What is 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 invasive candidiasis), which is life-threatening
Candidiasis on the surface of your body can affect anyone. It usually occurs on warm, moist areas such as your:
Skin between your toes or under your breasts
Invasive candidiasis usually happens to people who have a weak immune system What problems can the immune system have? 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, including: Germs... read more or are in the hospital with a serious disease. It can run through your bloodstream and affect many organs, including your:
For both kinds of candidiasis, doctors give antifungal medicine.
What causes candidiasis?
Candida is normally present on your skin, in your intestines, and if you’re a woman, in your genital area. Usually, it doesn’t cause problems.
Candida infections on the surface of your body are more likely if you:
Have diabetes Diabetes Diabetes is a disease in which your blood sugar (glucose) levels are too high. You get diabetes if your body's normal way of controlling blood sugar isn't working right. There are 2 types of... read more , cancer, or AIDS 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
Are taking antibiotics
Widespread, invasive candidiasis happens mainly if you:
Are in the hospital for a serious problem such as major surgery or complications of AIDS
Have tubes in your body (for example, for feeding)
Are taking certain antibiotics by vein
What are the symptoms of candidiasis?
Symptoms depend on the type of candidiasis you have.
With candidiasis of the skin Candidiasis (Yeast Infection) 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... read more you may have a red, itchy rash that may look scaly. Some types of diaper rash are caused by Candida.
With candidiasis of your mouth, symptoms include:
White, creamy patches inside the mouth
Cracking at the corners of the mouth
With candidiasis of your vagina, you may have:
Thick, white or yellow cheeselike discharge from your vagina
White patches inside or outside your vagina
Itchy, irritated red areas inside or outside your vagina
With systemic candidiasis, your symptoms depend on what part of your body is affected. It can be hard for doctors to tell which symptoms are caused by the candidiasis and which are caused by other medical problems you may have.
How can doctors tell if I have candidiasis?
Doctors can usually recognize candidiasis on the outside of your body by looking at it. They may scrape off a sample of skin and look at it under the microscope.
For invasive candidiasis, doctors usually test a sample of your blood or tissue for the fungus.
How do doctors treat candidiasis?
Doctors treat candidiasis with antifungal medicines. Depending on what type of infection you have, you may take them as a cream, a pill, or by vein.