Cutaneous candidiasis is fungal infection of the skin that has a likelihood of appearing at places where the skin has folds. The moisture present under the breasts, in the groin area, under the armpits and in between your fingers is most likely places for this yeast to grow. Other than on the skin, it also grows in small amounts in our intestine. Fungal infection will grow at any place in the body as mentioned below:
They can occur on the tongue, bronchi, nose, oral cavity, nails, any place on the skin, vagina, urine or digestive tract. According to the place where they occur, we classify the candidiasis into the following types:
- Vulvovaginal yeast infection: This affects the genital area of women.
- Thrush: Thrush or oropharyngeal candidiasis occurs in the mouth region.
- Candidemia: Invasive candidiasis or Candidemia enters the blood stream of the patient.
- Diaper rash: This infection affects babies who do not get frequent change of diaper. The warm clothing combined with the wet conditions aids the development of candidiasis on their bottom.
- Lip corners and oral cavity: The oral cavity candidiasis shows whitish deposits mostly in infants and small children. These deposits cover painful wounds making it difficult to feed the child. Lip corner candidiasis can appear if the person has dentures. Skin cracks, redness and swelling will spread to corner of the lips from buccal mucosa.
- Nail candidiasis: People who over-wash their hands become susceptible to nail candidiasis. This infection presents in the form of redness and pain in the region surrounding the nails and cuticles. Pus formation may occur in small amounts. Infection of the skin surrounding the nail is chronic at times and the irritation will result in growth of nail plate that is corrugated and brittle.
Typical symptoms of this infection will be:
- Red or white patchy skin
- Mild discomfort to painful irritation
- Skin may be cracked or sore
- Pustules or blisters may be present
- Infected hair follicles resemble pimples
- White discharge from the vagina
- Whitish deposit on the tongue
- White deposits at corners of lips
Factors that help the formation of yeast infection are seen to be the following.
- Poor hygiene
- Warm and moist clothing
- High sugar levels in blood (diabetes patients)
- Warm and humid weather
- Using antibiotics that prevent formation of normal flora
- Weakened immune system as present in those who are pregnant, suffering from diabetes or undergoing treatment involving steroids
- Folds in skin (as it typical in obese patients)
Poor hygiene will always cause a variety of illnesses. Pay attention to keeping the skin dry and clean. Moisture is the main reason for this illness to occur. If you are overweight, change your diet so that you can reduce weight. High sugar in the blood also promotes the growth of this fungus.
Testing for infection
Examination of the skin or scrapings taken from the skin will help the physician determine the nature of infection if any. Testing for diabetes may also be needed as per the situation.
- Keep the skin free from moisture
- Lose weight if you are overweight
- Keep sugar under control
- Use antifungal creams for superficial treatment of fungus infection
- Eat healthy food that helps strengthen the immune system
Strong soaps and antiseptics will disturb growth of normal fungus. Local treatment through antifungal cream and powder is considered adequate for oral candidiasis, vaginal candidiasis, candidal balanoposhitis and skin candidiasis. Preparations of Imidazole that has antimyocotic will be used for 15 – 20 days. The physician will resort to systemic treatment when the case is not responding to local treatment.
This is not infectious and only spreads when there is moisture on the skin or at any other place on the body. If you observe good hygienic techniques, this condition will not reappear.