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Avatar universal

Fungal infection

First of all, I am a male, in his mid-40s, who is relatively healthy except for a positive diagnosis of Hepatitis B (but that is not what this post is about). I have been dealing with what I believe is a fungal infection since beginning of August. I had a sexual encounter a week before that. It was with a woman I did not know very well. We had sexual intercourse with a condom, and there was no oral sex. I asked her to penetrate anally, to try something new, and she did that, while wearing some kind of latex glove. We were in her bathroom which was wet from a shower.

Anyway, about a week later, I experienced a redness and itching at my penis head and anus, which also affected my left leg and foot. The left leg and foot also itched, burned, and tingled, although there were no outward signs of any lesions. I immediately went to the doctor and had a full STD panel of tests done - Chlamydia, Syphilis, Gonorrhea, Herpes, Trichomoniasis - all came back negative.

The pain in my left foot got so bad I could barely walk or stand. I bought Clotrimazole cream from the pharmacy and applied on my penis and anus, and suddenly the left foot no longer tingled or had pain. I followed the directions for a few weeks applying the cream twice a day morning and night. I also used Apple Cider Vinegar as an anti-fungal wash. By the time October came, I was symptom-free in my foot and my groin, so I put it all down to a fungal infection of some kind.

October was great, I was back to normal. Then November came, and the leg/foot pain came back with a vengeance. I had slacked off on using the Clotrimazole because of the lack of symptoms, although I was still wiping my skin with the Apple Cider Vinegar.

Now it is Nov 23, and I have been plagued with left leg and foot pain. It is not as bad as before when I could barely stand, but it is still there, and the fact that the pain is still there means I still have a fungal infection.

Recently, my doctor said I have a candida infection, and gave me Diflucan (flucanozole) to take for 10 days. I just finished it and there was no apparent effect. Now, I'm not so sure it is a fungal infection. Urine and blood analyses done back in August showed no bacteria in the blood or urine. Could it still be a bacterial infection?

I am still going through various anti-fungal topicals - Clotrimazole, Miconzole, Tonaflate, etc. and they work to some extent, but the pain doesn't completely go away like it did before. I even started taking Caprylic acid supplements.

Any ideas on what else this could be besides a fungal infection? If it is a fungal infection, what other treatments are there? Enemas? Nystatin?

Thank you.

195 Responses
1415174 tn?1453246703
COMMUNITY LEADER
We don't have doctors on these sites but I can advice you. One thing I want to mention is that some strains of Candida albicans are resistant to fluconiazole. So, using terbinafine (Lamisil cream) should work if that is what it is. But the best thing to do is to have your doctor have it cultured. They can do a skin scraping of an area and send it to the lab. That way you don't just keep using many different medications. If it isn't Candida albicans some of the other yeasts are very resistant and you really need to know what it is. Usually, fungi cause a lot of itching and not pain. The way you describe your pain sounds like sciatic ir some type of nerve pain. Perhaps you pinched the nerve the day you had the sexual activity. So, you may have more than one thing going on here.
This is starting place. Hope this helps.
mkh9
Avatar universal
Thank you, mkh9. While the Diflucan didn't do anything, I found that a lotion from Vitamin Shoppe store worked very well. It has 1% Tolnaftate, which is something I never used before. Within an hour of applying that lotion, my left leg/foot stopped hurting. So, I have to believe there is a connection. I will continue to use the Tolnaftate.I'm only day two into the lotion and see real results.

This is definitely a fungal infection.

Do you think I still need to get a culture?
1415174 tn?1453246703
COMMUNITY LEADER
See how this goes. If it goes away great if not get the culture. I wouldn't put vinegar on your skin any more as that can disrupt the normal skin bacteria (flora) and long chain fatty acids on the skin which can help fight off fungi. I'm not sure why the fungi is causing pain rather than itching. But, if it works that is good.
mkh9
Avatar universal
Actually I realized my left foot has a pinhole in the sole from stepping on a nail a few years ago. And a few months ago I was walking barefoot in a public shower at a gym. It could be the fungus from that rather any sexual activity.

When I apply Tolnaftate cream on the sole of my left foot, the pain goes away. After several hours the pain comes back, and I am guessing the fungus is growing back. My question is, will I have to do this for the rest of my life, or will the fungus (or whatever is kept in check by the Tolnaftate) eventually die off?
1415174 tn?1453246703
COMMUNITY LEADER
If the growth on the foot is a fungus it should die off provided
1. that it is sensitive to the topical you are using.
2. that your shoes or other places you are stepping don't keep contaminating the foot/feet.

It is easy to keep getting fungus on the feet because fungi are in the dirt and around the house and in the environment. Try to keep your feet clean and dry. The fungi don't like being dry. Putting talc in your sock or shoes might help. If you belong to a gym wear flip flops in the shower etc. Keep the floor of your shower clean. It is hard to get rid of fungi. I get them as well as most people. It may be an off an on thing.

Once you have the right treatment it should be gone in a week. If not you should see a doctor. Or, try terbinifine (Lamisil). It is the only thing that works for me and my husband. My doctor has it too. LOL.

mkh9
Avatar universal
Thank you again for your response mkh9. Actually, this is strange. Rubbing Tolnaftate cream on the sole of the foot does help it to start hurting. But I do need to apply it around the anal area as well. If I don't, there is an internal warmth building up in my left leg. Once I do, it is gone. So I believe the fungus or whatever is growing in two areas.

I completely agree with you about keeping the foot clean. My foot pain is worse in the day because I have to wear socks and it gets fungal build-up. At home in the evening I walk around barefoot and it is much better.

But, I never had this problem throughout my entire life until a few months ago. i walked on some nasty floors before barefoot and it hasn't affected me.

Do you think the fungus is reproducing from within me, and is only causing pain when it reaches the extremities (anus and foot)?

I am going to take caprylic acid supplements as an internal anti-fungal. Do you think that would be effective?
1415174 tn?1453246703
COMMUNITY LEADER
I think your problem is superficial because if it is a fungus and the only reason it seems to be is that the anti-fungal creams work for the dermatopytes. Dermatophytes don't live inside the body. They live on hair, skin and nails and are external fungi. But you could have a yeast. Until you get tested you really don't know. It can't hurt to take the caprylic acid to see what happens but it won't help internally. It has a lot of saturated fat which isn't good for you but temporarily you could try it. I don't recommend it myself but if you want to try it for a couple of weeks that is up to you. It can work on some yeast and maybe fungi as well as some bacteria. I hope it doesn't cause any problems with your normal bowel flora (bacteria).
mkh9
Avatar universal
Again, thank you for helping me out mkh9. I want to say yesterday (Sunday) has been the first day without any kind of pain. I rubbed tea tree oil on the sole of my foot and around the anal area. Today marks the second day. Do you know much about tea tree oil? Does it kill fungus?
1415174 tn?1453246703
COMMUNITY LEADER
Actually, yes it does. Here is a technical article but I gave it to you to prove that it does have some antifungal properties. It works better on some strains of yeast and dermatophytes than others.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9055360

so the fact that it is helping to me means that it is probably a fungus and that the other antifungal you used was ineffective. That is good news.

mkh9
Avatar universal
That's good to know. So my regimen includes tea tree oil, but is not entirely limited to it. I also still use the Tolnaftate lotion, and I started taking Caprylic acid capsules and cranberry pills. The Caprylic acid capsules supposedly will attack the fungus inside. i do believe it helps. What do you think about it?

The anal area and my leg/foot still gets itchy and tingly after some time passes, so I have to continue with the tea tree oil/anti-fungal lotion.

1415174 tn?1453246703
COMMUNITY LEADER
There seems to be some antibacterial and antifungal properties with the Caprylic acid.  I don't know how many studies have been done on it but is sounds like it also can work on this.
mkh9
Avatar universal
mhk9, I want to say your input is a great comfort to me in this rather scary period for me. Scary because I fear this may go on for years. I'm glad you're here to walk me through all this, and your educated advice is very helpful.

What is the cycle of regrowth of these dermatophytes? Today I felt pretty clear because I have been applying the tea tree oil every few hours. If I don't, the pain/itchiness will come back to my anus and left foot. Is this a regimen I will have to live with for the rest of my life? Is there nothing that can kill all these micro-organisms permanently? I'm only 7 days into the tea tree oil, so would you say 4 weeks is long enough to see if the TTO will kill all the fungi forever? Is that how long it takes?

Thank you, and sorry for all the questions.
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