Male Yeast Infection: Causes, Treatment and Prevention

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Medically reviewed by Dr. Ola Tarabzuni

Key Takeaways

  • Male yeast infections are fungal infections affecting the penis and scrotum, caused by an overgrowth of candida yeast, particularly candida albicans.
  • Risk factors for male yeast infections include compromised immune systems, poor hygiene, and sexual partners with vaginal yeast infections.
  • Treatment involves antifungal medications, good hygiene practices, and sometimes home remedies while seeking timely medical attention is essential to prevent complications and ensure effective resolution.

Male yeast infections, caused by an overgrowth of candida yeast, affect the penis and scrotum. Risk factors include compromised immune systems, poor hygiene, and sexual partners with vaginal yeast infections. Symptoms include itching, redness, swelling, and discharge. Treatment involves antifungal medications, good hygiene, and sometimes home remedies. Seeking medical attention is important for proper diagnosis and a complete treatment regimen.

What is a yeast infection in males?

Male yeast infections are infections in the penis or scrotum (male reproductive part). Another term used for male yeast infection is “candida balanitis” or “penile yeast infection”. They are the infections (Fungal) caused by an overgrowth of the candida species of yeast, particularly candida albicans. According to a research study published by NIH, out of 5501 hospitalizations of heterosexual men presented with infections, 382(6.9%) are of penile yeast infections presenting with a red and itchy head of the penis.

What causes yeast infection in men?

Compromised immune system: Candida species are mostly present in the human body, both men and women. They can only cause infection and get dormant when the immune system of the body is somehow compromised or suppressed.

Poor hygiene: Hygiene quality and lifestyle tend to affect the overall health of the human to a greater extent.

Soaps: Harsh or astringent soaps used for cleaning the reproductive part can initiate a fungal or yeast infection.

Improper rinsing of a soap: Not properly rinsing a soap after using it for cleaning purposes can cause a yeast infection.

Wounded, Irritated skin: Irritated skin due to any abnormal activity including extreme masturbation and injury to the penis can also be the cause of yeast fungal infection.

Sexual partners: A partner having a vaginal yeast infection can mimic a fungal infection.

How does a male get a yeast infection? Ask an Online Doctor

What are the symptoms of male yeast infection?

Symptoms of yeast infection in males include:

  • Irritation accompanied by itching on the head of the penis and foreskin.
  • Redness and swelling on the scrotum of the penis.
  • White, thick, lumpy and foul-smelling discharge.
  • Pain or discomfort during urination or sexual intercourse.

How do doctors diagnose male yeast infections?

Urologists or your healthcare provider will examine the penis, scrotum and all the areas that are affected. A physical examination, as well as laboratory tests for the penile discharge, will be part of the examination by the healthcare provider for proper diagnosis.

The healthcare provider will be inquiring about your recent symptoms, how long you’ve been experiencing them, and if you’ve had similar issues in the past. They may inquire about any recent sexual activities, antibiotic use, medical conditions such as diabetes or HIV, and any potential irritants or changes in personal hygiene habits.

This sample that will be collected by your healthcare provider, may involve collecting a swab from the head of the penis, the foreskin, or any discharge present.

How to get rid of a male yeast infection fast?

Medications, good hygiene practices, supplemental addition in diet and loose-fitting clothing will help you immensely to get rid of yeast infections.

Medications for Yeast penile infections

Antifungal oral tablets as well as topical creams are generally prescribed by the healthcare provider.
Antifungal tablets e.g: fluconazole (Diflucan) are generally prescribed. Typical dosages range from a single 150 mg dose to a weekly regimen as per the condition of the yeast infection.

Antifungal Topical creams: Topical antifungal creams e.g. Miconazole, Clotrimazole and Nystatin are prescribed with a dosage that might involve applying the cream or ointment to the affected area twice daily for 7 to 14 days.

Good Hygiene Practices

Yeast tends to grow and multiply in wet and moist environments. Keeping the affected area clean and dry can be helpful. Use a clean, dry towel after bathing or showering. Stay away from scented soaps, sprays, and other potential irritants that could worsen the infection.

Home Remedies

Home remedies such as applying plain yogurt, diluted tea tree oil, or apple cider vinegar to the affected area might offer some relief, but be cautious of potential skin irritation or harm.

Garlic paste can have natural antifungal properties, but use it with care. Boric acid suppositories may be effective, but they can be toxic if not used correctly.

How do you prevent yeast infections in men?

You can prevent fungal penile infections by taking good care of hygiene, good lifestyle modifications and protected sexual activities.

Keep the area clean and dry to avoid infection growth and spread. Make sure your sexual partner is not infected with the vaginal yeast infection.

What happens if male yeast infection goes untreated?

There exist complications that might occur if the yeast penile infection goes untreated including scarring, narrowed penis, persistent pain, and difficulty in moving the foreskin on or over the head of the penis.

The blood supply to the penis also gets affected if the infection persists a little longer than normal.

What kills yeast infections in men? Consult with Online Doctor

Consult a Doctor

Penile yeast infections are not as common as vaginal infections but they do occur and affect the men’s reproductive area to the worst if go untreated. It’s good to get yourself checked by your healthcare provider at the right time for proper diagnosis and treatment. Good hygiene is the key to avoid infection growth and spread.

FAQs About Male Yeast Infection

Can a male yeast infection go away on its own?

Yes, sometimes yeast infections can go on their own but if the infected area starts to get worse along with the painful sensations, it’s good to seek medical attention for the actual diagnosis, treatment and cure.

What can be mistaken for a male yeast infection?

Conditions like urinary tract infections, genital dermatitis, aspergillosis and pustular psoriasis may be mistaken for a male yeast infection due to similar symptoms and discomfort.

What triggers yeast infection in men?

Yeast infections in men are typically triggered by factors such as weakened immune systems, antibiotics usage, diabetes, poor hygiene, sexual transmission, or prolonged exposure to moisture and warm environment.

Why won’t my male yeast infection go away?

Persistent male yeast infections may be due to inadequate treatment or resistance to antifungal medication, and addressing underlying factors like a weakened immune system or reinfection is essential for effective resolution.

Your Doctors Online uses high-quality and trustworthy sources to ensure content accuracy and reliability. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and medical associations to provide up-to-date and evidence-based information to the users.

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  • Yao XY, Zhou XB, Zhang WG, Liu BY, Wen GD, Zhang JZ, Zhou C. Candida Balanitis with Hyperplastic Plaque Mimicking Vascular Neoplasm. Chin Med J (Engl). 2018 May 20;131(10):1253-1254. doi: 10.4103/0366-6999.231514. PMID: 29722348; PMCID: PMC5956782.
  • Metin A, Dilek N, Bilgili SG. Recurrent candidal intertrigo: challenges and solutions. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2018 Apr 17;11:175-185. doi: 10.2147/CCID.S127841. PMID: 29713190; PMCID: PMC5909782.
  • Rodrigues CF, Rodrigues ME, Henriques M. Candida sp. Infections in Patients with Diabetes Mellitus. J Clin Med. 2019 Jan 10;8(1):76. doi: 10.3390/jcm8010076. PMID: 30634716; PMCID: PMC6352194.
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  • Nidirect. Thrush in men
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