Unfortunately, yeast infections can impact anyone at any point in their lives and it is easy to not know the new symptoms of an infection. It is fairly common for the specific locations of new yeast infections to change as the result of aging and even the way that a yeast infection manifests can mask its presence to many older individuals. In addition, it will also be helpful to note that the problems associated with diabetes, especially if it is not well controlled; and the onset of menopause also set the stage for the uncomfortable problems that a yeast infection is so often responsible for.
Many people have the common misconception that yeast infections are primarily an intimate problem and will therefore head to the drug store only when it appears in that obvious and common way. The truth is a yeast infection is the result of an overgrowth of the yeast that is in everyone's body anyway and that overgrowth can appear anywhere on the body. Symptoms include a bubbly appearance, dry or gritty discharge, itching and eventually a yeast infection may begin to resemble tiny, unhealed cut marks.
However, there are parts of an older person's body that are more likely to show the symptoms of that yeast overgrowth. Specifically, the dry skin around your mouth and lips is unusually susceptible to the symptoms of yeast overgrowth. Since so many people do not recognize it as a yeast infection, it can go untreated and become increasingly painful over time. It frequently mimics the appearance of dry skin, but lotion or lip balm do not help it to improve.
Another common area for yeast infections to appear is the armpit. Typically a moist area anyway, it is not unusual for senior citizens to ignore the problem and classify it as the result of normal perspiration. If left untreated, skin breakdown can occur and the use of scented soaps or deodorants can further irritate the skin, contributing to additional damage and even making the possibility of a skin infection more likely.
The mouth, since it is always moist and frequently the home for artificial teeth that need more frequent professional adjustments to prevent irritation, will also be a common area for a yeast infection to appear in senior citizens. If you see it is in your mouth, it is typically known as thrush and if it is allowed to linger, can impact your oral health and ability to taste your foods.
The important issue to consider when treating a yeast infection as a senior citizen is that any time your skin is damaged or is no longer impermeable, the risk of a bacterial infection increases. As you age, your immune system may not work as well as it should and it can become increasingly difficult for you to recover from even a minor infection.
As a result, it is essential for you to be aware of skin changes, breakdown or infections of any type as they occur. If you treat the problems as soon as they occur because you know to check the areas previously mentioned, the possibility or severity of a secondary infection is reduced.
Another important fact to be aware of is that you can develop the yeast infection first and then develop the secondary, bacterial infection as a result of the skin irritation. Conversely, it is also possible to develop a bacterial infection that requires antibiotics or other treatment that then allowed the yeast infection to occur. Dr. Carol A. Kauffman, in a recent published article in association with Oxford Journals, mentioned that the prevalence of opportunistic fungal infection had increased dramatically among the older population during the 1990s.
There are a number of options that can help you to treat a yeast infection and it will first be necessary to consider the severity of the problem.
Therefore, it is a good idea to consider how long you have had the symptoms of your yeast infection and if it has appeared in more than one spot on your body. Your first line of defense should be to address each place on your body where the yeast infection is showing up. It may also be useful to reduce or eliminate the use of sugar in your diet, as some studies have found a link between sugar and yeast infections.
There are a number of over-the-counter products that can help you to do so, but if you have a yeast infection that is appearing on multiple parts of your body, it is a good idea to speak with your physician. There is the possibility that the yeast has spread and is merely showing symptoms at the delicate or compromised parts of your body. In that instance, it is crucial to speak with your physician about tests to check for a more complex treatment of the underlying fungal overgrowth.
The Center for Disease Control has been quoted as saying that the use of intravenous medication may be necessary for severe cases of widespread yeast infections, which may also be known as invasive candidiasis. Otherwise, topical medications may be sufficient. It is also important to remember that your doctor will probably require follow-up blood tests to be completed about two weeks after you get treatment to verify that your condition has been effectively treated.
In conclusion, the presence of an occasional yeast infection is not unusual and it is fairly common for healthy individuals of any age to develop one periodically. However, as a senior citizen, you probably know already that you are more likely to have problems with your immune system and as a result, you need to be especially vigilant about noting any changes that your body develops. Therefore, it is very important to know what the early signs of a yeast infection are, even in areas you might not normally think they would appear in. In order to stay as healthy as you can for as long as you can and to prevent the possibility of a secondary infection that could wreak havoc on your immune system, it only makes sense that understanding the symptoms and problems associated with yeast infections is necessary.