Mucosal Disorders (Oral and Vulvar)
Northwestern Medicine provides expert treatment of mucosal disorders (disorders of the mucus membranes) of the mouth and vulva by counseling patients about proper treatment and lifestyle changes and prescribing antifungals and antivirals as necessary.
Candidiasis (yeast infection, thrush) is typically treated with medicated suppositories, creams, or oral anti-fungal medications depending on location.
Canker sores are typically treated with oral or topical pain relievers and mouth rinses.
Herpes is not curable, but your physician may prescribe oral or topical antiviral medications to reduce the severity of outbreaks and reduce the likelihood of transmission.
Mucosal disorders are disorders of the mucus membranes, especially in the mouth and vulva.
Candidiasis (yeast infection or thrush) is an infection caused by excess yeast on the skin or mucus membranes, often caused by humid conditions, damaged skin or a depressed immune system. Yeast infections can occur in skin folds, genitals, mouth and corners of the mouth and nail beds.
Yeast infections of the vagina are typically characterized by white or yellow discharge, itching, redness of the external areas (vulva) and burning. Yeast infections in the mouth (thrush) often appear as white patches on the tongue and cheeks, redness, difficulty swallowing and cracks at the corners of the mouth.
Canker sores are small sores on the lips, cheeks and tongue thought to be caused by a weakened immune system, food allergies, viruses and bacteria and poor nutrition. Canker sores usually have a yellow center surrounded by redness and heal in 10-14 days.
Since aphthous stomatitis, the disease that causes canker sores, is not a viral or bacterial infection, it cannot be treated with antiviral and antibiotic medications. You may be prescribed a topical medication to reduce pain, or recommended to increase fluid intake, ensure proper oral hygiene and use mouth rinses.
The herpes simplex virus causes blisters around the mouth (HSV 1) and genitals (HSV 2) that break and form scabs, and is spread through skin-to-skin contact such as kissing and sexual intercourse. HSV can also be contagious even when no lesions are present.
It is usually diagnosed with a virus culture, blood test or biopsy of a lesion, although many physicians treat the presence of blisters in the mouth and genitals as confirmation of an infection.