Yeast is a fungus and can infect both the skin and the internal organs. When yeast infects the skin, it is known as cutaneous Candidiasis. Candida is opportunistic yeast (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 an extended period of 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 are particularly prone to yeast infection in these individuals.
– 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.
What are the symptoms of yeast infections?
Yeast infections may manifest:
– Circular rash with ragged edges
– Pimples or pustules at the edge of the rash
– Skin may be moist
– The rash is itchy
– There may be a burning sensation
– The vaginal yeast 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 scraping and look at them under a microscope.