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Candidiasis (Yeast Infection)

What is candidiasis?

Candidiasis, sometimes called moniliasis or a yeast infection, is an infection caused by yeast on the skin and/or mucous membranes. Although yeast is normally a harmless inhabitant of the digestive system and vaginal area, it may cause an infection when the skin is damaged, when conditions are warm and humid, and/or when a person has a depressed immune system. Antibiotics can also cause yeast to grow, because the normal bacteria in tissues are killed, letting the yeast grow unhampered.

What are the symptoms of candidiasis?

The symptoms of candidiasis vary depending on the location of the infection. The following are the most common symptoms of a yeast infection. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

Location

Symptoms

Skin folds or navel

Rash

Patches that ooze clear fluid

Pimples

Itching or burning

Vagina

White or yellow discharge from the vagina

Itching

Redness in the external area of the vagina

Burning

Penis

Redness on the underside of the penis

Scaling on the underside of the penis

Painful rash on the underside of the penis

Mouth (thrush)

White patches on tongue and inside of the cheeks

Pain

Corners of the mouth (perlèche)

Cracks and/or tiny cuts at the corners of the mouth

Nail beds

Swelling

Pain

Pus

White or yellow nail that separates from the nail bed

The symptoms of candidiasis may resemble other skin conditions. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.

How is candidiasis diagnosed?

In addition to a medical history and physical examination, your physician may scrape off a skin sample to confirm the diagnosis with a microscope or a culture.

Treatment for candidiasis:

Specific treatment for candidiasis will be determined by your physician based on:

your age, overall health, and medical history

extent of the condition

your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies

expectations for the course of the condition

your opinion or preference

Candidiasis is highly treatable with medicated ointments. Yeast infections in the vagina or anus can be treated with medicated suppositories. Thrush may be treated with a medicated mouthwash or lozenges that dissolve in the mouth. Severe infection or infections in an immunocompromised person may be treated with oral anti-yeast medications.