Skin and groin infections can be cured or controlled with good clean habits. Frequent bathing and washing/changing your clothes are recommended, especially during hot weather or after sweating.
- For most people a superficial infection like jock itch can be controlled with antifungal creams that can be put on the skin. These creams are available as OTC drugs. They have many names such as butoconazole, clotrimazole, miconazole and terconazole. For long-term infections you may need a stronger drug such as nystatin, or drugs taken by mouth such as fluconazole or Lamisil®.
- Most vaginal infections can be treated with vaginal suppositories or creams. For an ongoing infection, drugs taken by mouth such as fluconazole or ketoconazole can help. For vaginal infections that last a long time or come back, you may need to change your type of birth control.
- If an infection of the head of the penis on an uncircumcised male does not do well with creams put on the skin, then circumcision may be needed.
- For urinary fungal infections, in about a third of cases removing or changing a catheter will get rid of the infection. Flushing the bladder with antifungal drugs (amphotericin B) or taking systemic medication (oral or IV fluconazole, or IV amphotericin B) will work well in 60% of patients.
Invasive yeast infections call for systemic antifungal therapy (that works on the whole body) like amphotericin B, fluconazole, itraconazole and caspofungin, as well as newer drugs related to fluconazole (posaconazole).
Role of Food and Herbal Cures
Experts are not sure about the role of one's diet or how herbal remedies could help. But they do know that people with high blood sugar are more likely to get these infections. So many suggest that if you have high blood sugar, you should skip high carbohydrate foods. Also, yogurt can be a source of helpful bacterial for the genitourinary tract, so many recommend it to help stop or treat yeast infections.
Can you get a yeast infection on your penis?
If you have any medical questions or concerns, please talk to your healthcare provider. The articles on Health Guide are underpinned by peer-reviewed research and information drawn from medical societies and governmental agencies. However, they are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Your concept of a yeast infection—if you have one—is probably shaped by mainstream commercials for yeast infection-fighting products targeted to women. Unfortunately, men can get yeast infections as well. Here are the symptoms and what you can do about it.
- Yes, you can get a yeast infection on your penis.
- Its called candida balanitis, and it can cause symptoms, including pain, itching, irritation, and discharge.
- Its important to get a penile yeast infection treated to avoid complications and to avoid infecting or reinfecting a sexual partner.
- Antifungal creams usually clear up a penile yeast infection within a week.
Yeast (specifically one called Candida albicans) is a form of fungus that naturally lives on our skin and inside our bodies in places such as the mouth, throat, digestive system, and vagina (CDC, ). Most of the time, we co-exist peacefully, and you have no idea its even there.
But an overgrowth of that yeast can cause an infection, including a penile yeast infection (or candida balanitis), which is an infection of the glans, or head of the penis.
Overgrowth of Candida albicans in the mouth or throat results in the formation of white patches called thrush (or oral thrush) on the tongue or the walls of the mouth.
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Common symptoms of a penile yeast infection can include:
- Redness, itching, or irritation
- A thick white discharge that may be present in skin folds (Steckelberg, )
- A burning sensation during urination
- Discomfort or itching during or after sexual activity (David, )
- Small white spots on the penis
- A dry, peeling rash (Thaler, )
Researchers have found that between % of men naturally have Candida on their penis. It is even more common in people who are uncircumcised, those with diabetes, and people who have a partner with a yeast infection (David, ). A penile yeast infection is often (but not always) caused by having sex with a partner who has a yeast infection.
Other things that can increase your chance of getting a penile yeast infection can include:
- Poorly controlled diabetes (high blood sugar, a hallmark of diabetes, can cause yeast to overgrow on and in the body)
- A weakened immune system (like if you have HIV or are receiving chemotherapy)
- Frequent or recent use of antibiotics
- Poor hygiene
Youre more likely to get a penile yeast infection if youre uncircumcised (Morris, ), and a penile yeast infection can be the first sign of diabetes for some people, so its important to be evaluated by a healthcare professional.
A penile yeast infection can often clear up on its own, although it may also spread to other nearby areas of the skin, including the scrotum and buttocks (Thaler, ).
Yeast infections are contagious, so its important to get treatment to avoid infecting or reinfecting any potential sexual partners with a yeast infection.
Any irritation or inflammation of the penis increases the chance that you have broken skin on your penis, which in turn increases your chances of contracting or transmitting STIs (sexually transmitted infections) during sexual contact (Anderson, ).
In certain at-risk people, Candida can cause a serious condition called invasive candidiasis, in which yeast can enter the bloodstream and infect other organs. People who are at risk of invasive candidiasis include people who have compromised immune systems (like people with HIV), diabetes, kidney failure or have a central venous catheter (CDC, ).
That depends. Some penile yeast infections may disappear without treatment, some may go away in about a week with medication (see Treatments below), and some untreated male yeast infections can linger, causing discomfort and potential complications.
An untreated penile yeast infection might go away on its own, but it might also stick around, causing negative consequences.
- You can transmit the yeast infection to sexual partners (Steckleberg, ).
- In uncircumcised men, the inflammation of balanitis can spread to the foreskin, a condition called balanoposthitis (Perkins, ).
- In uncircumcised men, balanitis can lead to phimosis, a condition in which the foreskin is too tight and cant be retracted or returned to its normal position over the penis head (Leber, ).
The most common treatment for a penile yeast infection is antifungal cream, such as miconazole or clotrimazole, that you apply to the infected area once daily for one to three weeks or as directed by your healthcare provider. These treatments are typically available over-the-counter (Edwards, ).
Some types of antifungal treatments can also be prescribed by a healthcare provider. If your symptoms are particularly severe or your yeast infection returns, a healthcare provider might prescribe oral fluconazole and topical steroids (Edwards, ).
Proper hygiene is always important, especially if youre not circumcised—the foreskin can allow for buildup of Candida yeast and subsequent infection. Use a mild soap and bathe regularly.
Because Candida can be passed between partners, if your partner is symptomatic, they should seek treatment as well to avoid reinfection.
- Anderson, D., Politch, J. A., & Pudney, J. (). HIV infection and immune defense of the penis. American journal of reproductive immunology (New York, N.Y. : ), 65(3), – https://doi.org//jx
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Candidiasis. (, December 17). Retrieved August 10, , from https://www.cdc.gov/fungal/diseases/candidiasis/index.html
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Invasive Candidiasis. Risk and Prevention. (, December 17). Retrieved August 10, , from https://www.cdc.gov/fungal/diseases/candidiasis/invasive/risk-prevention.html
- David, S., Walzman, L., & Rajamanoharan, M. (, October). Genital colonisation and infection with candida in heterosexual and homosexual males. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov//
- Edwards, S., Bunker, C., Ziller, F., & Van der Meijden, W. (, August). European guideline for the management of balanoposthitis. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov//
- Leber, M. (, March 22). Balanitis. Retrieved September 11, , from https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/overview
- Lisboa, C., Santos, A., Dias, C., Azevedo, F., Pina-Vaz, C., & Rodrigues, A. (). Candida balanitis: risk factors. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology : JEADV, 24(7), – https://doi.org//jx
- Morris, B. J., & Krieger, J. N. (). Penile Inflammatory Skin Disorders and the Preventive Role of Circumcision. International journal of preventive medicine, 8, https://doi.org//ijpvm.IJPVM__16
- Perkins, O.S. & Cortes, S. Balanoposthitis. [Updated May 28]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK/
- Steckelberg, J. (, July 13). Yeast infection in men: How can I tell if I have one? Retrieved September 11, , from https://www.mayoclinic.org/male-yeast-infection/expert-answers/faq
- Thaler, M., (, November 20). Men Get Yeast Infections, Too! Retrieved September 10, , from https://www.onemedical.com/blog/get-well/male-yeast-infection
How to treat male yeast infections at home
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A male yeast infection is a fungal infection. Two types of fungi that can cause a yeast infection in males are dermatophytes and Candida, typically Candida albicans. A person may be able to reduce the symptoms and treat the infection at home.
Yeast infections are more common in uncircumcised males because the foreskin provides a place for the yeast to grow.
In this article, we look at how to treat a yeast infection in males at home. We also discuss the symptoms of these infections and explain when to see a doctor.
Some people may find that home remedies can provide symptom relief.
Over-the-counter (OTC) antifungal cream
As yeast is a type of , topical antifungal creams can help treat yeast infections. Clotrimazole 1% and miconazole 1% are the for yeast infections. Those who are allergic to these medications can use nystatin cream instead.
A person can apply these OTC topical antifungals for .
If a person has a severe infection, they should see a doctor, as they may need oral antifungal medication.
Antifungal creams are available to purchase online.
Research suggests that honey may be able to inhibit the growth of fungi. A tested different types of honey against C. albicans and dermatophytes. The researchers found that Agastache, manuka, and tea tree honey demonstrated the highest levels of fungicidal activity.
People can purchase manuka honey online.
People can try applying yogurt to the affected area, or they can eat it to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria.
Yogurt contains bacteria called Lactobacillus that might help restore a healthy bacterial balance.
A of females with vaginal yeast infections found that a solution of honey and yogurt mixed with clotrimazole relieved some of their symptoms.
This strategy might also work on penile yeast infections.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV)
Although more research is necessary to confirm its benefits, ACV remains a popular home remedy that may be effective against yeast infections.
However, there is conflicting research regarding the effectiveness of ACV against Candida.
One found that ACV showed antifungal properties against this species. However, a more recent found that although ACV has strong antibacterial properties, yeasts, particularly Candida, were less susceptible.
It is important to note that applying vinegar to delicate skin, such as the penis, may cause skin reactions. Therefore, a person wishing to try using ACV may find it helpful to dilute it in a little water.
Many different apple cider vinegar products are available online.
There are three common types of yeast infection that can occur in males.
Candidiasis is another term for thrush.
According to the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS), some people may not have any symptoms.
However, if symptoms do occur, they can include:
- irritation, itching, or burning sensations under the foreskin
- flushed patches of skin under the foreskin or at the tip of the penis
- discharge under the foreskin that can look similar to cottage cheese
- an unpleasant smell
- a tight foreskin
According to the Urology Care Foundation, jock itch, or tinea cruris, is also a type of fungal infection. However, it typically occurs to dermatophytes, as opposed to C. albicans.
The symptoms are similar to those of a yeast infection, but they include a rash around the groin that may extend to the thighs, perineum, or buttocks.
Balanitis is a type of itching and inflammation of the head of the penis. C. albicans appears to be the most common cause of balanitis.
The symptoms of balanitis :
- tight, shiny skin
- thick, white discharge under the foreskin
- tight foreskin
- painful urination
Male yeast infections occur when there is an overgrowth of yeast.
Certain factors may increase the likelihood of this occurring:
Taking antibiotics may kill some healthy bacteria that keep yeast in check.
A weakened immune system
Chronic underlying diseases, such as diabetes and HIV, may weaken the body’s immune response and increase the risk of yeast infections.
Tips for good penile hygiene
A person should wash the penis regularly with warm water. If they have a foreskin, they should gently pull it back and wash underneath it.
Anyone with a yeast infection should avoid sexual activity until the infection has cleared.
If a person notices any symptoms of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), they should see a doctor. Some STIs the chance of yeast infections.
When to see a doctor
A person should call a doctor if there is any sign of an infection on the genitals or if prescription treatments are not working for a known infection.
People with HIV or a weakened immune system should speak to a doctor about a yeast infection as soon as possible, as they have an chance of the infection spreading to other parts of the body.
Yeast infections can be painful and uncomfortable. They typically occur when there is an overgrowth of yeast.
Although a person can try home remedies to relieve the symptoms, they should see a doctor for a proper diagnosis.
What Are the Symptoms of Thrush in Men and How Is It Treated?
Thrush is a type of yeast infection, caused by Candida albicans, that can develop in your mouth and throat, on your skin, or specifically on your genitals. Yeast infections on the genitals are more common in women, but they also happen to men.
Male yeast infections can target the head of the penis. Genital yeast infections are more common in uncircumcised men. That’s because conditions under the foreskin encourage colonization by the fungus.
Yeast infections on the skin can typically be cured by using an over-the-counter (OTC) antifungal cream.
Symptoms of thrush
Male yeast infection leads to balanitis, which is inflammation of the tip (glans) of the penis. Typical symptoms of male yeast infection include the following:
- redness, itching, and burning on the head of the penis, and under the foreskin
- white discharge from the site of the infection resembling cottage cheese
- unpleasant smell
- difficulty pulling back the foreskin
- pain and irritation when you have sex
- pain when you urinate
Causes of thrush
Most cases of male yeast infections are caused by a fungus called Candida albicans. Yeast is a type of fungus.
Candida albicans is a natural resident of your body. In a warm, moist setting, the opportunistic fungus can grow faster than your body’s immune defenses can keep it in check. That can lead to overgrowth of yeast.
Places that yeast infections commonly take root include:
- the mouth, throat, and esophagus — yeast infections here are commonly referred to as oral thrush
- folds in the skin, in the armpits, or between the fingers
- underneath the foreskin and on the head of the penis
Factors that increase the chance of a yeast infection include:
- poor hygiene
- obesity, as folds in the skin create a good environment for thrush to take hold
- diabetes mellitus, because the high levels of blood sugar can help yeast infections get established
- weakened immune system, resulting from severe infections such as HIV infection, cancer treatments, or taking immunosuppressant drugs, for example
- prolonged use of antibiotics
Is thrush a sexually transmitted infection (STI)?
Thrush isn’t considered an STI, but men can sometimes contract thrush from having intercourse with a woman who has a yeast infection. In this case, both partners will need treatment to prevent each other from continuing to have problems with genital thrush.
Diagnosing the condition
If you suspect thrush, see a doctor.
Your doctor will be able to rule out the possibility of an STI and confirm that the problem is a yeast infection. The infection can usually be diagnosed based on the symptoms and the appearance of the infection site, as well as with a potassium hydroxide prep to look at the yeast under the microscope.
If your doctor suspects an STI in your genital region, you may also need lab tests.
Treatment for thrush
If you’ve had a yeast infection before and you recognize the symptoms, you can treat it yourself with OTC topical antifungal cream. Application of the antifungal cream is usually twice a day.
A corticosteroid cream in addition to antifungal cream may help with itchiness and swelling. But you may want to ask your doctor about using one before doing so, as the corticosteroid could allow for the yeast infection to linger and even worsen.
The usual first-line option to treat male yeast infection not involving the penis is a topical cream containing clotrimazole (Lotrimin AF, Desenex) or miconazole (Baza). These are the same OTC medications used to treat athlete’s foot and female yeast infections.
If you have any type of adverse reaction to these, your doctor may prescribe to you a nystatin cream.
Men with severe yeast infections or those involving the penis may need to take an antifungal in pill form, like fluconazole (Diflucan), which is available by prescription from your doctor.
Recovering from this condition
Using an antifungal cream should get the infection under control within a couple weeks. Avoid sex to keep from irritating the area or spreading the infection to a partner. If you do have sex, use a condom.
After the infection clears up, take these steps to prevent another yeast infection:
- Make sure to pull back the foreskin and thoroughly wash the head of your penis every day.
- Don’t use deodorants, talcum powder, scented soaps, or body wash on your penis and foreskin, since these can cause irritation.
- Wear loose-fitting cotton undergarments so you don’t create a warm, moist environment for yeast to thrive. Avoid tight-fitting spandex or nylon shorts, and tight jeans.
Infection miconazole male yeast
Yeast Infections in Men: What to Know
Prevalence of Candidal Balanitis, a Yeast Infection of the Penis
Candida yeasts are responsible for 30 to 35 percent of all cases of balanitis, according to a report published in the journal Clinical Microbiology Reviews. (4)
Other infectious sources of balanitis include streptococci and staphylococci bacteria, Herpes simplex virus and human papillomavirus, and a sexually transmitted bacterium called Mycoplasma genitalium. (5)
But candida balanitis is not well studied, so it's unclear how many men the illness affects each year (though it's thought to be a rare condition).
Various Candida species, most notably C. albicans, live in the gastrointestinal tract and other warm areas of the body without causing illness (they only cause issues when they're present in large numbers). (4)
In fact, about 20 percent of women have Candida living in their vagina and don't experience any yeast infection symptoms, according to a report published in the journal The Lancet. (1)
Candida is commonly found on the penis, with studies suggesting that 16 to 26 percent of men carry the yeast. About 37 percent of men with Candida experience no symptoms, while 27 percent of them develop balanitis, according to a study of new attendees to a clinic for sexually transmitted diseases. (6)
Causes and Risk Factors of Candidal Balanitis or Penile Yeast Infection
Unlike with vaginal yeast infections, penile yeast infections are usually sexually acquired — when a man has sex with someone who has a yeast infection.
But candidal balanitis isn't considered a sexually transmitted disease (STD) because men can get the infection without having sex.
There are several risk factors that increase a man's risk of getting a penile yeast infection, including:
- Antibiotics, which kill the "good" bacteria that keep Candida's numbers in check
- Immune-suppressing illnesses, particularly HIV
- Diabetes mellitus (aka diabetes)
Additionally, Candida yeast colonization and infection are more common among men with uncircumcised penises than men with circumcised penises (the warm, moist environment underneath the foreskin promotes yeast growth). (6)
A study published in the Journal of European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology found that candidal balanitis was strongly associated with age over 40 years and diabetes mellitus. And men older than 60 years were more likely to have Candida colonization. (7)
Hygiene may also play a role in candidal balanitis development.
Washing with perfumed shower gels and soaps can irritate the skin, potentially helping Candida multiply. (8)
Symptoms of Male Yeast Infections (Candidal Balanitis)
Common symptoms of candidal balanitis include:
- Burning and itching around the head of the penis, which worsens after having sex
- Redness and swelling
- Small, rash-like bumps called papules, which may have pus
- Pain during urination or sex
If you have candidal balanoposthitis, you may also have:
- A thick, lumpy discharge under the foreskin
- An unpleasant odor of the foreskin
- Difficulty pulling back your foreskin
Men with diabetes may experience more severe symptoms, including fluid buildup and ulceration of the penis, as well as fissuring of the foreskin.
Complications with balanitis are rare, but may include an inability to retract the foreskin, cellulitis (inflammation of connective tissue beneath the skin), and a narrowing of the urethra that makes urinating difficult. (6,9)
Treating Penile Yeast Infections (Yeast Infection in Men)
Like vaginal yeast infections, penile yeast infections are easily treated with antifungal drugs called azoles.
There are a number of over-the-counter and prescription-based topical medicines available, including:
In some cases, these drugs may be combined with hydrocortisone to reduce marked inflammation.
Importantly, topical oil-based medication cannot be used with latex condoms.
Alternatively, an oral azole medication called Diflucan (fluconazole) is effective for yeast infections.
If the topical or oral treatments don't work, make sure to see your doctor, as you may have another kind of balanitis or an infection by a Candida species resistant to azole antifungals. (6,10)
All Your Options for Getting Rid of a Male Yeast Infection Fast
Yeast infections, though commonly associated with women, can happen in men too. Most male yeast infections occur on the penis, but they can also extend to the groin. The most common cause of yeast infection in a male is the fungus Candida. There are over species of Candida, with Candida albicans being the most common cause of infections. Both men and women have small amounts of Candida naturally present on their bodies. Problems occur when the yeast multiply and overgrow in certain parts of the body.
Having condomless sex with a partner who has a yeast infection, poor personal hygiene, excess moisture in the groin, and medical problems like diabetes can contribute to an overgrowth of Candida in men, causing redness and itchiness on the penis. When the inflammation and infection are on the head of the penis, it is called balanitis. Thankfully, most male yeast infections can be treated with over-the-counter antifungal medications.
Symptoms of a Penile Yeast Infection
Men with a yeast infection may not experience any symptoms or see any changes in the penile skin. The symptoms are common in uncircumcised males. Some of the symptoms that can occur with a penile yeast infection include:
- Redness and inflammation at the head of the penis
- Trouble pulling back the foreskin
- Cracking or bleeding of the foreskin
- White, foul-smelling discharge
- Small rash-like bumps on the penis that may contain pus
- Pain during urination (dysuria) or sex
Over-the-Counter and Prescription Treatments
Common topical treatments (ones you apply directly to the penis) for penile yeast infections include ketoconazole and clotrimazole. These medications are applied directly on the affected part of the penis or foreskin. These treatments generally work over seven to 21 days. Refraining from sexual activity or masturbation is recommended to allow proper healing when using topical treatments.
Another common topical is nystatin, which can be used to treat a male yeast infection but may be less effective than the medications mentioned above.
The 6 Best Over-the-Counter Yeast Infection Medicines of
Preventing Male Yeast Infections
Obesity and diabetes are linked to an increased risk of yeast infections in men. Maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding diabetes are key to preventing male yeast infections.
Proper hygiene of the penis can also help prevent yeast infections. Daily hygiene tips for the penis include washing it carefully with warm water, avoiding the use of irritating soaps or gels, ensuring the penis is completely dry after washing, and avoiding excess moisture in the groin by wearing breathable underwear.
When to See a Healthcare Provider
If your OTC treatments don't work or the infection recurs, it’s important to see your healthcare provider for an evaluation and to rule out any underlying conditions that may be leading to recurrent yeast infections or undiagnosed cancers of the penis. If this is your first suspected yeast infection, you should see your healthcare provider before self-diagnosing and self-treating. If the problem is directly related to a tight foreskin, a circumcision may be recommended.
Penile Cancer: What are the Many Types, Symptoms and Risk Factors?
Why You Should Refrain From Sex
Although it’s more common for a man to contract a yeast infection from a woman through intercourse, it is possible for a man to give a woman his yeast infection. To avoid spreading it to your partner, avoid sex and make note of any symptoms they may be experiencing as well. It’s likely that both you and your partner may need to receive treatment to avoid passing it back and forth.
A Word From Verywell
Yeast infections are quite common even among men, and if treated early on, they do not pose any serious health risks. Over-the-counter medications and changes in hygiene practices may be able to help you get rid of your yeast infection quickly, but if they don't work and your infection persists, contact your healthcare provider for diagnosis and treatment. They may be able to prescribe a stronger medication that can help you get rid of your yeast infection.
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Penile Yeast Infection: Symptoms, Treatment, and More
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What is a penile yeast infection?
A yeast infection is often thought of as a female health problem, but it can affect anyone, including men. A penile yeast infection, if not treated, can lead to a wide range of painful, uncomfortable, and potentially embarrassing symptoms. It can also lead to serious complications if the infection spreads into your bloodstream.
Over-the-counter (OTC) medications can often clear up a yeast infection, and some basic prevention steps can help you avoid this fairly common condition.
What are the symptoms of a penile yeast infection?
Early symptoms of a penile yeast infection often include a red rash and sometimes white, shiny patches on the penis. The skin on the penis may be moist, and a thick white substance may be found under the foreskin or other folds of skin. You may also experience itching and a burning feeling on your penis.
Redness, itchiness, and pain in the penis can be signs of other more serious conditions, including some sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), so don’t ignore symptoms once they appear. A urologist or your primary care doctor can diagnose the condition, often in a single appointment.
Learn more: What is a urologist? »
What causes a penile yeast infection?
A yeast infection is caused by a fungus called candida. A small amount of candida is usually present on the body. All it takes is an overgrowth of candida to develop a yeast infection. A moist environment is ideal for candida to spread.
One of the most common causes of a penile yeast infection is unprotected sexual intercourse with a woman who has a vaginal yeast infection. You can also develop one without sexual activity. Poor hygiene can make you vulnerable to a yeast infection, for example.
What are the risk factors for a penile yeast infection?
Aside from sex with a partner who has a yeast infection, several other risk factors can increase your odds of developing a penile yeast infection. Being uncircumcised is a major risk factor, as the area under the foreskin can be a breeding ground for candida. If you don’t bathe regularly or properly clean your genitals, you also put yourself at risk.
Other risk factors include prolonged use of antibiotics, as well as having diabetes or being obese. If you have an impaired immune system because of cancer treatment, HIV, or another reason, you may also be at a higher risk of a yeast infection.
Do I have a penile yeast infection?
Your doctor will examine your genitals and review your symptoms. Some of the white substance that forms on the penis may be examined under a microscope or cultured to confirm the type of fungus causing your symptoms.
If you can’t get in to see your doctor or a urologist, consider a visit to an urgent care center or even the emergency room. The earlier the problem is diagnosed and treatment begins, the more likely it is you can avoid complications. If you don’t already have a urologist, the Healthline FindCare tool can help you find a physician in your area.
Don’t diagnose and start treatment on your own. If symptoms of a yeast infection are present, see a doctor.
How do you treat a penile yeast infection?
In most cases, topical antifungal ointments and creams are enough to clear up an infection. Many of the antifungal creams recommended for a yeast infection include:
Most of these are available as OTC medications, meaning you will not need a prescription. More serious, or longer-term infections may require a prescription-strength medication.
Oral fluconazole (Diflucan) and a hydrocortisone cream may be advised in serious infections, such as those that have developed into a potentially serious condition called balanitis.
Sometimes yeast infections return after they appear to be cured. If this occurs, your doctor will likely recommend weekly treatments for several months following a couple weeks of daily treatment.
Most antifungal creams are well tolerated. You’re not likely to have any serious side effects. Check the label, however, and ask your doctor and pharmacist what to look out for in case you have a bad reaction.
If your infection doesn’t respond well to an antifungal ointment and you are uncircumcised, you may be advised to have a circumcision. Though this surgical procedure is typically done on infants, it can be done safely on a man of any age.
Learn more: Circumcision »
Along with using the medicated cream, you should also practice good hygiene to help clear up any lingering infection. Factors such as diabetes and a suppressed immune system may contribute to your yeast infection risk.
If you have diabetes, work with your healthcare providers to make sure your blood sugar levels are well controlled. If you have a suppressed immune system, your doctor can recommend ways to help keep your immune system as healthy as possible.
What are the complications of a penile yeast infection?
One of the potential complications of a penile yeast infection is balanitis. Balanitis is an inflammation of the foreskin or head of the penis. Diabetes can increase your risk for balanitis.
Learn more: Balanitis »
If balanitis isn’t treated effectively, scarring of the foreskin can occur. It can also cause adhesions on the penis. The condition can be painful and make urinating more difficult. If untreated, balanitis can cause swollen and painful glands, as well as weakness and fatigue.
A yeast infection may enter the bloodstream. This is known as candidemia or invasive candidiasis. This is most common in men who wait to receive treatment until the infection has spread beyond the penis. It is also more common in men with weakened immune systems.
If you’ve been in a hospital and used a catheter to urinate, you may be more likely to face invasive candidiasis. This advanced form of a yeast infection is very serious. Oral antifungal medications may be needed for several weeks. In some cases, the drugs are administered intravenously.
How long does a penile yeast infection last?
If your infection is treated early and responds well to antifungal medication, it can clear up within a week. If you are sexually active, your partner should also be treated for a yeast infection to avoid re-infection. Your partner should be treated regardless of whether or not the infection was spread from them to you.
If you get recurrent yeast infections and you can rule out causes such as hygiene and sexual contact, talk with your doctor about other possible causes. You may have an underlying health condition, such as diabetes.
Men are generally much less likely than women to develop a yeast infection, but it’s important to know how such an infection can develop and how to recognize the usual symptoms.
How do you prevent a penile yeast infection?
You can help prevent a penile yeast infection by avoiding sexual contact with a partner who has a yeast infection. You should also avoid having sex with anyone while you have an active yeast infection. You could give the infection back to your partner, and the two of you could trade an infection back and forth.
To avoid getting a yeast infection or passing one along, do the following:
- Wear a condom to help reduce your chances of developing a yeast infection.
- Practice sexual monogamy to reduce your risk for a yeast infection.
- Practice good hygiene, and keep your penis and genitals clean and dry.
- If you are uncircumcised, clean under the foreskin with soap and water, and return your foreskin to its usual position after you have sexual intercourse.
The bottom line
Penile yeast infections are uncommon. They may result from poor hygiene or condomless sex with a partner who has a vaginal yeast infection. Symptoms include small white patches and redness on the skin and itchiness or burning. In most cases, topical antifungal ointments and creams can treat the infection.