Candidiasis

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Overview of Candidiasis

Candidiasis is characterized by fungal infection caused by overgrowth of Candida sp. in the body. It is also known as cutaneous candidiasis. Candida is a yeast and part of normal flora of the body. But under certain conditions, including some infections or immunocompromised individuals (young children, elderly, or AIDS patients), can develop overgrowth and infection of yeast leading to Candidiasis. The main areas that are affected by Candida albicans include moist areas of the body, including vagina, removable teeth (dentures), nail beds, injuries and mouth. If localized infection become systemic (spread throughout the body) by entering the blood stream, it can lead to life threatening condition as the yeast can colonize kidneys, liver or lungs.

Causes and Risk Factors of Candidiasis

There are different contributing factors of that lead to overgrowth of Candida on and inside the body. Normally it attacks humid, and dark spaces, like folds of the skin. Weak immune system and overuse of antibiotics lead to candidiasis. Obesity, poor personal hygiene, incomplete drying of skin, warm weather, wearing tight clothes and infrequent change of undergarments increase the risk of candidiasis. Use of corticosteroids can cause candidiasis. Babies who wear diapers are considered to be at high risk of developing candidiasis if proper cleaning is not done. Infection of candidiasis can spread form one person to another if both individuals have weakened immune system.

Signs and Symptoms of Candidiasis

The symptoms associated with Candidiasis vary among individuals and depends on the target organ and include redness, itching, whitish discharge (vaginal infection), sores (mouth and penis), abdominal pain and cramps, nausea, indigestion (gastrointestinal candidiasis) and fever. Candidiasis can lead to cracked skin and cause blisters and pustules. Candida can infest armpit, skin under breast and between fingers and lead to itchiness and sores. The symptoms of candidiasis resemble those of eczema, contact dermatitis, herpes, hives and ringworms.