Gentlemen, if you’ve had a girlfriend for any length of time, chances are you’ve heard her complain about something called a “yeast infection” – if not, count you and your girl lucky.
While not (always) dangerous, they can be very irritating and incapacitating in some cases.
And guess what?
Men can get them too.
NSFW WARNING – There is a picture of a penis with a yeast infection. Gross yeah, but you should know what you’re dealing with.
WHAT IS A YEAST INFECTION?
Candida is a strain of yeast that’s naturally found on the human body – particularly on moist skin or glands (which is why it loves the vagina).
It’s usually kept in check by good bacteria that live in the same area and feeds off the yeast. When in balance, you won’t even know it’s there. However, when this balance is upset, the yeast grows unchecked.
THE FORMS OF THE INFECTION
- The most common strain is Candida albicans, but there are other types such as C. glabrata, C. parapsilosis, C. tropicalis, and C. krusei, which are less common.
- If you get this infection in your mouth, it’s called Thrush (or oral candidiasis).
- If you get it on your skin it’s called Cutaneous candidiasis.
- If you get it on your penis (glans) it’s called Candidal/Candida balanitis.
- If it’s on your foreskin, it’s called Candidal balanoposthitis.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
If it affects the glans…
- Burning and itching around the penis
- Pain while you pee or have sex
- Redness and swelling
- Light colored, shiny patches of skin on the penis
- Red rash in and around the penis
SIDE NOTE: You might think that the “itching” isn’t a big deal, but it can get BAD. So bad you want to tear your penis off.
If it affects the foreskin…
- A thick, lumpy discharge under the foreskin
- An unpleasant odor of the foreskin
- Difficulty pulling back your foreskin
NOTE: Don’t confuse this with “dick cheese”. It’s not the same.
HOW CAN MEN GET IT?
There are several ways…
- Unprotected sex – with a woman who has a yeast infection.
- Extended antibiotic use – they can kill the good bacteria that keeps the yeast in check.
- Being uncircumcised – warmer, moister, and easier to grow the yeast.
- Type 2 diabetes – yeast feeds off sugar and T2D has plenty of sugar spikes.
- HIV status – due to the compromised immune defenses.
- Poor hygiene – not washing your genitals enough lets the yeast build up.
- Clothing and detergent – wearing tight clothing restricts air flow (which is bad) and some detergents can irritate your skin (and glans).
TREATING A MALE YEAST INFECTION
Prevention goes a long way by keeping clean, having safe sex, avoid sex when one of you is infected, and watching what you wash your clothes with. If you do end up getting it, there are over the counter and prescription creams or pills.
MICONAZOLE – Topical antifungal cream/spray
CLOTRIMAZOL – Topical cream for the treatment of fungal growths on the skin
DIFLUCAN – A prescription pill that’s taken once and is good for persistent infections
NOTE: Don’t bother with antibiotics. They’ll only make the infection worse.
You can try home/natural remedies, but keep in mind that there isn’t any evidence to show they work (although there’s no evidence to support than they don’t).
Yoghurt (with zero sugar) and Oil of Oregano have antifungal properties and can be applied to the skin (never internally). Also, any essential oils should be diluted in a carrier oil such as almond or grapeseed.
For men or women, if you think you have a yeast infection, the sooner you treat it the better.
If you want more articles on sex and health, you can check out these…
- Vaginal Infections and Sex – Quick Guide to Why It Itches
- 20 Reasons There’s Pain During Sex – For Woman and Men
- Oral Sex STDs 101 – Things to Know Before Opening Your Mouth
Anything you want to add? Share in the comments!