Yeast Infection of Skin

Yeast is a fungus that can infect both the skin and the internal organs. When yeast infects the skin, it is known as cutaneous Candidiasis. Candida is an opportunistic organism (it infects the body when it gets a chance). Candida is a normal resident in the mouth and vagina. It is normally held in check by the body but when the chance arises the Candida will readily infect the skin.

Candida can infect the mouth, groin, armpits and vagina.

In the child, Candida is a common infection in the groin; this is common in diaper wearing babies and children.

Candida is most likely to occur in individuals who

- Take antibiotics for long time. The antibiotics kill the normal resident bacteria which normally hold the Candida in check

- Are obese. Obese individuals have skin fold creases which are moist and are prone to fungi growth. The armpits, breast line, waist and groin creases are particularly prone to yeast infection in these individuals.

- Diabetics: Fungi love to grow when the sugar content of the body is high

- Steroids: individuals who take corticosteroids for long periods can rapidly develop fungi infections. This is commonly seen in individuals who take steroid puffers to treat their asthma. If the mouth is not rinsed after each use of the puffer, the residual steroid encourages the growth of fungi by suppressing the immune system.

Yeast infection may reveal:

- Moist reddish patch

- circular rash with ragged edges

- Pimples or pustules at the edge of the rash

- itching

- There may be a burning sensation

- The vaginal yeast infection will reveal a milky white discharge

- In the mouth, the yeast will look like milky white patches

How is yeast infections diagnosed?

The diagnosis of a yeast infection is generally obvious but to confirm the diagnosis, the physician may obtain skin scarping and look at them under the microscope

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