What Is Moniliasis?

Moniliasis, also known as yeast infection, is a type of fungal infection that can affect the skin, mouth, genitals and other organs. In women, the most common type of moniliasis is known as vulvovaginal candidiasis, and usually presents with symptoms of discharge, itching and burning.

Moniliasis is caused by a type of yeast called Candida albicans, which is a normal part of the healthy flora of your skin and digestive tract. However, when there is an overgrowth of Candida, it can cause an infection. Moniliasis is not usually a serious condition, but it is important to get treatment for it, because it can cause further complications if left untreated.

Causes of Moniliasis

Moniliasis often occurs when there is an imbalance of the healthy and harmful bacteria in the vagina or other parts of the body. Some factors that can lead to an overgrowth of Candida include:

  • Antibiotic use: Antibiotics can kill off some of the beneficial bacteria that help keep the balance of organisms in your body. This can lead to an overgrowth of Candida.
  • Hormonal changes: Hormonal changes, such as those that occur in pregnancy, can increase the risk of moniliasis.
  • Steroids: Steroids can weaken the body’s immune system and make it more susceptible to fungal infections.
  • Diabetes: High levels of blood sugar can provide a favorable environment for the growth of Candida.
  • Uncontrolled HIV infection: HIV-positive individuals with an uncontrolled infection are more likely to have moniliasis.
  • Weakened immune system: People with weakened immune systems, such as those with HIV or cancer, are more likely to develop moniliasis.
  • Tight clothing: Wearing tight-fitting clothes and underwear made from certain materials, such as nylon or spandex, can trap moisture and increase the risk of moniliasis.

Symptoms of Moniliasis

The symptoms of Moniliasis can vary depending on where the infection is located. Common symptoms include:

  • Discharge: vaginal discharge that is whitish and thick, like cottage cheese, is common in vaginal infections.
  • Itchiness: the affected area may be itchy or irritated.
  • Redness: the affected area may be red or swollen.
  • Burning sensation: you may experience a burning sensation when urinating or during sexual activity.
  • Pain: the affected area may be painful.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Moniliasis

To diagnose moniliasis, your doctor may take a sample of the affected area and examine it under a microscope. Your doctor may also take a urine sample or conduct a blood test.

Treatment for moniliasis varies depending on the severity of the infection. In mild cases, an oral anti-fungal medication may be prescribed. Topical antifungal creams or suppositories may also be used. In more severe cases, an intravenous antifungal medication may be necessary.

It is important to follow your doctor's advice regarding treatment and complete any prescribed course of medication. This will help to prevent the infection from returning.