Candidiasis is the medical term for an infection caused by the Candida albicans yeast. There are several forms of candidiasis that affect the skin:
Oral Candidiasis (Oral Thrush). This infection is characterized by lacy, white patches on top of reddened areas that occur on the tongue, throat or elsewhere in the mouth. Oral thrush can be painful and lead to an uncomfortable burning sensation in the mouth. People who are diabetic, those who have suppressed immune systems, patients undergoing antibiotic or chemotherapy treatment, and denture wearers are more susceptible to this infection. It is particularly important to catch it early on in infants and children; because of the discomfort caused by oral thrush, they may attempt to avoid eating and drinking.
Diaper Rash. Candidiasis breeds in warm, moist environments and in the natural creases of the skin. Some diaper rashes are bacterial, but many are caused by yeast infections. To treat diaper rash, use over-the-counter powders and ointments and antifungal creams and lotions. Plan on frequent diaper changes to give the skin a chance to be exposed to the air regularly. If diaper rash doesn’t abate in seven to 10 days, contact your dermatologist.
Candidal Intertrigo. This yeast infection occurs in moist overlapping skin folds, such as areas in the inner thighs, armpits, under the breasts, below the belly, behind the ears and in the webbed spaces between the fingers and toes. It is more common among people who are overweight. It is characterized by red, raw skin surrounded by scaling and, in some cases, lesions that itch, ooze or hurt. Candidal intertrigo is treated with medicated topical creams.