The body normally hosts a variety of germs, including bacteria and fungi. Some carry out normal functions, while others can cause infections when they begin to multiply uncontrollably. Candidiasis of the skin is caused by Candida fungus, one of the potentially harmful organisms in the body. Infection caused by overgrowth of Candida is known as candidiasis of the skin, or cutaneous candidiasis. This fungus multiplies because of warm weather, tight clothing, poor hygiene, obesity, and medications that kill harmless bacteria and medications that affect the immune system.
Candidiasis of the skin causes a red, itchy rash which commonly occurs in the folds of the skin, which includes areas in the armpits, groin, between the fingers, and under the breasts. The rashes may also spread to other areas of the body. In some cases, the infection can cause the skin to become cracked and sore. Blisters and pustules may also occur. Candida can also cause infections in the nails, edges of the nails, and corners of the mouth.
Other symptoms include:
- red or purple patches
- white flaky substance over affected areas
- maceration or the appearance of soft white skin
Types of Candida Fungus Skin Infections:
- Athlete’s foot
- Oral thrush
- Vaginal yeast infection
- Nail fungus
- Jock Itch
- Diaper rash
Who gets it?
Babies can develop candidiasis of the skin especially on the buttocks. It is not usually contagious, but people with a weak immune system may develop the condition after contact with the skin of an infected person. When people with compromised immune systems get candidiasis, they are more likely to develop a severe infection.
Doctors perform a physical examination to make a diagnosis. They may also want to perform a skin culture, wherein a cotton swab will be rubbed over the affected area and collect a skin sample. It will be sent to the laboratory for testing for the presence of Candida.
Candidiasis can be prevented using home remedies, but them most important thing is proper hygiene: frequent washing of the hands, regular bathing, and change of clothing. Here are other tips:
- Damp clothing such as swimsuits and workout clothes must be changed quickly
- Wear loose-fitting hypoallergenic clothes particularly organic cotton clothes
- Use scent-free soaps on affected areas
- Reduce the amount of sugar in your diet, as abnormal blood sugar levels contribute to the development of Candida infections
- With severe candidiasis, use doctor-prescribed antifungal creams or powders to prevent or reduce the spread of infection
Different kinds of drugs will be used based on the type of infection and the affected area:
- Vaginal gels and creams such as miconazole are often used for vaginal yeast infection
- Thrush is usually treated with antifungals in the form of lozenges, tablets, or liquid mouthwash
- Athlete’s foot is mostly treated with sprays, powders, and ointments
- Severe infections are most often treated with oral or intravenous medications