Cutaneous Candidiasis

by Sam Malone


Cutaneous Candidiasis can be described as an infection of the epidermis skin, which is caused by the Candida fungus. Normally, there are several microorganisms like bacteria and fungi that live within your body without causing any problems. However, an overgrowth of the Candida Albicans fungi on the skin can lead to Cutaneous Candidiasis. This common infection can affect the skin and mucus membranes on any part of the body, but is more likely to occur in warm, moist areas like your armpits, mouth or groin. There are many different forms of Candidiasis, some of which include -

  • Angular cheilitis, where the fungi infect the skin around the corners of the mouth
  • Candida paronychia, an infection that occurs mainly in the fingernail bed
  • Candida onychomycosis, which affects the nails and the surrounding skin
  • Diaper dermatitis, usually seen in babies and incontinent adults
  • Mucocutaneous candidiasis, a condition that affects the mucus membranes
  • Vaginal yeast infection, which is quite common in women

Some of these infections are acute, whereas others may be chronic.

Causes

Almost anyone can develop cutaneous candidiasis including infants and toddlers. However, this skin affliction is more likely to affect those who are overweight or diabetic. Some of the common causes of cutaneous candidiasis include -

  • Following a diet that is unhealthy
  • Hormonal changes in the body
  • Lack of adequate hygiene
  • Leaving certain parts of the body wet for a long period of time
  • Perspiring excessively
  • Use of antibiotics and oral contraceptives
  • Weakened immune system caused by conditions like HIV or immunodeficiency disorders
  • Wearing tight clothes or fabrics that trap the heat and moisture on the skin

Though it is not very common, certain types of cutaneous candidiasis infection can spread from one person to another through sexual contact. Moreover, if the Candida fungus begins to overgrow in one part of your body, it can spread to other parts.

Symptoms

There are several uncomfortable (and perhaps even painful) symptoms that you may experience when you develop cutaneous candidiasis. Some of the more common signs and symptoms of this infection include-

  • Severe itching and burning
  • Redness and inflammation in the area
  • Soreness and irritation
  • Folliculitis or an infection in the hair follicles, in which tiny pimples appear on the skin  
  • Papules and macules
  • Appearance of satellite lesions

However, the symptoms of cutaneous candidiasis may differ, based on the type of infection. Do consult a dermatologist or your family doctor, as early as possible, in case you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above.

Treatment

The treatment for cutaneous candidiasis may also vary, depending upon the types, causes and severity of the infection. For more severe cases of the infection, your doctor may prescribe medication like itraconazole, fluconazole, amphotericin and ketonazole. In addition to this, you may also be given antifungal ointments and skin creams like cyclopiroxolamine, tioconazole and amorolfine, which can be applied topically.

Milder cases of cutaneous candidiasis can be treated with the help of simple home remedies and self-care measures, such as-

  • Following a diet that is rich in fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
  • Getting an adequate amount of rest and exercise each day.
  • Shedding the extra pounds and maintaining a healthy weight range
  • Keeping the skin clean and dry at all times
  • Wearing well-fitting clothes, made from fabrics that absorb excess moisture from the skin
  • Controlling blood sugar levels (for diabetics)

Most instances of cutaneous candidiasis can be cured with the right and timely treatment; however, this infection has the tendency to recur. Speak to your doctor about the preventative measures you can take to avoid this.

References


Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautionary measures while following instructions on the home remedies from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.
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