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Hygiene Standards to Follow When Candida Yeast Infections are Present
Introduction to controlling yeast infections with proper hygiene
A big deal is usually made about hygiene whenever yeast infections come up, but many people never realize why it's so important.
After all, Candida yeasts are everywhere in the environment, why should you pay so much attention to hygiene if you can't ever get rid of it?
Adequately answering that question takes an understanding of how a yeast infection really works and how contagion vectors function to spread it.
In short, "The Importance of Hygiene When Yeast Infections are Present" covers the hygiene steps to take to prevent yeast infection, candida, thrush from spreading on you and to prevent other people from catching it from you.
What Is a Candida Yeast Infection and How Does It Spread?
Candida is a yeast organism, which means it's classified as a sort of fungus.
However, all yeasts fall into the broader category of microbes.
Microbes are tiny organisms that can't be seen without a microscope, but they're absolutely everywhere on the planet.
Some live in heat, some can survive freezing, some live on rocks and some in water.
Some need oxygen in order to live, while there are still some anaerobic microbes out there that lived before oxygen was a major component of the Earth's atmosphere.
Some don't bother with people at all, some keep us healthy and, of course, some give us diseases.
Microbes of all varieties have been causing diseases literally since before there were humans.
Some varieties of microbes also affect plants and animals, after all, and homo sapiens sapiens (that would be us) are a relatively new species on the planet.
Microbes of one sort or another have caused the deaths of billions of humans throughout history.
They're a lot better and quicker at adapting to new environments than we are, and are constantly trying to find ways around obstacles to their growth and thriving.
One such obstacle is the human immune system, and various microbes are constantly mutating in order to circumvent it.
Fortunately, our immune system does a pretty good job of adapting as well, which is what keeps us healthy and alive instead of food for microbes.
If the immune system is compromised by infection, medication, chronic disease or poor diet, good hygiene becomes even more important.
In the absence of an immune system that fully works, we have to work overtime to ensure that infectious microbes don't get into our bodies.
Because of this, people with HIV infection, full blown AIDS, leukemia, diabetes mellitus, or who take immune suppressing medications have to be even more vigilant in their daily hygiene practices than the rest of us.
Candida yeast infection and how it is transmitted from one person to another
Some microbes, such as the viruses that cause colds and flu, can travel through the air.
Candida, fortunately, can only do this in its single celled, non-invasive form.
This form of Candida pretty much goes where it wants to, which is why it's a frequent and harmless resident of the human intestinal tract.
However, when conditions are right for it Candida can also go into a multicellular invasive form that produces the whitish plaques or white, curdlike discharge that's a classic signature of an active yeast infection.
This form of Candida can't travel through the air, but it can get passed on either through direct, close contact with someone else who is infected or by touching infected materials like cloth.
It will live on skin for a while, and it will live on an infected item for much longer.
Candida can also live on the skin of someone who is otherwise not infected.
For example, if a woman has a genital yeast infection and her spouse uses her towel to dry with and then makes food for a child with infected hands, the spouse can pass the yeast infection between the infected woman and the child without suffering infection as well.
Yeast Infection can be Caught from your dog, cat, or another animal
If your pet is suffering from a Candida infection on the skin or ears, it can look a lot different than a human yeast infection.
Petting the animal and failing to wash hands afterwards can transmit an active yeast infection just as well as between two humans.
In addition, if a pet with a Candida skin infection sheds, the shed hairs can serve to spread the multicellular form of Candida.
How To Stop Yeast Infections From Spreading - The Hygiene Standards to Follow
First off, wash your hands.
You should always wash your hands before eating and before, during and after handling food.
You should also wash your hands after contact with any blood or bodily fluids like saliva or mucous secretions.
Wash your hands after changing a diaper or underwear.
Anytime you handle your pets, their toys or their leashes, you should wash your hands, especially if you have reason to believe your pet is ill with anything.
Wash your hands after taking out the trash, cleaning out a drain, or working in the garden.
Especially wash your hands before and after bandaging any wound, giving or taking medicine, or inserting contact lenses.
Wash hands after inserting tampons or changing sanitary pads.
The correct way to wash hands to prevent candida yeast infection from spreading
Briefly wetting your hands and touching a bar of soap does not count.
In order to properly wash your hands, you should first get them wet, apply soap, rub vigorously to get up a good lather, and keep rubbing that lather around for at least twenty seconds.
Reciting the English alphabet is a common way to measure the time.
Rinse your hands thoroughly under running water, and try to use a paper towel or fresh bit of toilet paper to turn off the faucet.
That keeps you from picking germs right back up off an uncleaned faucet handle.
Dry your hands well on a clean towel.
If you're going to be washing your hands often, you may want to keep a good moisturizer nearby to avoid chapped skin.
Necessary hyginene standards to prevent candida yeast infections from spreading
Don't share toothbrushes, towels, washcloths or underwear ever, under any circumstances.
If you're currently suffering from a yeast infection, clean and sterilize your toothbrush after using it.
Also clean and sterilize dentures, dental retainers or anything other dental device that sits in your mouth on a daily basis.
Take extra care to wash bed linens, towels, washcloths and underwear in hot water and mild soap if someone in the house has an active yeast infection.
Don't let infected cloth sit around in a heap, wash it directly after someone's done using it.
The same goes for swimsuits and exercise clothing, of course.
Clean and disinfect surfaces in your house often.
Cleaning means that the surface looks clean, but disinfecting kills microbes - and hence candida yeast infection cells - too small to see.
Some microbes can live on bare surfaces for days, so if you're currently having a problem with illness in your house it's worth it to go the extra mile and disinfect.
Use labeled disinfectant or white vinegar on surfaces in the kitchen and bathroom in order to eliminate as many contagious microbes as possible.
If using cleaning cloths to avoid trashing large numbers of paper towels, be sure to throw the cleaning cloths directly into the washing machine and clean them with hot water.
Treat baby supplies properly to prevent them catching yeast infection.
Refrigerate any and all pre-prepared bottles right after they're made.
If a baby drinks from a bottle and doesn't finish it, don't give the bottle back to the baby if it sits out for longer than an hour.
Wash and sterilize all baby bottles, pacifiers and teething devices on at least a daily basis.
Change diapers regularly and, if using disposables, throw them away promptly.
Clean baby well during each and every diaper change.
I use cloth diapers on my children, and I keep a covered bucket filled with a solution of borax, baking soda, water and soap to put the used diapers in.
Dealing with cloth diapers can be a bit tricky, but I've found the best way is to shake any solids off in the toilet, pull the bucket with the solution in it up to the toilet, and transfer the used diaper in quickly.
We wash our cloth diapers about twice a week.
I generally transfer them into the washing machine and set it to just spin first.
Then I wash the diapers on the heavy duty cycle on the hot water setting (not warm, hot) with mild detergent, bleach and white vinegar as a fabric softener.
I also wash my hands religiously, clean my bathroom on a daily basis and take a full shower after every diaper load.
We haven't had any hygienic problems nor many diaper rashes in four years of cloth diaper use.
Hygiene standards for pets with candida yeast infection
If your animal has a yeast infection, keep up with shed fur and don't let it collect.
In addition, make sure the animal's waste is cleaned up daily, and make sure everyone washes their hands after petting, feeding, playing with or exercising the animal.
Some yeasts can jump from animals to humans and some can't, but assuming that your pet's infection can't pass to you is like playing a dangerous form of roulette.
Conclusion on hygiene and candida yeast infections
Candida yeasts and other microbes are absolutely everywhere in our environments.
There is no escaping them, and to even try would be suicidal madness.
However, yeast infections are caused by Candida in an invasive form, and that invasive version can be avoided through proper hygiene and a healthy lifestyle.
If you take simple hygienic precautions, you can keep yeast infections from affecting everybody in a household and may be able to decrease recurrent yeast infections over time.
References used for The Importance of Hygiene When Yeast Infections are Present
Taber's Medical Encyclopedia
American Center for Disease Control Microbe and Hygiene Guidelines
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