Mercy Hospital & Health Services Contact Us
MyChart
About Mercy
Join Our Team
set font size large set font size medium set font size small
email this page print this page
Health Illustrated Encyclopedia Banner
Health Illustrated Encyclopedia

Disclaimer:
Our Health Information Database is provided by A.D.A.M. the leading provider of electronic and printed information for professionals and consumers in healthcare and industry. It provides authoritative, reliable content written and reviewed by an editorial board who represent a variety of specialty areas. This board reviews and evaluates all healthcare information to ensure it is accurate, reliable, and can be used with complete confidence. And now you have access to the same authoritative, trusted clinical information relied upon by health professionals around the world.

Special Considerations


This article may contain information on medical procedures that are not recommended or endorsed by Catholic Health Partners. Promotion of this topic is prohibited by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Services. In the Ethical and Religious Directives, Catholic health institutions are prohibited from condoning contraceptive practices. Married couples should be given information about natural family planning as well as the church’s teachings on responsible parenthood. The information in this article is designed for educational purposes only. It is not provided as a professional service or as medical advice for specific patients.

Cutaneous candidiasis

Definition

Cutaneous candidiasis is infection of the skin with candida fungus.

Alternative Names

Skin infection - fungal; Fungal infection - skin; Skin infection - yeast; Yeast infection - skin; Intertriginous candidiasis

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

The body normally hosts a variety of microorganisms, including bacteria and fungi. Some of these are useful to the body, some produce no harm or benefit, and some can cause harmful infections.

Some fungal infections are caused by fungi that live on the hair, nails, and outer skin layers. They include mold-like fungi (dermatophytes, which cause tinea infections) and yeast-like fungi (such as candida).

In cutaneous candidiasis, the skin is infected with candida fungi. It is fairly common. Infection can involve almost any skin on the body, but most often it occurs in warm, moist, creased areas such as the armpits and groin. The fungus that most often causes cutaneous candidiasis is Candida albicans.

Candida is the most common cause of diaper rash in infants. The fungi take advantage of the warm, moist conditions inside the diaper. Candida infection is particularly common in people with diabetes and in people who are obese. Antibiotics and oral contraceptives (birth control pills) increase the risk of cutaneous candidiasis. Candida can also cause infections of the nails (onychomycosis), at the edge of the nails (paronychia), and at the corners of the mouth (angular cheilitis).

Oral thrush, a form of candida infection of the moist lining (mucous membranes) of the mouth, is usually associated with taking antibiotics. It may also be a sign of HIV infection or other immunodeficiency disorders when it occurs in adults. Individuals with candida infections are not usually contagious, though in some settings immunocompromised people can catch the infection.

Candida is also the most frequent cause of vaginal yeast infections, which are extremely common and often associated with antibiotics use.

Symptoms

  • Itching (may be intense)
  • Skin lesion or rash
    • Growing red, inflammed area
    • Infection of hair follicles (folliculitis) may look like pimples
    • Located on the skin folds, genitals, trunk, buttocks, under the breasts, or on other skin areas
    • Macule or papule
    • May have satellite lesions (smaller lesions next to bigger ones)
    • Skin redness or inflammation

Signs and tests

A diagnosis of cutaneous candidiasis is based mainly on the appearance of the skin, particularly if there are risk factors. Skin scrapings may reveal yeast forms, which usually indicates candida.

Treatment

General hygiene is vital to the treatment of cutaneous candidiasis. Keeping the skin dry and exposed to air is helpful. Weight loss may eliminate the problem in obese people. Proper blood sugar control may also be helpful to those with diabetes.

Antifungal skin creams or ointments may be used to treat infection of the skin, mouth, or vagina. Antifungal medications taken by mouth may be necessary for folliculitis, nail infection, or severe candida infections involving the mouth, throat, or vagina.

Support Groups

Expectations (prognosis)

Cutaneous candidiasis usually goes away with treatment. Repeat infections are common.

Complications

  • Infection of nails may cause nails to become oddly shaped and may cause infection around the nail
  • Recurrence (repeat episodes) of candida skin infection
  • Widespread (disseminated) candidiasis may occur in immunocompromised individuals

Calling your health care provider

Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you develop symptoms of cutaneous candidiasis.

Prevention

Good general health and hygiene help prevent candida infections. Keep the skin clean and dry. Drying powders may help prevent fungal infections in people who are susceptible to them.

References

Kauffman CA. Candidiasis. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 359.
View Spanish Version

Encyclopedia Home
Drug Note Home
Health Information Home

Images

Care Points
    Read More

    Review Date: 9/15/2010

    Review By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

    The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2010 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

    www.adam.com
    www.mercyweb.org
    follow us online
    facebook youtube


    Contact us
    Home  |  Sitemap

    Disclaimer & Terms of Use  |  Privacy Statement  |  Notice of Privacy Practices
    Copyright ©2013 Mercy. Last modified 2/16/2011