Fungal infections affect various parts of the body like buttocks, underarms, cheeks, chest, and groin as well as between the toes. Yeast infection, however, is more common in women than in men. In men, yeast infection occurs in areas such as the armpits. However, a typical yeast infection or the excessive growth and proliferation of vaginal yeast, scientifically known as Candida albicans, is specific to women. There are several home remedies for yeast infection including boric acid, probiotic suppositories, and antifungal tablets. Below are 10 home remedies that can help combat a yeast infection.
1. Use Cotton Underwear
Yeast like the rest of fungi thrives under warm moist conditions. Undergarments made from materials such as nylon or other synthetic materials as well as panty hoses, thongs and tightfitting panties not only aggravate a yeast infection, but in some cases, are also known to trigger them when worn for long periods of time. Although not wearing underwear might feel uncomfortable, when suffering from a vaginal yeast infection, it is a good idea to forego wearing one or wearing only cotton underwear while the body fights the infection.
2. Opt for safe methods of birth control
IUDs do not increase the incidence of vaginal yeast infection. If you have no other objection or issue with IUDs, then they may be considered as the safest contraceptives that also guard against vaginal yeast infections. If you are on a pill, look for an alternative to estrogen – laden pills since estrogen is yeast friendly. Same is true about spermicides in large quantities.
3. Use water based lubricants
Use water based lubricant since friction can encourage vaginal yeast to procreate and colonize. Do not use petroleum jelly or glycerin based lubricants as they can create an environment conducive for vaginal yeast reproduction leading to painful ones.
4. Avoid douches
Scented douches, soaps and body sprays affect the pH of the vagina thus making it congenial for yeast proliferation. Avoid use of scented douches. Also try to avoid soap and lather reaching the vagina. You must also refrain from excessive use of body sprays especially on the stomach or towards the private parts. Besides, douching might strip some of the important and beneficial bacteria from the vagina and increase the incidence of infections apart from a yeast infection.
5. Use tea tree oil
Put a few drops of dilute tea tree oil on a tampon or a tight ball of cotton and push it into the vagina. Leave it there for a while then remove the tampon or cotton. This should keep the vaginal yeast in check. However, this is not quite as effective as preventing an infection altogether.
6. Have a safe and hygienic period
If you have a yeast infection whilst having your period, it is best to use a sanitary pad instead of a tampon. A tampon will absorb any topical medicine you might have applied along with the period discharge and reduce the effectiveness of the medicine.
7. Apply coconut oil
Dip a tampon in virgin coconut oil that is not scented or otherwise treated and apply it inside the vagina. Coconut oil relieves itching and also prevents further growth of vaginal yeast. It is one of the best home remedies for yeast infections. Consuming a teaspoon of virgin edible coconut oil everyday will help keep your body immune from several ailments including vaginal yeast infections. Coconut oil in itself is effective against most yeast infections including a vaginal yeast infection. However, there are other remedies that use coconut oil as a base. Mix some vitamin E cream and garlic oil and add a generous amount of coconut oil to the mixture. Apply it in the vagina. This will speed up the process of curing a yeast infection with the extra help from garlic and vitamin E.
8. Use plain yogurt
Try and eat plain yogurt along with every meal to keep healthy and avoid vaginal yeast infections. You can also dip a tampon in some plain yogurt and apply it in the vagina a few times during the day for a few minutes. This will contain the yeast infection. Another method is to get a probiotic suppository and slip it up your vagina.
9. Consume food rich in antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acids
Food items such as onions, garlic, oats, nuts and seeds have good amounts of antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acids. The antioxidants in the gut can help the beneficial bacteria in the gut as well as other parts of the body. The omega 3 fatty acids present in these foods keep your body healthy and improve your immune system. This helps prevent a yeast infection.
10. Use Apple cider vinegar
This is one of the most effective home remedies for yeast infection. You can use organic diluted ACV with ‘mother’ to wash the infected area. ACV is mildly acidic but it helps balance the pH of the body. You can even take apple cider vinegar internally each morning with some warm water and honey. If the taste is too unpalatable, add a teaspoon of orange juice to the mixture before drinking.
Most women who have a chronic case of yeast infections diagnose these infections at home and apply suitable remedies. However, a yeast infection has pretty much the same symptoms as that of a bacterial infection. Misdiagnosis and incorrect treatment will not provide any relief. It will, instead, make the bacterial infection more acute. If these aforementioned reliable home remedies for yeast infections do not seem to produce desirable results, consult your doctor.