Candidiasis – Candida fungi: Overview, Symptoms, Types & Treatment

Candidiasis is a fungal or yeast infection caused by Candida fungi, especially Candida albicans.

Candida yeasts can be found almost everywhere in the environment and are usually present in most people.

Under certain conditions Candida albicans fungus overgrows and cause disease.

Causes of Candidiasis

Candidiasis is more common and severe in people with weakened immune system. It is caused by changes of the environment, when the native bacteria of the body cannot keep the yeast under control.

Risk factors for Candidiasis include:

  • Weak immune system;
  • Pregnancy;
  • Chemotherapy;
  • Treatment with broad spectrum antibiotics or steroids;
  • Diabetes;
  • Organ transplant;
  • AIDS;
  • Birth control pill with high estrogen content.

Diagnosis of Candidiasis

Microscopic examination and culturing.

Types of Candidiasis

There are several types of Candidiasis:

  • Vaginal yeast infection - symptoms: itching, rash, abnormal vaginal discharge, pain with intercourse and urination.
  • Cutaneous Candidiasis - an infection of the skin that causes itching and skin lesion or rash.
  • Thrush - oral infection that looks like a wipeable white coating. It is most common in babies and older adults, but it can occur at any age.
  • Penile Candidiasis - a rare yeast infection of the male penis. It causes rash, itching and/or burning near the head of the penis or on the foreskin.
  • Paronychia - a soft tissue infection around a fingernail. The symptoms include redness and painful swelling around the nail.
  • Invasive (or Deep Organ) Candidiasis - Candidiasis that spreads throughout the body and affects the internal organs of the body. Invasive fungal infections can be life threatening!

Treatment

Any yeast infection should be treated by your health care provider.

Do not self-treat your symptoms! Candidiasis left untreated can cause other with a possibly lethal outcome.

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