Cutaneous Candidiasis or Skin Candidiasis, is a fungal infection of the skin caused by the fungus candida. Normally, human beings have some amount of bacteria and fungus present on their skin. However, excessive presence of the fungus candida results in an infection, which is candidiasis. This condition normally is not a cause of concern, as it can be treated with lifestyle modifications and increased hygienic care, but individuals with weak/compromised immune systems can have a serious situation on their hands, with this infection or any other infection for that matter. Cutaneous candidiasis is not generally contagious, but if a person with weak immune system comes in contact with candida infection, then the risk of having or catching this infection increases. Having frequent candida infections can also indicate an underlying immunodeficiency condition, such as HIV.
Treatment comprises of topical and oral antifungal medications.
Causes of Cutaneous Candidiasis or Skin Candidiasis
Candida albicans is the common cause of candidiasis; however, other types of fungus can also cause this condition. Candida albicans also causes oral thrush and vaginal yeast infections.
Risk Factors Or Factors Which Contribute To Cutaneous Candidiasis or Skin Candidiasis Are:
- Wearing tight fitting clothes.
- Warm/humid weather.
- Lack of good hygiene.
- Taking certain medications, such as antibiotics, which kill the normal flora.
- Not wearing clean or changing undergarments.
- Compromised immune system from medical conditions, such as diabetes or from taking medications like steroids.
- Newborns/infants tend to have candidiasis in the groin and buttocks region where the diaper creates moist and warm environment where the fungus can thrive.
- Being overweight also increases the risk of candidiasis, as it provides an ideal environment for the fungus between the skin folds.
Signs & Symptoms of Cutaneous Candidiasis or Skin Candidiasis
- Cutaneous Candidiasis or Skin Candidiasis can occur anywhere on the body, but it commonly occurs in those regions where the skin is present in folds, such as armpits, between the fingers, groins and beneath the breasts.
- Patient experiences discomfort and itching where the rashes are present.
- The Rashes of candidiasis are red or white in color.
- Candidiasis occurring in between the fingers can be white in color and looks moist. The skin tends to peel and patient experiences pain and irritation in that region.
- The rashes can also be red in color, causing itching with the patient feeling hot.
- In serious cases, patient also develops cracks, pustules, blisters and experiences soreness.
Investigations for Cutaneous Candidiasis or Skin Candidiasis
Diagnosis can be made by physical examination, the characteristics of the rash, location of the rash and skin appearance. A swab of the infected region can be taken and sent for testing to confirm the diagnosis.
Treatment of Cutaneous Candidiasis or Skin Candidiasis
- It is very important to maintain good hygiene to treat and prevent candidiasis by taking daily baths and keeping the skin dry.
- Increased blood sugar level can also cause candida infections, so it is vital to maintain proper blood sugar levels by following a healthy diet and reducing sugar intake in food.
- Antifungal powder or creams containing miconazole, clotrimazole etc. are prescribed for topical application to treat and to prevent further spreading of the candida infection.
- Oral antifungal medications can also be prescribed.
- Losing the excess weight is also important in preventing further infections.