Candidiasis

Candidiasis is the medical term for yeast infections in the body. There are three forms of candidiasis that relate specifically to the skin:

Candidiasis is a skin infection produced by Candida, a yeast-like fungus. This type of infection is caused by fungi that live on the hair, nails and outer skin layers. Normally, this yeast lives in the mouth, digestive tract and the vagina without creating any problems. Under certain conditions, such as antibiotic use, immunosuppression or diabetes, the fungus begins to multiply which generates the infection.

Causes

With cutaneous candidiasis, usually in a warm, moist area, the skin develops an infection from the Candida fungi. Candidiasis can manifest as diaper rash, oral thrush or vaginal yeast infection. Antibiotics and birth control pills increase the chances of getting Candidiasis. Infections of the nails (onychomycosis) and of the corners of the mouth (angular cheilitis) can also come from Candidiasis.

Types of Candidiasis

The most common forms of Candidiasis are:

  • Thrush an oral yeast infection, thrush shows redness, cracking or white patches in the mouth
  • Cutaneous patches of red, raw skin that develops in creases, like under the breasts, belly or groin; itching may also occur
  • Vaginitis yeast infection in the vagina that is often accompanied by cottage-cheese like discharge, pain and burning Esophagitis

Treatment

In general, Candidiasis responds well to antifungal medications which can come in the form of pills, topicals, mouthwash, cream or suppositories. Some of these medicines are available over-the-counter but others require a prescription.

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