Is Candidiasis of the Skin?
Different types of bacteria and fungi live and grow on your skin.
Most of them aren’t dangerous. Your body requires the majority of them to carry
out normal functions. However, some can cause infections when they begin to
multiply uncontrollably. The Candida fungus is one of these
potentially harmful organisms. When an overgrowth of Candida develops on the skin, an infection can occur. This
condition is known as candidiasis of the skin, or cutaneous candidiasis.
Candidiasis of the skin often causes a red, itchy rash to form,
most commonly in the folds of the skin. This rash may also spread to other
areas of the body. While the symptoms are often bothersome, they can be treated
with improved hygiene and antifungal creams or powders.
What Are the Symptoms of Candidiasis of the Skin?
The main symptom of candidiasis of the skin is a rash. The rash
often causes redness and intense itching. In some cases, the infection can
cause the skin to become cracked and sore. Blisters and pustules may also
The rash can affect various parts the body, but it’s most likely to
develop in the folds of the skin. This includes areas in the armpits, in the
groin, between the fingers, and under the breasts. Candida can also
cause infections in the nails, edges of the nails, and corners of the mouth.
What Causes Candidiasis of the Skin?
Candidiasis of the skin develops when the skin becomes infected
with Candida. A small amount of Candida fungi naturally live on the
skin. When this type of fungus begins to multiply uncontrollably, however, it
can cause an infection. This may occur due to:
- warm weather
- tight clothing
- poor hygiene
- infrequent undergarment changes
- the use of antibiotics that kill harmless
bacteria and fungi
- a weakened immune system as a result of diabetes,
pregnancy, or another medical condition
- incomplete drying of damp or wet skin
Candida fungi thrive
and grow in warm, moist areas. This is why the condition often affects areas
where there are folds of skin, such as the armpits and groin.
Babies can also develop candidiasis of the skin, especially on
the buttocks, where a diaper tends to provide an ideal environment for Candida.
Candidiasis of the skin usually isn’t contagious. However, people
with weakened immune systems may develop the condition after touching the skin
of an infected person. Those with compromised immune systems are also more
likely to develop a severe infection as a result of candidiasis.
How Is Candidiasis of the Skin Diagnosed?
Your doctor will likely be able to make a diagnosis simply by
performing a physical examination. During the exam, they’ll inspect the
location of your rash and the appearance of your skin.
Your doctor may also want to perform a skin culture before making
a diagnosis of candidiasis of the skin. During a skin culture, your doctor will
use a cotton ball to swab the affected area and collect a skin sample. The
sample will then be sent to a laboratory to be tested for the presence of Candida.
How Is Candidiasis of the Skin Treated?
Candidiasis of the skin can usually be treated with home
remedies, the most important of which is proper hygiene. Washing the skin
regularly and drying the skin thoroughly can prevent the skin from becoming too
moist. This is vital to keeping Candida infections at bay.
Since abnormal blood sugar levels can contribute to the
development of Candida infections,
keeping your blood sugar under control may also help relieve symptoms. You may
be able to lower your blood sugar by reducing the amount of sugar in your diet
and by exercising for 30 minutes at least three times per week. If you have
diabetes, it’s important to continue following your doctor’s instructions as
you may need to be started on oral medications or even insulin
In more severe cases of candidiasis, your doctor may recommend
using an antifungal cream or powder that can be applied to your skin. This type
of treatment can kill Candida and reduce the spread of the infection. If the
infection has already spread to areas inside your body, such as your throat or
mouth, you may need to take an oral antibiotic to get rid of the infection.
What Is the Outlook for Someone with Candidiasis of
Candidiasis of the skin usually goes away with treatment, and
most people make a full recovery without complications. However, it’s possible
for the infection to return in the future. People with compromised immune
systems, especially people who are undergoing chemotherapy and those with HIV
or AIDS, are at a much higher risk of severe or life-threatening Candida infections. If you’re undergoing
chemotherapy or you have HIV or AIDs and you develop severe throat pain,
headache, or high fevers, you should see your doctor immediately.