make an appointment with a health care provider to seek stronger medication options.
Home Remedies for Male Yeast Infections
Now, we’ll discuss how to cure men’s yeast infections using home remedies. While these male yeast infection treatments may work for minor conditions, we would like to emphasize that anyone with persistent symptoms—like a genital rash, white discharge, white patches, etc.—should seek professional medical advice from a doctor.
The most common home remedies include the following:
Yogurt: You can try eating yogurt or applying it topically to the infected area to treat men’s yeast infections. The bacteria Lactobacillus may help relieve symptoms by restoring a healthy balance of bacteria. One study in 2015 of women with vaginal yeast infections found that applying a mixture of clotrimazole, honey, and yogurt helped relieve symptoms.
Apple cider vinegar: Using apple cider vinegar as a topical treatment may also provide symptom relief, but research is inconclusive. One study in 2015 showed that apple cider vinegar had antifungal properties against Candida. However, a 2019 study showed that while apple cider vinegar had antibacterial properties, yeasts like Candida were less susceptible to its effects.
Garlic: People have used garlic for centuries for its antibacterial and antifungal properties. One study compared the effects of clotrimazole to a cream of garlic and thyme. The results showed that the garlic and thyme cream reduced symptoms and had healing properties comparable to the popular medication.
Can a Penile Yeast Infection Go Away on Its Own?
The answer to this question is somewhere between yes and no. While some minor cases of penile yeast infections can go away on their own, there’s no guarantee. Remember, an untreated yeast infection can result in serious health complications, like an infection in the bloodstream or scarring on the genitals.
What To Expect When You Have a Penile Yeast Infection
If you receive a positive diagnosis for a penile yeast infection, you’ll likely feel upset or scared. While the symptoms can be uncomfortable because they occur in a sensitive area, it’s important to remember that yeast infections are relatively common and highly treatable.
You can start treatment by purchasing an over-the-counter antifungal cream or ointment. Be sure to follow the directions exactly. Typically, you will need to apply the cream once or twice daily for one to three weeks. Most minor cases will clear up quickly with treatment.
How Long Does a Penile Yeast Infection Last?
Thankfully, most men’s yeast infections don’t last very long. Mild cases will clear up within one to three weeks with over-the-counter medication. However, if you begin a male yeast infection treatment like an antifungal cream and notice your symptoms persisting after three weeks, make an appointment with your doctor so they can prescribe you an alternative option, like oral medication. You can see your primary care provider or a urologist for more specialized treatment.
Can You Have Sex While Recovering From a Yeast Infection?
While it’s possible to have sex while recovering from a penile yeast infection, it’s not advisable. First, you could pass the infection to your partner. In addition, having sex or wearing a condom can slow down the healing process and cause symptoms to persist longer by irritating the affected area through friction.
Generally speaking, you should wait five to seven days after completing your yeast infection treatment before engaging in sexual activity.
Are Penile Yeast Infections Preventable?
No method of prevention is 100% effective against yeast infections. Remember, you can become infected with Candida just by practicing poor hygiene or wearing tight-fitting or wet clothes for long periods. In addition, people with diabetes, weakened immune systems, and obesity issues also have a higher risk of developing a yeast infection.
In addition, you can pass a yeast infection to your partner during sexual activity. Uncircumcised men also have a higher risk of developing a yeast infection, particularly if they don’t practice good genital hygiene. Here are some ways you can help prevent yeast infections:
- Practice good hygiene—wash the penis and foreskin with soap and warm water, and dry the area thoroughly after bathing
- Avoid using soaps, lotions, or deodorizers with perfumes or skin irritants
- Keep your body at a healthy weight
- Wear breathable underwear to ensure your genital area stays dry
- Use condoms during sexual intercourse
Another important way to prevent yeast infections and STDs is by getting regular STD tests. Don’t worry; it’s easy to get tested. You can order a 10-panel STD test now from the Rapid STD Testing website. After you visit one of our locations, you’ll receive your confidential results within 72 hours via our secure online portal.
Stay in Control of Your Sex Life With Rapid STD Testing
Curing a male yeast infection can be as simple as going to your local pharmacy, buying some antifungal cream, and using it per the instructions. Most minor yeast infections will clear up in one to three weeks with the proper treatment. And while a yeast infection technically isn’t an STD, a positive diagnosis could be indicative of other issues in need of testing. You can call Rapid STD Testing now at (866) 872-1888 for same-day STD testing that’s fast, confidential, and easy.