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Medically Reviewed by Dr. Shalaka Samant, B. Pharm. Sc., PhD
Most of the time a penis yeast infection is found on the skin on the outside of a man's penis and affects uncircumcised men much more often than men that have been circumcised. Penile yeast infections for circumcised men are actually quite rare because the glans is always exposed to the air. This keeps it dry and at a cooler temperature. Yeast needs heat and moisture to survive on the skin.
Sometime the yeast infection can get into the urethra and cause problems. In these cases men get close to the same symptoms as women do when they have a vaginal yeast infection. There can be discharge from the penis and often it itches on the inside and is extremely uncomfortable. There have been cases of the yeast getting into the prostate gland but this is rare.
Men can get a penis yeast infection from sex with a woman that has a vaginal yeast infection; from oral sex from a person with thrush, or from anal sex with an infected individual.
Over use of Nonoxynol-9 which is a common spermicide found in contraceptive products has been found to rapidly increase the growth of naturally occurring yeast’s both in the vagina and on the skin.
Diabetes and of course antibiotics can play a role as well but with penile yeast infections this possible cause is not as common as intestinal yeast. However, intestinal yeast overgrowth can be a contributing factor of any skin yeast condition.
A penis yeast infection is typically called candida balanitis, but balanitis itself can have other causes. It is not always caused by sex with yeast infected individuals. Risk factors include:
• Uncircumcised penis
• Antibiotic use
• Corticosteroid use
This published study in 2010 by Microbiologists Lisboa C and Associates from the Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Porto and Hospital de S. João in Portugal, performed on 478 men found Candida colonization in 26.2% of the men tested with 18% of those balanitis infections being caused by Candida albicans. Candida colonization was strongly associated with being over 60 years of age. In men over 40 years of age, diabetes was the greatest risk factor.
Once the yeast has infected the skin the infections can be very hard to get rid of. In time the skin will harden as the skin cells macrophage in defense of the infection. This hardened skin will crack when the male gets an erection and is extremely painful. At this point it can become very hard to resolve. It is much easier to get rid of this type yeast infection in the early stages than the later stages.
Many men just think they have a penis yeast infection when they see little white bumps on the penis known as Fordyce disease. These spots are completely harmless and are actually sebaceous glands that secrete oils for the protection of the skin.
Other men have a condition called Hirsuties papillaris genitalis, also called pearly penile papules, which is also harmless but can be sensitive at times. These are actually sweat glands or sebaceous glands on the penis as well.
Genital warts are often misdiagnosed as yeast and if you use white
vinegar for your penis yeast infection it turns them white.
Like vaginal yeast infections, penile yeast infections are easily treated with antifungal drugs called azoles. In most cases, where the infection is superficial and restricted to mucocutaneous regions, topical antifungal ointments and creams are enough to clear up an infection.
Many of the antifungal creams recommended for penile yeast infections include: miconazole, nystatin, and clotrimazole. Most of these are available as over-the-counter medications without a prescription and are typically applied to the head of the penis and under the foreskin for about 7- 10 days – which is when the symptoms usually disappear. Sometimes the physician might also prescribe a corticosteroid (hydrocortisone) to ease the itching. Oral fluconazole (Diflucan) and itraconazole may be prescribed in more serious disseminated infections. Oral treatment is recommended when symptoms are more severe, in recalcitrant cases, or with concomitant diabetes.
Although these medications most often resolve these infections, sometimes the infection gets better for a while and then comes back, just like it does for women.
What do you do if that happens?
The best thing to do is not to let it get to that point. That is the point where the yeast has become resistant to anti-fungals and is much harder to get rid of. It is of course much easier to prevent these infections than it is to get rid of them but no one ever worries about that until after the fact.
Yeast grows best in a warm moist environment so it is best to keep your penis as dry as possible. Trim the hair as short as possible to reduce retained moisture and body heat.
Practice good hygiene and keep it clean.
Restrict the sugar in your diet because sugar feeds yeast and the yeast will eat it right out of your blood stream.
Some natural anti-fungal products for penis yeast infections you can use are:
Gentian Violet is an older class anti-fungal that was used for years with great success before the invention of the azole drugs, which could be patented. It is natural and non-toxic and works well for yeast infections of the skin. It does have a habit of turning your clothes purple but people have reported that Zout takes out the stain.
Organic Coconut Oil is a medically proven anti-fungal and works by exploding the nucleus and plasma of the inside of the yeast cell, which of course kills it. It makes a great personal lubricant for sex and helps prevent recurrences and yeast infections in your significant other. You should also take a tablespoon or two by mouth everyday to treat the inside as well.
Colloidal Silver Gel has been found to kill penile yeast very quickly and is completely safe if you use a quality product. If you don't it will turn you and your skin blue.
Profase can be used by emptying the capsule directly onto the penis yeast infection and the active bacteria will go to work killing the yeast. This is the same principle that is involved with many people trying to cure this by using unsweetened and natural yogurt without the mess. Plus you get a much higher dose of more effective strains of good bacteria and it’s easier to take it everyday day by mouth for the inside.
Oregano Oil diluted in olive or coconut oil so it does not burn the skin can be very effective for penile yeast infection. It has been used successfully to treat yeast infections of the scalp in people I personally know. Skin is skin guys so I have no doubt it will work on your penis but just make sure you dilute it.
However, I have worked with guys who have applied oregano oil directly to late stage penile yeast that had hardened from macrophaging of the skin. They all said it burned like hell but it did eventually clear the infection.
Cinnamon Oil was found to be deadly against oral thrush when applied directly to the infection. Therefor it can be used directly on penis yeast infections as well. You might have to dilute like you do with oregano oil.
Some guys swear by white vinegar and others say it does not work. In either case if you apply it straight it is going to burn like hell. So its best to add it to a bath and soak for a while or dilute it before soaking your penis yeast infection.
Grapefruit seed extract is a medically proven yeast killer. But just like cinnamon oil and oregano oil, it's hot so you might have to dilute it.
Potassium sorbate can be used when mixed with a little water to make a paste directly on the infection. It might burn a little so be careful. Potassium sorbate is the ingredient used to stop the growth of yeast when making beer.
Some men have reported relief using yogurt and Braggs Apple Cider vinegar.
The best thing to do is pick 3 or 4 of the above methods to treat your penis yeast infection and use all of them on a rotating basis. You should do this because yeast builds resistance to anti-fungals and they become ineffective with time if you stick with one thing. So if you use 3 or 4 of them you can use one for 4 or 5 days then stop and use the next for 4 or 5 days. This also allows you to find what works best for you because unfortunately, not every product works for every species of yeast.
It is highly suggested that treatment be continued for 30 days after all symptoms have subsided to make sure you get it all. It is also advisable to treat your significant other so when the time comes they do not give it to you again.
You can use any of these methods above for penis yeast infection prevention every week or two. Probably the easiest thing to do is use coconut oil as a personal lubricant with your significant other, which of course takes care of the both of you at one time.
Not getting better? Maybe it's herpes?
If your penis yeast infection does not respond you probably have
herpes and what you are looking at are herpes sores, not yeast.
You cannot get rid of herpes but you can easily keep it under control. Herpes is a virus and like any other virus travels from cell to cell by secretion of an enzyme that digests a hole in the cell wall. Once inside, the virus wines and dines and alters the genetic code of the cell. It then digests a way out and enters the cell next to the infected cell by the same process.
By taking things that strengthen the cell wall, the virus will be able to enter the cell but it is much harder for it to do so. However, a strong cell will help prevent the virus from spreading to the next cell. The immune system then has the time to target the bad cell and remove it from the body.
Cell walls are made out of 60% collagen, 35% fats, and 5% is various other common minerals. Collagen is primarily made out of vitamin C, L-Lysine, and L-Proline. So if you supplement with these things on a daily basis your herpes infection will not become active. I suggest a pre-made formula called Vitamin C with Bioflavonoids, Querticin, Green Tea, L-lysine and L-Proline. I suggest 4 capsules four times a day for the first week or two then 4 to 8 capsules a day for maintenance.
Then you need a good essential fatty acid product like Omega 3 Premium.
Simple....and extremely effective.
The information provided in the above article about the causes and symptoms of Candida caused penis yeast infections and the possible natural therapies to target these is accurate.
Although Candida spp. are commensal inhabitants (1) of the epithelium of the foreskin (preputial space), they might turn pathogenic causing fungal infections of the penis. In general, the preputial space is a damp, warm, and primarily anaerobic environment with a neutral to alkaline pH, making it a conducive space for bacterial and fungal infections.
The most frequent penis yeast infection (2) caused by Candida albicans is called balanitis. Penis yeast infections belong to two pathogenic categories: superficial and disseminated. Superficial infections are restricted to the cutaneous areas of the penis. However, these might sometimes spread to other organs such as the urethra and in very rare cases the yeast might start multiplying in the host’s blood leading to a systemic or disseminated infection.
Patients with superficial infections often complain of soreness or irritation of the glans penis; less commonly, they have some discharge from the penis (3). White plaques can be found upon retraction of the prepuce. Typical symptoms are a mild erythema, pustules, moist curd-like accumulations, dysuria, bleeding, and, sometimes, ulceration of the glans penis. Candida balanitis has been shown to be strongly associated with age above 40 years and diabetes mellitus (4). It is also more common among uncircumcised men (5), possibly as a result of poorer hygiene and aeration.
Penile-vaginal transmission (6) of this infection is very common and therefore requires treatment of both sexual partners simultaneously. The diagnosis of Candida balanitis should be based on both clinical and mycological data (fungal culture and microscopic examination).
The distressing symptoms and associated discomfort of balanitis require rapid and effective treatment. 1-2 weeks of topical therapy with anti-fungal azoles such as clotrimazole or miconazole may be recommended (7). Sometimes a mild corticosteroid containing cream might be used to reduce the associated inflammation.
Yet another common fungal inhabitant of the genital flora, especially in uncircumcised males, which causes infections is Malassezia spp (8).
I will be making a donation soon; I finally found a job after 2 years of unemployment, and after just 9 weeks on the diet I have lost 60 pounds of pure fat from a size 39+ to a fit 33. I have no candida visible and feel like a new person. My penis is no longer an embarrassment. It's All healed up.
My Dr. can't believe I have lost this weight and has tested me for all kinds of "disease" as he is trying to convince me "there is no such thing as male yeast infection" I worked for the hospital for 8 years as a home health care giver so I don't bother arguing I know how they work.
I have not been able to afford many of the suggested products yet. But have been eating garlic by the ounce powdered and raw (8+ ounces a week) raw white onion and coconut oil as well as all the herbs recommended. I have taken all the to avoid food suggestions 99%. I still sneak a cup of black coffee now and then.
My room mate (patient) finally got to see his Dr. as he wanted a dose of Diflucan, however his Dr. refused as he showed no signs of "thrush" or any other yeast infection for the first time in 12 years. (yea he is hiv+) he lost 50 lbs of unneeded fat and started bowling and walking.
Not that anyone cares but my dog is also much healthier, regular, and cleaner . He loves the diet.
*******I have to say your diet and suggestions have done for this 50+ year old man and my home what no doctor could do for well over a decade.
I wanted to thank you for your reply, and the very useful information in it and on your site. After suffering with a very painful infection for several months, your suggestions cleared the problem up within a few days, and after following the treatment protocol for a week, it seems completely healed. I know with my weight & diabetes that this may be an ongoing struggle, but I was thrilled to have some control over this finally.
Thanks again for all the help & feel free to use my comments.
If you have any questions about penis yeast infections please feel free to contact me from the contact page of this website.
Dr. Samant's References
1. Cutaneous Candidiasis. Updated: Jan 17, 2020. Author: Richard Harold "Hal" Flowers, IV, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD
2. Superficial fungal infections of the male genitalia: a review. Crit Rev Microbiol. 2011 Aug;37(3):237-44. doi: 10.3109/1040841X.2011.572862.
3. Penile skin diseases. Andrologia. 1999;31 Suppl 1:3-11.
4. Candida balanitis: risk factors. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2010 Jul;24(7):820-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-3083.2009.03533.x. Epub 2009 Dec 11.
5. Balanitis and balanoposthitis. Urol Clin North Am. 1992 Feb;19(1):143-7.
6. Biased genotype distributions of Candida albicans strains associated with vulvovaginal candidosis and candidal balanoposthitis in China. Clin Infect Dis. 2008 Nov 1;47(9):1119-25. doi: 10.1086/592249.
7. Comparison of the efficacy and safety of oral fluconazole and topical clotrimazole in patients with candida balanitis. Genitourin Med. 1996 Apr;72(2):98-102.
8. Malassezia and Candida colonisation on glans penis of circumcised men. Mycoses. 2005 Sep;48(5):352-6.
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