Candidiasis is the medical term for yeast infections in the body. There are three forms of candidiasis that relate specifically to the skin: oral candidiasis, diaper rash, and candida intertrigo. Candidiasis symptoms include itchiness, burning, and discharge, but specific signs will vary by the location of the yeast infection. More than 20 types of yeast can cause infection, making this a very common condition. If you think you need candidiasis treatment, talk to your dermatologist about how to get the care you need.
Types of Candidiasis
- Oral Candidiasis (Oral Thrush). This infection is characterized by lacy, white patches on top of reddened areas, which can occur on the tongue, throat, or elsewhere in the mouth. This type of candidiasis is usually accompanied by a fever, colic or diarrhea. Oral thrush can be painful and lead to an uncomfortable burning sensation in the mouth. People who are diabetic, have suppressed immune systems, who are undergoing antibiotic or chemotherapy treatment, and who wear dentures are more susceptible to this infection. It is particularly important to catch it early in infants and children. Because of the discomfort caused by oral thrush, they may stop eating and/or drinking. If you or someone in your family is experiencing these candidiasis symptoms, see a doctor as soon as possible.
- Diaper Rash. Candidiasis breeds in warm, moist environments and in the natural creases of the skin. Some diaper rashes are bacterial, but many are caused by yeast infections. To treat diaper rash, use over-the-counter powders, ointments, and antifungal creams. If you suspect your child has a yeast-caused diaper rash, plan on frequent diaper changes to give the skin a chance to be exposed to air regularly. If diaper rash doesn’t abate in seven to 10 days, contact your dermatologist.
- Candida Intertrigo. This yeast infection occurs in moist overlapping skin folds, such as areas in the inner thighs, armpits, under the breasts, below the belly, behind the ears, and in the webbed spaces between the fingers and toes. It is more common among people who are overweight. It is characterized by red, raw skin surrounded by scaling and, in some cases, lesions that may itch, ooze or hurt. Candida intertrigo is treated with medicated topical creams.
Common Candidiasis Treatment
Localized candidiasis infections are best treated with topical antifungal medications, such as clotrimazole, fluconazole, and nystatin. These candidiasis treatments typically last only a few days, and they are often very effective. Treatments can be available over the counter, but some will require a prescription. Additionally, the type of candidiasis you have will inform the type of antifungal medication that works best for the infections. While you may be able to self-treat with over-the-counter products, a dermatologist will be able to assess your rash and provide personalized, targeted treatment options.
When to See a Doctor for Candidiasis Treatment
While yeast infections are not often dangerous, they won’t go away on their own. If you suspect you have candidiasis, no matter the location, you will need to see a doctor to treat the rash. The Skin Care Center of Southern Illinois is uniquely equipped to provide candidiasis treatments. If you are interested in an evaluation by one of our board certified medical dermatologists, contact us to schedule a consultation.