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Candidiasis / Yeast Infection

Candidiasis, or a yeast infection, is caused by yeast on the skin and mucous membranes. Although yeast is usually a harmless inhabitant of the digestive system and vaginal area, it may cause an infection when the skin is damaged, when conditions are warm and humid, and when a person has a depressed immune system. Antibiotics can cause yeast to grow, as the natural bacteria in tissues are killed, letting the yeast grow unhampered.

What are the symptoms of candidiasis?

The symptoms of candidiasis vary depending on the location of the infection. The following are the most common symptoms of a yeast infection. However, each may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

 

Location

Symptoms

Skin folds or navel

  • Patches that ooze clear fluid
  • Itching or burning
  • Pimples
  • Rash

Vagina

  • White or yellow discharge from the vagina
  • Itching and burning
  • Redness in the external area of the vagina

Penis

  • Redness, scaling, or a painful rash on the underside of the penis

Mouth (thrush)

  • White patches on tongue and inside of the cheeks
  • Pain

Corners of the mouth (perlèche)

  • Cracks and/or small cuts at the corners of the mouth

Nail beds

  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Pus
  • White or yellow nail that separates from the nail bed

The symptoms of candidiasis may resemble other skin conditions. Always consult a doctor for a diagnosis.

What is the diagnosis of candidiasis?

In addition to a medical history and physical examination, a physician may scrape off a skin sample to confirm the diagnosis with a microscope or a culture.

What is the treatment of candidiasis?

Candidiasis is highly treatable with medicated ointments. Yeast infections in the vagina or anus can be treated with medicated suppositories. Thrush may be treated with a medicated mouthwash or lozenges. Severe infections in an immunocompromised person may be treated with oral anti-yeast medications.