Cutaneous candidiasis occurs if there is an overgrowth of Candida on the skin. The condition often triggers a reddened, itchy rash that forms on the skin folds. This rash might also spread to other parts of the body. Even though the symptoms cause discomfort, they can be managed with proper hygiene and application of antifungal creams or powders.
The characteristic symptom of cutaneous candidiasis is a rash. This rash often causes redness and intense itchiness. In some instances, an infection might develop and cause the skin to become cracked and sore. Even blisters and pustules might form as well.
The rash can affect different parts of the body, but more likely to develop in the skin folds such as the groin, armpits, under the breasts and between the fingers.
What are the causes?
Cutaneous candidiasis forms if the skin becomes infected by Candida. A small amount of the fungi naturally thrives on the skin. Once it starts to multiply uncontrollably, it can cause an infection. This is likely to occur due to the following:
- Wearing constricted or tight clothing
- Warm or humid weather
- Infrequent changing of undergarments
- Poor hygiene
- Using antibiotics that destroy harmless bacteria that keeps Candida under control
- Weak immune system due to diabetes, pregnancy or other health conditions
- Using corticosteroids or other medications that affect the immune system
- Incomplete drying of moist or wet skin
Cutaneous candidiasis can be prevented with home measures starting with proper hygiene. Regular washing of the skin and thorough drying of the skin can prevent the skin from becoming too damp to prevent an infection from developing.
Lifestyle changes that can help prevent and manage an infection include:
- Changing socks and undergarments regularly
- Changing damp or moist clothing right away such as sweaty workout gear or swimsuits
- Wear loose-fitting clothes
- Lower the intake of sugar in the diet
- Add probiotics to the diet
- Use an unscented and mild soap when cleaning the affected areas
For severe or persistent cases, the doctor might suggest an antifungal cream or powder to be applied on the skin. Over-the-counter variants are often recommended such as clotrimazole or miconazole.
If the over-the-counter variants are not effective, the doctor might prescribe an antifungal cream such as ketoconazole or nystatin. In case the infection has already spread to the areas within the body such as the throat or mouth, an oral antifungal might be prescribed.