Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is thrush?

Thrush is a very common infection that's caused by an overgrowth of a yeast called Candida albicans.

This yeast lives naturally in the bowel and in small numbers in the vagina. It is mostly harmless, but symptoms can develop if yeast numbers increase.

About 75% of women will experience an episode of thrush in their lifetime (Sobel JD, Lancet, 2007).

Q. What are the most common symptoms of thrush?

You may experience some but not all of the following symptoms:

  • Itching and burning around the entrance of the vagina (vulva)
  • Redness of the vulva area and there may even be a swelling of the vaginal lips (labia)
  • A heavier than usual discharge that can be thick and cottage cheese like in appearance
  • Q. What should you do if you think you have thrush?

    If this is the first time you have had thrush, it is recommended that you consult your doctor.

    If you have experienced thrush in the past, you can visit your local pharmacy where the pharmacist will be able to recommend an appropriate treatment.

    Q. What should you do if your thrush infection comes back?

    Talk to your doctor if you don't feel better after 4 days of beginning treatment or if your thrush infection returns.

    If you have experienced 3 or more thrush infections in the past 6 months, it is recommended that you talk to your doctor to confirm it is thrush.

    Q. What keeps thrush away?

    Preventing thrush can be easy and requires small changes to your lifestyle. Some examples are:

  • Keep the area around your vagina clean and dry after showering or swimming.
  • Wear cotton undies. Avoid tight synthetic underwear, pantyhose or tights.
  • Change tampons and pads frequently.
  • Avoid perfumed soaps, bubble baths and shower gels. Use fragrance-free products.
  • Wipe front to back after going to the toilet, as this will stop yeast from getting into your vagina.
  • If you are prone to thrush, ask your doctor for a preventive treatment.
  • Add Canesten Hygiene Laundry Rinse to your laundry to eliminate fungi and stop the cycle of reinfection.
  • Q. Will thrush interfere with your sex life?

    It is recommended that you refrain from sex if you have thrush. If you have any questions or concerns, you and your partner should talk to your doctor.

    Q. Are there any factors that can contribute to getting thrush?

    Yes. Thrush is caused by a change in the pH balance of your vagina. These are some of the factors which can bring about this change:

  • Antibiotics can destroy the friendly bacteria that keeps vaginal yeast under control.
  • Hormone changes brought on by pregnancy, the pill, or a period.
  • Poor diet, lack of sleep, or stress.
  • A weak immune system brought on by illness.
  • Over-use of chemical deodorants, perfumed bodywash or sprays near the vagina.
  • Tight or synthetic clothing creating a warm, moist environment.
  • Q. Are you more susceptible to thrush on antibiotics?

    Yes, as antibiotics suppress the normal vaginal flora that control the growth of yeast, allowing the yeast to take over.

    Q. Can thrush affect me if I’m pregnant?

    Yes, the changes in hormones during pregnancy can make some women more susceptible to thrush.

    If you get thrush during pregnancy you should speak to your doctor before starting treatment as not all thrush treatments are suitable for use when pregnant or breastfeeding.

    Athlete’s Foot
    Q. Can I catch athlete's foot by sharing a towel with someone who has it?

    Yes, Tinea (Athlete's Foot) can be spread by skin to skin contact or indirectly through towels, clothes or floors.

    Q. How can I avoid athlete's foot infections?

    To help you avoid athlete's foot infections:

  • After washing, dry the skin thoroughly, particularly between the toes.
  • Expose the feet to air as much as possible.
  • Wear cotton socks instead of synthetics.
  • Wear thongs around swimming pools, locker rooms, and other communal areas.
  • Q. Can athlete's foot affect my toenails?

    If left untreated, athlete's foot can spread into your nail. This can cause a fungal nail infection resulting in your nail becoming discoloured and thick and start to deteriorate and crumble.

    Q. How did I get athlete's foot?

    Some of the most common reasons are going barefoot in shared areas such as shower or bathroom floors, bath mats, pool areas or locker rooms.

    Nail Infections
    Q. Are fungal nail infections common?

    Fungal nail infections have become more common in recent years, likely due to factors such as changes in lifestyle (wearing closed tight shoes) or increased use of communal changerooms and an ageing population.

    Q. Who is at risk of getting a fungal nail infection?

    People with blood sugar or circulation issues, increasing age, smokers.

    External risk factors include increased physical activity, increased exposure to wet work, ill fitting shoes, swimming pools, walking barefoot and nail biting.

    Q. How effective are antifungal nail lacquers in treating a fungal nail infection?

    A clinical review showed that after 6-12 months of treatment with an anti-fungal laquer only 5-15% of patients were cured (Eisman S et al. BMJ 2014), compared to 55% of patients after 2 months of treatment with a combined urea and bifonazole product (Tietz, H-J et al. Mycoses 2013).

    Q. How long does it take nails to grow out?

    Fingernails - 2-3mm per month

    Toenails - 1mm per month

    Q. Can Canesten Fungal Nail Treatment Set be used during pregnancy and /or breastfeeding?

    You should not use this medicine without first telling your doctor or pharmacist if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.

    Q. Are there any adverse/side-effects expected when using Canesten Fungal Nail Treatment Set?

    Side effects from using Canesten Fungal Nail Treatment Set are mild and transient with the most common being skin irritation, reddening or peeling.

    Q. Why is the urea ointment thick?

    The urea Ointment has a very thick consistency. This helps in the application and intended use on the fungal nail. When ointments are stored in cold areas they may harden up.

    If the urea ointment has hardened, it is suggested you try and warm the product up between your hands to soften it.

    Fungal Nappy Rash
    Q. What's better for my baby - cloth nappies or disposables?

    There are pros and cons for each method, but the most important thing is getting your baby out of a wet and dirty nappy as soon as possible. This will help minimise the chance of nappy rash.

    Q. Can I use Canesten on my baby?

    It is suitable to use Canesten Clotrimazole Anti-Fungal Cream ONLY which is an anti-fungal cream that has been used to treat fungal nappy rash for many years.

    Canesten Bifonazole products should not be used on babies.

    Unless your doctor tells you to, do not use Canesten Plus Clotrimazole & Hydrocortisone Cream on children under 2 years of age.

    Q. Should I do anything differently for a boy versus a girl?

    Whether you have a baby girl or boy you still want to make sure that you keep the nappy area as clean and dry as possible.

    When cleaning a baby girl, always make sure you wipe her genitals from front to back. When cleaning a baby boy make sure you keep his penis clean on all sides, including the tip.

    Q. Do I need to take my baby to see a doctor to get treatment?

    If your baby's nappy rash is either worsening or not clearing up you should discuss this with your healthcare professional who will give you additional advice.

    Canesten Clotrimazole Anti-Fungal Cream is available from your pharmacist without a prescription for the treatment of fungal nappy rash. If you are concerned about whether Canesten is the correct treatment for your baby, ask your pharmacist or healthcare professional for advice.

    Q. Can ringworm be transferred between humans and animals?

    Ringworm can spread between people and animals, as the fungus that causes it (dermatophytes) can live in the soil or be carried by animals.

    Q. Will treatment stop me from catching ringworm again?

    Unfortunately, treating ringworm will not stop you from catching it again but it will prevent the fungal infectiong from spreading to other parts of your body.

    Ringworm is transferred by person to person or animal to person contact therefore no products can prevent you from contracting ringworm again.

    Q. Will ringworm go away by itself?

    More often than not, ringworm does not just go away on its own accord and treatment is needed as ringworm can be contagious and infect other people.

    Jock Itch
    Q. Who gets jock itch?

    You don't have to be a jock to get jock itch. While it usually affects guys, girls can become infected by it too.

    Certain factors can make jock itch more likely to develop such as excessive sweating while playing sports, hot and humid weather, friction from wearing tight or wet clothes for extended periods (like bathing suits), sharing clothes and towels with others.

    Q. How did I get jock itch?

    Jock itch can be spread from other tinea infections such as athlete's foot which can be picked up from walking barefoot on a public shower floor, swimming pools or from using someone else's towel.

    It is possible to spread the fungus to your groin area from your towel or sharing towels.

    Q. Can I get jock itch by sharing a bed with someone who has it?

    You can catch jock itch by sharing contaminated towels, clothing and bed linens. You can also transfer the infection by skin-to-skin contact with someone who is infected, and of course by touching an object that carries the fungus.

    Q. Does being a boxers or briefs guy make a difference?

    The area of the groin is a perfect environment for the growth of the fungus that causes jock itch as it's warm and moist. Wearing tight fitting clothing can often encourage the growth of fungi, making looser cotton underwear a better alternative.

    Q. Can women also get jock itch?

    While the vast majority of individuals who suffer from jock itch symptoms are male, females can also get this form of infection themselves.