• Yeast Infection—Skin

    (Candidal skin infection; Mucocutaneous Candidiasis)

    Definition

    A yeast infection is an overgrowth of yeast on the skin that causes an itchy rash. It is most common in area that can stay moist such as folds of skin, web between toes or fingers, and genital area. It is commonly associated with lesions in the mouth.

    Causes

    A number of organisms including bacteria and yeast normally exist on the skin. Normally the organisms help keep each other under control.
    An overgrowth of yeast may occur if there is an imbalance of organisms on the skin or conditions that yeast thrive in such a moist environment.

    Risk Factors

    Yeasts need moisture to grow. People who live in warm, humid climates are at greater risk.
    Other risk factors include:
    • Having a weakened immune system
    • Taking certain medications, such as antibiotics—can kill off good bacteria that helps manage yeast numbers
    • Obesity
    • Uncontrolled diabetes
    Obese Body
    IMAGE
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

    Symptoms

    Common symptoms may include:
    • Scaly rash
    • Red patches of skin
    • Itching
    • Swelling
    • Skin breakdown
    The rash is more likely to develop in skin folds and areas of the body where 2 skin surfaces are in contact, such as the armpits.

    Diagnosis

    You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. The diagnosis may be made based on the appearance of the rash.
    A scraping of the skin may also be taken. The sample will be tested to confirm the presence of yeast and rule out other causes.

    Treatment

    Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Most yeast infections can be taken care of with medication and good skin hygiene.
    Good skin hygiene will include keeping the area dry and clean. A drying agent may be recommended for areas that are difficult to keep dry.
    Antifungal medication will be prescribed as an ointment, lotion, or pill depending on the extent of the infection. Sometimes, the antifungal medication is combined with a steroid as an ointment or lotion.

    Prevention

    Proper skin care can help reduce your chance of getting a yeast infection:
    • Keep your skin clean and dry.
    • Wear loose fitting clothing to minimize friction in skin folds.
    • Avoid wearing synthetic fibers.
    • Change out of wet clothing as soon as possible.
    • Talk to your doctor about whether you should use drying powders.
    • Maintain a healthy weight.
    • Control health conditions, such as diabetes.

    RESOURCES

    American Academy of Dermatology https://www.aad.org

    Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians https://www.familydoctor.org

    CANADIAN RESOURCES

    Canadian Dermatology Association https://dermatology.ca

    Health Canada https://www.canada.ca

    References

    Candidal skin infection (yeast infection). Patient website. Available at: http://www.patient.co.uk/health/Candidal-Skin-Infection.htm. Updated January 25, 2017. Accessed September 25, 2017.

    Candidiasis (mucocutaneous). Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/dermatologic-disorders/fungal-skin-infections/candidiasis-mucocutaneous. Updated April 2017. Accessed September 25, 2017.

    Revision Information

    • Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board Marcie L. Sidman, MD
    • Review Date: 09/2017
    • Update Date: 10/03/2016
  • LiveWell personal health survey

    How healthy are you really? Find out – free.Learn more

    It's time to stop guessing. If you want to make some changes but just aren't sure how, the free personal health survey from LiveWell is a great place to start.

  • HeartSHAPE Spotlight

    At risk for a heart attack? Learn more

    Fight heart disease and prevent heart attacks. HeartSHAPE® is a painless, non-invasive test that checks pictures of your heart for early-stage coronary disease.

  • Calories and Energy Needs

    Calorie NeedsLearn more

    How many calories do you need to eat each day to maintain your weight and fuel your physical activity? Enter a few of your stats into this calculator to find out.

  • Ideal Body Weight

    Ideal Body WeightLearn more

    Using body mass index as a reference, this calculator determines your ideal body weight range. All you need to do is enter your height.

  • Body Mass Index

    Body Mass IndexLearn more

    This tool considers your height and weight to assess your weight status.


  • Can we help answer your questions?

    Wellmont Nurse Connection is your resource for valuable health information any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Speak to a Nurse any time, day or night, at (423) 723-6877 or toll-free at 1-877-230-NURSE.