Thrush is a medical condition caused by a fungus that commonly affects the mouth and throat, the vagina in women, or the diaper area in infants and toddlers. Normally, the fungus that cause thrush is kept in check by the body’s other friendly bacteria and microorganisms. However, there are several factors that may increase one’s risk of developing thrush. These are illness, smoking, stress, and medication. Oral thrush is caused by the fungus oropharyngeal candidiasis, while vaginal thrush is a yeast infection caused by the fungus Candida albicans. If thrush keeps returning, it is called recurrent thrush or complicated thrush.
Vaginal thrush can be considered harmless, because it doesn’t cause pain. However, it causes itching, irritation, and swelling of the vaginal area, accompanied by a white discharge. Furthermore, this type of thrush can be passed on to men through sex. On the other hand, oral thrush causes the mouth to develop painful wounds and lesions that look like creamy white patches. These can spread to the esophagus, making it difficult to swallow. If it gets past the esophagus, it can cause one to have fevers.
Vaginal thrush can be treated with anti-thrush creams, which are to be applied near the vaginal area. One may also ingest antifungal tablets, in which case one should use ordinary emollient and moisturizer for the vaginal area, instead of antifungal creams. Similar to the treatment for vaginal thrush, curing oral thrush can be done with antifungal medications, particularly those that come in lozenges and liquids. To prevent both types of thrush from returning, one should follow good hygiene practices like brushing the teeth thrice a day, flossing regularly, and proper washing of the vaginal area. One should also avoid tight-fitting underwear and tights, vaginal deodorants, and not overuse mouthwashes and mouth sprays.
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