Candidiasis (Yeast Infection)
What is candidiasis?
Candidiasis, sometimes referred to as a yeast infection, is an infection caused by yeast on the skin and/or mucous membranes. Although yeast is normally 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 leading to overgrowth, and/or when a person has a depressed immune system. Antibiotics can also cause yeast to grow, because the normal healthy 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 individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
Skin folds or navel
Corners of the mouth (angular cheilitis)
The symptoms of candidiasis may resemble other skin conditions. Always consult your doctor for a diagnosis.
How is candidiasis diagnosed?
In addition to a medical history and physical examination, your doctor may scrape off a skin sample to confirm the diagnosis with a microscope or a culture.
Treatment for candidiasis
Specific treatment for candidiasis will be determined by your doctor based on:
Your age, overall health, and medical history
Extent of the condition
Your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
Expectations for the course of the condition
Your opinion or preference
Candidiasis is highly treatable with medicated ointments or other anti-yeast (antifungal) preparations. Yeast infections of the vagina or penis can be treated with medicated suppositories or creams and sometimes an oral anti-yeast medication. Thrush may be treated with a medicated mouthwash or lozenges that dissolve in the mouth. Severe infection or infections in an immunocompromised person may be treated with oral anti-yeast medications. Esophageal candidiasis is usually treated with oral or intravenous anti-yeast medications. Candida infections of the nail are typically treated with an oral anti-yeast medication .