Yeast like to grow in warm, humid and moist conditions. Yeast do live on the skin surface and when the opportunity arises, they can cause an infection. Some conditions which may increase the risk of a yeast infection include:
Antibiotics: Prolonged use of antibiotics can make one prone to fungal infections. The antibiotics can kill the bacteria which normally hold the fungus in check. Once the bacteria die, the fungus quickly colonizes the skin surface and causes an infection. This scenario is a common occurrence in hospitals where patients are placed on long term antibiotics.
Corticosteroids: The prolonged use of corticosteroids is also harmful. These drugs can treat many disorders, but they can also suppress the immune system and lead to a growth of the fungus.
Diabetes: Individuals who have diabetes are very prone to developing fungal infections. The yeast likes to grow in environments of warmth, humidity and wetness. Uncontrolled sugar levels rapidly increase the growth of these organisms.
Cancer: There are many cancers in which the immune system is compromised like in leukemia. When the body's defensive cells are unable to scavenge the yeast, the organisms rapidly grow.
Immune System: When the immune system is compromised, the ability of the body to defend against fungi is severely limited. In such cases, yeast can rapidly grow not only on the skin but also inside the body.
Environment: Fungi love to grow in moist and humid places. Thus, the first sites on the body to get infected with the yeast are the mouth and the vagina. In addition, excess sweat, wet clothes and constrictive shoes also make one more prone to developing a yeast infection.
Swimming pools, saunas, locker rooms, gyms and spas are common breeding grounds where the fungi thrive and when the opportunity arises, the yeast infects humans.
Hereditary Factors: There are some medical conditions which makes a person more prone to developing a fungal infection.
Genetics: Some individuals are more prone to yeast infections. It is not known whether these individuals have a skin disorder and how they are so prone to acquiring the fungal
Inanimate: Yeast can be acquired by transfer from other infected individuals. Why this happens so frequently in some individuals and not to others is not really known.