Surprisingly there is a very direct link between clothing and yeast infections but first let us look at what a yeast infection is so that the link between clothing and yeast infections can be better understood.
A yeast infection is not a gender specific infection, meaning that for those people that believe a yeast infection is a female health issue, you are wrong. There is a fungus that is one of many micro-organisms that live on and in most of us all the time. This fungus is called Candida Albicans and it is the cause of most yeast infections. It does not just live on women, men have it too. There are only small numbers of this fungus though because anything more is what leads to a yeast infection. These small amounts are prevented from overgrowth by the good bacteria and a healthy strong immune system. Loss of either of those two things can lead to a rapid multiplying of the Candida Albicans and a yeast infection.
There are several triggers that can cause an overgrowth to occur including:
- Uncontrolled diabetes (the fungus feeds on sugar so high blood sugar levels is a feast for it).
- Overuse or prolonged use of some antibiotics (some antibiotics kill all bacteria even the good).
- Unprotected sex with a partner that has a yeast infection (though not classed as an STD it can be passed back and forth between partners).
- Poor diet (again high in sugars, refined carbohydrates, low in vegetables and probiotics such as found in plain, live yogurt).
- Use of scented products or chemicals (scented soaps and so on).
- Douching (the vagina is self cleaning and all douching does is upset the natural balance of the vagina and can in fact lead to a yeast infection).
The key one we are looking at here though is the link between clothing and yeast infections. Remember the cause of a yeast infection is a fungus. Like all fungi it does best in warm, dark and moist environments. That is why that vagina is so prone, but also why yeast infections happen in places like the anus, genitals, under arms, and the mouth. Your choice of clothing is critical to avoiding a yeast infection or if you have one, better helping to treat it. There are three main points to remember about the link between clothing and yeast infections:
Tight clothing might look good but if you are wearing it all the time you are creating a constantly sweaty area. Keeping the area lovely and moist and warm for all the fungus to overgrow and live in. Loose clothing lets in the air, and with air circulating the area is kept dry making the environment less hospitable for the yeast to live in. So try to avoid nylons everyday, if you wear tight jeans or leather pants all the time, try some loose pants or a skirt!
No hanging out in wet clothing! That means if you are on holiday in you bathing suit, going to take a dip in the pool, you need to change out of that suit and dry off after your dip, not lay on a lounger and let the sun dry you off. Or of you have just done a workout, and your clothes are damp from the sweat, don’t drive home from the gym in them. Get out of them and get straight into a shower. Damp or wet clothing means you are keeping the environment damp and perfect for the yeast.
Lastly synthetic or man-made materials are worse than natural ones. When considering the link between clothing and yeast infections you should know that some fibers allow the skin to breathe and some do not. Synthetic materials do not, so at least have underwear that is made from cotton or bamboo rather than satin etc. This way the skin can breathe in them keeping the area dry, and when you can, avoid under wear all together!