Management of thrush in men

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The management of thrush in men depends greatly on which area of the body is affected. For thrush that does not affect the penis, a type of anti-fungal cream called topical imidazole is usually recommended while for those that affect the penile area.

Fluconazole is the first-choice treatment. Fluconazole is also used as an alternative anti-fungal medication if your symptoms do not improve within 14 days of using a topical imidazole.

Topical imidazole: it works by breaking down the membranes (walls) of the fungi cells. Examples of topical imidazoles include: clotrimazole, econazole, ketoconazole and miconazole.As it is known, all drugs have side effect, imidazole’s most common side effect is a mild burning sensation when you apply the cream. In a few people, some topical imidazoles have caused more severe burning and a serious skin irritation. If this happens, stop using the cream and contact your doctor for advice. If there is itching of the skin feels, the doctor may prescribe a corticosteroid cream as an additional treatment. Corticosteroids reduce levels of inflammation within the affected tissue.
This should help to resolve the symptoms of itchiness.

Fluconazole: it works by destroying some of the enzymes (a type of protein that triggers useful chemical reactions inside the body) that fungi cells need to survive and reproduce. Nausea, abdominal (stomach) pain, diarrhea, flatulence (excessive wind) are some of its side effects. Contact your doctor for advice if your symptoms do not improve after 14 days of taking fluconazole. You may need to be referred to a dermatologist for specialist treatment.

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Avoid having sex: if you have thrush, avoid sex until the infection has cleared up, as your infection can be spread or made worse during sex. However, if you must have sex, use a condom to avoid infecting your partner. Some heterosexual men get a mild form of balanitis (inflammation of the head of the penis) after having sex. This is probably caused by an allergy to the candida fungus in your partner’s vagina.
It will usually clear up if your partner gets treatment.

Gay men may also get thrush by having unprotected sex. The infection will usually clear up with treatment. Avoid sex until the infection has cleared up, and always use a condom. Good hygiene: the role of good personal hygiene cannot be over emphasized in the management of penile trush. Wash the affected area carefully using warm water. Showers are a better option than baths. Avoid using perfumed soaps or shower gels on your genitals, because they can cause irritation. After washing, make sure you dry the affected area carefully, as the candida fungus thrives in damp conditions. Wearing loose-fitting cotton underwear can help keep your skin and penis dry and cool, which helps prevent the candida fungus building up on your skin and under your foreskin.

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