Candida infection of the skin is the attack of either yeast or any other fungus on your skin. This condition is medically also known as cutaneous candidiasis. Candida is a pressure of fungus that can lead to the formation of an infection in your skin. Also, it can spread among other locations in your body. Normally, your skin may host small number of this fungus to come and live on your gentle skin. But the problem of concern arises when it begins to live permanently and start their family by multiplying themselves and this situation creates an overgrowth of such tiny microorganisms.  As per the report of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there exists more than 150 species of Candida fungus and infection. This is one of the trusted sources in health field. However, the maximum number of skin infections are caused by the species named as Candida albicans.

There are various types of candida fungus skin infections. These are named as follows:

athlete’s foot, vaginal yeast infection, nail fungus, jock itch, diaper rash, etc.

It’s not a joke, you will be surprised to know that seventy five percent of adult women at some point in their life time will have a yeast infection, as per the CDC.

Acute candidiasis may also occur and this happens when the candida fungi enters the main bloodstream and cause skin infection.

However, you will feel contended to know that generally this skin condition is not very serious and can be easily treated by medicines and even the home remedies.

But if this skin disease is converted to an uncontrolled infection it can lead to potentially life-threatening problems for you. It is more vulnerable to those people who have weakened immune systems like an AIDS patient. Quick treatment is needed and your quickness will prove to be fruitful as it will stop the spread of the fungus in your skin. it will not only help in improving but also saving your precious life from this dreadful skin problem.

Candidiasis 

It is referred as a term that is used to describe the skin infection caused by the candida fungus. A small amount of fungi is found naturally on the skin around the belly or mouth etc. But this skin infection tends to occur because of their overgrowth. They multiply speedily in the following conditions:

  • Cozy weather- it means that candida fungi can easily live and spread itself when the temperature is warm or moist.
  • Extremely tight clothes.
  • Personal hygiene habits that are not good.
  • Not changing the under garments regularly.
  • Stoutness- it means that if the person has excessive weight he is more prone to have such type of skin infections
  • The usage of antibiotics that are also involved in killing the harmless bacteria that also keep the  Candida fungi under control
  • The usage of some medications or corticosteroids that may result into the weakening of the immune system as its side effect.
  • You can have this skin problem, if you are already prone to diabetes or you are in pregnancy phase, or any such medical condition that can deteriorate the functioning of the immune system.
  • Not using the towel to dry the damp or wet skin after bathing as wet skin is more prone to such fungal attacks.
  • Certain medications taken for the birth control can also be the possible cause of this skin infection.

Candida fungus is more active in warm and moist parts of our body. That’s why this skin condition often affects those areas of our body where there are many folds of skin.

Even the babies are also not saved from this skin infection as can they develop candidiasis of the skin, mostly on the buttocks. A diaper that is wet and remains unchanged for longer duration is one of the favorite place of Candida fungus to grow and nurture itself.

Candidiasis of the skin usually is not the cause of worry as it cannot be easily transferred but there are chances that people with weakened immune systems may get the same condition after coming in contact with the skin of an infected person. Moreover these people are also more likely to develop an acute candida infection if they get in touch with an infected person.

One can develop candida skin infections in any area of the body but they are more frequently found in internal regions that are more moist and damp. This is the part of our body where the two skin areas are touched or rubbed together. Examples of such areas can be the armpits, groin, and skin folds, as well as the area just between your fingers and toes. These are one of the favorite place in your body for the fungi to respire and grow easily. They remain unnoticed here.

Generally, your skin acts as an effective protector against any of the skin infection. But when this protection is disrupted in the form of cuts or breaks, it invites a lot of fungus to come and cause the skin infection. Fungus can now go down in the inner layers of the skin and cause skin infection. Candida becomes infective, or capable of causing a disease, when the conditions for its growth is pleasing. The pleasing conditions includes the warm and humid weather, poor hygiene practices, or restrictive or extremely tight clothing.

The Candida infections is more prevalent in the following types of people:
  • Small aged children especially who are using diapers
  • people who are prone to obesity
  • people suffering from the diabetes
  • People who are having a thyroid malfunction that is underactive thyroid gland, or hypothyroidism.
  • people having the skin inflammatory disorders
  • People who have feeble immunity systems such as pregnant ladies, children, medical patients especially those going through the chemotherapy.
  • people who need to work in wet conditions

These people need to take additional care and preventive measures to remain safe from such skin infection.

Recognizing the symptoms of an infection

Symptoms that can be observed in this infection differs to a great extent depending upon its location on the body. The common symptoms are listed below:

  • appearance of rashes
  • discolored patches especially red or purple in color on the skin
  • whitish or easily flak able substance in the affected areas
  • easy skin shedding with flakes
  • cracky and dry skin
  • painfulness
  • redness occurring because of erythema
  • skin maceration, or the appearance of soft and white skin in the affected areas
  • creamy red pop ups in the skin that are filled with liquid called as pus
  • red and white bruises in your mouth, as also noticed in oral thrush

Diagnosis of candida skin infection

Diagnosis of candida infection primarily depends upon the appearance of skin. Your doctor will take the samples of your skin scraping, nail clippings, or plucked hair from the pretentious area and examine them in their medical labs. Once you are diagnosed by a candida infection, they will find the real cause behind it and try to change your way of living. They will tell you to be more clean, loss excess weight if you are overweight, or managing your diseases level like blood sugar levels, thyroid levels etc.

If you are sure that your skin has been attacked by this fungus then it is better to make an appointment with your doctor right from the first time you experience symptoms of an infection. This allows the experienced person that is skin dermatologist to diagnose it properly and supply you with the best treatment options available in the market. I should inform you that Candida is often repetitive skin disease. However, you need not visit a doctor every now and then. You can use the same medicines as prescribed by him earlier.

Treatment options

Treatment for candida skin infection is usually a straightforward task. There is no requirement of being hospitalized unless you really have extreme problems with your immune system or it is the case of acute candida skin infection that has spread to your main bloodstreams.

The prescription made by a doctor for treating this skin infection includes the antifungal creams, ointments, or lotions that are having drying agents in it. Just directly apply them on your skin. Doctors may give some oral medications as well if the drying agents are not working or they are becoming painful day after day.

Some over-the-counter drugs like ketoconazole or clotrimazole, having the topical nature that is you apply them on top of the skin are also available and preferable treatment option. A wide range of antifungal drugs known as azoles are also easily available in the market in various forms such as Ointment, tablets and creams. As per the trusted doctors and other sources they don’t have the serious side effects. But some antifungal agents such as nystatin or amphotericin B have caused serious side effects so they should be taken only after the advice of doctor.

Different kinds of treatment drugs as per the location of the infection on our body. For example:
  • For treatment of vaginal yeast infection various Vaginal gels or creams, such as miconazole, are used.
  • Thrush is most commonly treated with antifungal agents that may be in the form of lozenges, tablets, or liquid mouthwash that you can also gulp down
  • Certain sprays, powers, ointments are used in the treatment of athlete’s foot.
  • Acute and vulnerable skin infections are mostly treated with an oral or intravenous medication.

Take care that these medications will be used only once or twice a day.

If you are pregnant it is better to take doctor’s advice but Some medications, such as miconazole and clotrimazole, can be safely used to treat candida infection in that time. However you should always ask your doctor or pharmacist before taking any medicine as it can have the direct impact on the growth of your baby.

Side Effects

Also there are certain Side effects of these antifungal medications that are listed below:

  • Itching at the time of application of these medication
  • Facial redness or slight burning at the site of topical application
  • Sore head
  • difficulty in digestion or upset stomach
  • Appearance of rashes on the skin

Changes in our body

You might feel these bodily changes when taking the intravenous antifungal maedications:

  • No more hunger cravings
  • Constantly feeling sick
  • Loose motions
  • Muscle and joint ache
  • Skin rashes

It is very rare that antifungals are found causing any severe allergic reactions or severe skin reactions. But this can happen.

Those people who have fatty liver should also not use antifungal medicine without a doctor’s advice. Taking Antifungals can worsen the liver condition and can permanently damage it.

Medications that may react with antifungals include the following:

  • Rifampin, an antibiotic
  • contraceptives and in conditions of hormone replacement therapy
  • phenytoin, which usually treats epliepsy

Candida infections in children

Children can be more suspectible to candida fungus skin infections as compared with adults as they are in the growing stages and their bodily systems are not developed fully. In children we can observe sinus infections, skin rashes including diaper rashes, and earache from candida overgrowth.

Symptoms seen in babies and toddlers are as follows:

  • consistent diaper rash
  • skin rashes which resemble eczema discolored patches on the tongue or inside of the mouth or cheeks
  • repetitive ear problems
  • Symptoms are found getting worsened when living in damp environment.

Symptoms seen in older children are named as follows :

  • constantly yearning for sweets
  • some learning disabilities like concentration problem
  • always found in bad and irritable mood
  • looks unhappy
  • repetitive ear problems
  • damp environment worsen the situation and symptoms

Treatment can take up some time. It may last up to two weeks. Treatment is normally done by prescribing the topical anti-fungal creams or oral medications. It may flash up once again and is fairly common.

Conclusion

Candiasis is skin infection that is not always very serious and life threatening but one should prevent it and try not to accelerate the symptoms and diagnose it rightly. Preventive measures will help you the most as it is well said that “prevention is better than cure”. And if you are already suffering from it, try to take prevention after its treatment.

References

  1. https://www.mdpi.com/2076-2607/5/2/32
  2. https://www.cell.com/trends/immunology/fulltext/S1471-4906(16)30029-1
  3. https://adc.bmj.com/content/67/9/1065
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