What is candidiasis?
Candidiasis is an infection by Candida yeast. Because yeast is a type of fungus, candidiasis is a fungal infection, but it's usually referred to as a yeast infection. Candida yeast usually live on your body in small amounts without causing symptoms. But sometimes an overgrowth or infection can happen.
Yeast infections usually happen on the surface of your body, including your skin, mouth, or vagina
Sometimes people with a weak immune system Overview of Immunodeficiency Disorders The immune system is your body's defense system. It helps protect you from illness and infection. The immune system's job is to attack things that don’t belong in your body, such as germs, parasites... read more get yeast infections of their internal organs (systemic candidiasis Candidiasis Candidiasis is an infection caused by the Candida yeast, which is a type of fungus. Candidiasis can occur: On the surface of your body, which is rarely serious Widespread inside your body (called... read more ), which can be life-threatening
A yeast infection may cause redness, rash, itching, swelling, or creamy white patches
Some diaper rashes are caused by yeast infection
Doctors treat yeast infections with creams or medicines taken by mouth
What causes a yeast infection?
A yeast infection is caused by Candida yeast, a fungus that usually lives on your body in small amounts. In small amounts, you don't notice it. If the yeast grows too much, you get a rash.
Some causes of too much yeast growth include:
Wearing tight underwear, bras, or other clothing that holds sweat close to your body
Keeping babies in wet or dirty diapers too long
Having a weak immune system Overview of Immunodeficiency Disorders The immune system is your body's defense system. It helps protect you from illness and infection. The immune system's job is to attack things that don’t belong in your body, such as germs, parasites... read more because of disorders such as HIV infection Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Infection and AIDS The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a type of virus called a retrovirus. It causes AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome), which is life-threatening. HIV is called an immunodeficiency... read more or cancer Overview of Cancer Cancer is the out-of-control growth of cells in your body. Cells are the tiny building blocks of your body. Cells specialize in what they do. For example, your intestines have muscle cells to... read more
Yeast likes to live in dark, moist areas of your body. So yeast infections are more common in these areas:
Under folds of skin in obese people
In the mouth
Under women's breasts
In the groin area or vagina
What are the symptoms of a yeast infection?
Symptoms depend on where the yeast infection is:
On your skin: Bright red, raw rash
Inside your vagina: White patches and white, cheeselike vaginal discharge
Inside your mouth: White patches (thrush)
Corner of your mouth: Cracks in the skin
How do doctors tell if I have a yeast infection?
Doctor can usually tell if you have a yeast infection just by looking at it. To know for sure, doctors may scrape off a tiny bit to view under a microscope.
How do doctors treat yeast infections?
Treatment depends on where the yeast infection is.
For infections on your skin, doctors will have you:
Apply antifungal creams, powders, or other products to the infected area
Keep the skin dry (for example, by changing a baby’s diaper more often)
Take medicine by mouth, if the infection is severe
For a yeast infection in your vagina, doctors will have you:
Apply an antifungal cream inside and outside your vagina
Sometimes, take medicines by mouth
For thrush in adults, doctors will have you:
Take an antifungal medicine
Sometimes, gargle with liquid antifungal medicine (nystatin)
For thrush in babies, doctors will have you apply a liquid antifungal medicine to the inside of your baby’s mouth.