Some individuals can end up with a Candida skin infection but the outlook is usually good. Essentially, the condition is not serious and can be easily treated. Nevertheless, if not properly controlled, it can lead to life-threatening issues especially among those who have a weakened immune system.
Candida is basically a strain of fungus that causes a skin infection. Under normal conditions, the skin hosts a small amount of this fungus, but issues arise when it starts to multiply and leads to overgrowth.
What are the causes and risk factors?
A Candida skin infection can occur in any part of the body, but usually found in the intertriginous areas where two skin areas rub or tough together such as the groin, armpits, skin folds and area in between the toes and fingers. Take note that the fungus thrives best in moist, warm and sweaty conditions.
Any cuts or wounds in the upper skin layer will allow the fungus to start an infection. Understandably, Candida becomes pathogenic and starts to multiply. These conditions are usually created by humid and hot weather, constricting clothing and poor hygiene.
There are also certain medications that also increase the risk for this fungal infection. Corticosteroids are considered as the most problematic along with antibiotics and birth control pills. If these medications are taken, it is vital to monitor the skin on a regular basis for indications of a Candida skin infection.
What are the indications of a Candida skin infection?
The symptoms tend to vary depending on the body location but usually include the following:
- Rashes that are reddened and itchy
- Reddish or purple patches
- White covering over the affected areas
- Creamy satellite pustules at the perimeters of the affected area
- Reddened or white lesions in the mouth
Diagnosis and treatment
A diagnosis of a Candida skin infection mainly depends on the appearance and skin sampling. The doctor will take nail clippings, skin scrapings or plucked hair from the affected area and mounted on a slide for analysis. Once a Candida skin infection is diagnosed, the initial step is to deal with the underlying cause. This might include changes in the lifestyle to be more hygienic, cutting down on weight or proper management of diabetes.
The treatment for Candida skin infection is relatively simple. The doctor usually prescribes drying agents or antifungal ointments, lotions or creams that are applied on the skin.
Over-the-counter medications such as ketoconazole or clotrimazole. These medications do not have serious side effects and the infection must clear up within 7-10 days. In case the infection persists or becomes severe, the doctor might prescribe systemic antifungal medications as part of the therapy.