A male yeast infection is caused by the same organism that causes vaginal yeast infections in women, oral thrush, and diaper rash – Candida albicans.
Candida is a tiny one-celled yeast that lives on the skin and in the intestines of at least 80% of all people. Fortunately, the yeast rarely causes anyone any problems, but when conditions are just right for it, it morphs into its infectious form – and then the itching starts.
There are several things that can increase the risk of a male yeast infection.
There are a number of different risk factors for all types of Candida infections, including male yeast infections. The use of antibiotics, for instance, can reduce the numbers of beneficial bacteria in your body and on your skin, and this can lead to an overgrowth of yeast, which turns into a male yeast infection. Fortunately, the bacteria come back again, and things will eventually go back to normal. To speed things up, add a cup of unsweetened yogurt to your diet every day. Some commercial brands of yogurt don’t help, so be sure the yogurt container’s label says it contains “active cultures.”
If you seem to get an infection every time you have sex, you and your partner could be sharing your yeast back and forth. Or, you could be using a condom that contains a spermicide that kills off your beneficial bacteria. Check the label, and if it says “spermicide” anywhere on the package, consider switching to another brand.
Changes in your hormone balance can also increase the risk of a male yeast infection. Men are affected by fewer hormone swings than women, but if you’re overweight, your fat cells could be causing your yeast infection. Obesity leads to insulin resistance, which causes your body to produce more insulin in response to rising glucose levels in the bloodstream. Since insulin is a hormone, insulin resistance can increase your risk of yeast infections.
Of course, insulin resistance also increases your risk of diabetes, which is a considerably more serious condition than a Candida outbreak. If you’re overweight and you get yeast infections, get yourself to a doctor and ask for a thorough checkup – it could save your life.
The overall best “cure” to keep male yeast infections from coming back is to eat a good diet that is low in sugar and fat, get plenty of exercise, and keep yourself clean and dry.