THRUSH

Thrush (Candidiasis) is a fungal infection which occurs commonly in the vagina and sometimes in the mouth (oral thrush). It can also occur in other body parts, mainly moist, humid areas (where skin folds on top of itself) such as under the arms, the groin and under the breasts. Candida is normally present in the body in small amounts, but under certain conditions the amount of Candida increases and starts to cause problems, which is when we begin to experience symptoms.

Vaginal thrush is characterised by:
  • Soreness in and around the vaginal area
  • Itching around the vagina
  • The production of a thick, white non-smelly vaginal dischargee


Oral thrush is common in babies and the elderly. It presents as soft, white, elevated patches on the tongue that can be wiped off leaving a raw underlying tissue, which may bleed. It can also be present on the inside of the cheeks.
Causes
The overgrowth of candida can be caused by a number of factors including:
  • Certain medications e.g. antibiotics.
  • Irritants such as bubble baths.
  • Pregnancy and hormonal changes alter vaginal pH levels.
  • Diabetes and other diseases.
  • Warm conditions and wearing tight clothing.
  • Sexual intercourse.
Vaginal thrush is not a sexually transmitted disease but it can be triggered during sex and passed from one partner to another. In most cases men don't show signs of thrush but should be treated along with their partner just in case they re-infect their partner.

Courses of antibiotics are well known for causing thrush as they kill the protective and natural bacteria, leaving the body vulnerable to infection.
TREATMENT
Clotrimazole: is a very effective anti-fungal treatment that is available in a cream and pessary formulation for local treatment of vaginal thrush. One thing to note is that it might damage latex condoms and diaphragms and so the effectiveness of such contraceptives might be reduced.

Miconazole: is another effective anti-fungal treatment. It is available for vaginal thrush and other fungal infections. It is also available as an orange-flavoured product for the treatment of oral thrush.
Visit your pharmacist or doctor:
  • If the patient is diabetic
  • Anyone suffering for the first time
  • If a discharge has a strong smell present
  • Pregnant women
  • If the patient is suffering from recurrent attacks
  • Women under 16 and over 60
  • Males suffering with symptoms of discharge from the penis
  • If the patient is on inhalers or any other medication e.g. warfarin
  • All babies
Helpful Tips from Mulligans Pharmacy:
  • At Mulligans Pharmacy, we understand that our customers may need treatment for symptoms of a personal or sensitive nature. Our pharmacists are always available for a discreet chat in our private consultation room at your request, or you can ask a Mulligans Pharmacist a question in confidence here.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothes and avoid jeans or synthetic materials as this can aggravate the condition.
  • Symptoms of thrush should disappear within 3 days of treatment. If symptoms do not improve after 7 days then patients should see their GP.
  • During an attack of thrush, soap, disinfectants and perfumed toiletries may aggravate itching and irritation and are best avoided.
  • Acidophilus products (beneficial bacteria) may help towards restoring the natural bacterial balance of the body, which can help protect against opportunistic infections such as thrush.
  • The gel for oral thrush is best applied after food as this prevents the medicine being lost and increases the contact time with the infection. Treatment should be continued for a further two days after the oral thrush clears up to prevent the thrush from reoccurring.
  • In the case of oral thrush all feeding bottles, soothers, teething rings etc. should be sterilised to help prevent re-infection.
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