Is Thrush a Result of Poor Personal Hygiene?

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Thrush is a result of the naturally occurring bacteria in our bodies called the Candida fungus. Although thrush can sometimes be unpreventable as a result of a change in the natural balance of the immune system, you can also increase your chances of developing the thrush infection through poor hygiene. Though this can be a contributing factor, more often than not the causes of thrush are due to underlying medical problems, changes in the balance of the immune system through illness or a taking a course of antibiotics, or a combination of several different factors.

Personal hygiene and the development of thrush in the genitals

In women, thrush is a very common infection that most women will experience at least once throughout their lives. The vagina is a very sensitive area of the body, and the natural balance that ensures everything is normal and healthy is sometimes easily disrupted. Contrary to common belief, thrush can therefore develop in the vagina out of being too clean rather than having low levels of personal hygiene.

Perfumed shower gels, soaps, deodorants and other beauty products can all contain certain chemicals than can have a negative effect on the natural acidity levels in the vagina. This can lead to the perfect environment for the Candida fungus to develop into thrush. Although perfumed bath and body products may smell pleasant and leave you feeling nice, it may be worth swapping to neutral or dermatologically tested products that will not be harmful to your body. This is especially important if you are particularly prone to bouts of thrush.

This advice is relevant to males as well. Although thrush in the penis may not be as noticeable as thrush in the vagina, and many men may have thrush without noticing at all, avoiding heavily perfumed products can cut down the chance of you developing a more severe case of the infection.

Other issues of personal hygiene and the development of thrush in the vagina includes your toilet habits. Although often preached from a young age to wipe from front to back after going to the toilet, this point is especially relevant in the development of thrush. As the Candida bacteria also lives naturally in the gut, this will ensure that you are avoiding unnecessarily introducing the bacteria into the vagina, thus increasing your chances of developing thrush.

Personal hygiene and the development of oral thrush

There are many contributing factors to the development of oral thrush. These include smoking, having an injury within the mouth that needs to be treated with medicines than can promote the development of the thrush infection, and being diabetic. However, although some of these cases means that the development of oral thrush is unavoidable, you can help to prevent it by ensuring a good level of oral hygiene.

Good oral hygiene means brushing your teeth thoroughly at least twice a day, flossing daily, and using a good mouthwash twice a day. Although poor oral hygiene does not necessarily result in oral thrush, good oral hygiene can help to prevent the infection. This is especially important if you are diabetic, as a common side effect of diabetes is reoccurring bouts of oral thrush. This can be inconvenient and annoying, so practising good oral hygiene can help to relieve some of the frustration with the condition.

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