The Candida fungus, commonly referred to as "yeast," lives nearly everywhere, including the human body. Certain conditions -- such as illness or taking antibiotics -- can lead to an overgrowth of yeast, resulting in an infection. The very first symptoms of yeast infections are subtle, with no pain, and might not be cause for concern. But yeast grows rapidly. Yeast infections can occur in babies, children and adults, and affect both men and women equally, according to Skinsight.
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Oral thrush is the name of a yeast infection that develops in the mouth. It can occur in babies, children and adults. The very first symptom of an oral thrush yeast infection is a white coating on the tongue. The white coating, in its earliest stages, is not painful. As the yeast continues to thrive and grow, however, the white coating on the tongue begins to take on the appearance of small, white lesions. The yeast symptoms often spread to the inner cheeks and sometimes cover the roof of the mouth or travel down the esophagus. Early symptoms might include a loss of taste, and for babies, general fussiness. Some older children or adults might notice cracks that appear at the corners of the mouth or a dry, cottony feeling in the mouth.
Infants who are breastfed can pass oral thrush to their mothers. The very first symptoms of a yeast infection contracted by a nursing mother from her infant are sore, reddened nipples. The yeast infection might cause unusual pain during nursing. Additional symptoms of a yeast infection in the breast area are stabbing pains and discomfort. Sometimes the very first symptom of a yeast infection for nursing mothers might be difficulty extracting milk from the nipple, mimicking a plugged duct.
Vaginal Yeast Infections
Vaginal yeast infections, also referred to as vaginal candidiasis or monilial vaginitis, according to MedlinePlus, are caused by Candida albicans. One of the very first symptoms reported is extreme itchiness in and around the vagina. Womenshealth.gov lists symptoms of burning, redness and vaginal swelling as well. Other symptoms can include pain during urination or pain or soreness during sex. Many women report an abnormal vaginal discharge, ranging from slightly watery and white to thick, white and chunky, like cottage cheese. Womenshealth.gov also advises that an early symptom of a yeast infection might include a vaginal rash.