Thrush is caused by a yeast-like fungus called Candida albicans or Monilia, which thrives in warm, moist areas of the body. Thrush is also known as candida. It can be present for a long time before it is detected, as thrush does not cause symptoms in the early stages. Recurrent attacks are common.
The thrush organism lives on the skin, and attacks can flare up easily, particularly in the warm, moist skin folds. It is worse in people who are overweight, and can affect the groin, armpits and the skin under the breasts, making the affected areas red, itchy and sore. Thrush in the vulva and vagina is very common and can be extremely difficult to cure completely. It causes itching and soreness with a white, curdy discharge.
Thrush is not necessarily sexually transmitted, but a partner may develop the infection with redness and soreness of the end of the penis or under the foreskin, and re-infection can be passed back and forward between one partner and the other. It is advisable not to wear tights or clinging jeans if you are prone to thrush. It is best to wear undergarments made of natural fibres which allow the skin to breathe.
Chinese Medicine sees this as a problem of damp in the body, usually internal damp, caused by an infection or fungus, although it can sometimes be external. Some forms of thrush produce a damp heat, which must be treated with medicine. It is also important to avoid damp food such as sweet or creamy foods. Chinese Medicines include Chinese gentian or oriental wormwood.
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