Candidiasis symptoms are caused by an infection with yeast. Most commonly the infection is caused by the Candida albicans yeast fungi; although there over twenty different yeasts that can be responsible for candidiasis symptoms. Yeast cells are present on the skin and in the body; but our own natural defensive bacteria keep them in check and do not allow them to over grow.
Yeast must have environmental conditions that allow them to overgrow and cause candidiasis symptoms. The ideal conditions for yeast growth are dark, moist or wet areas. Common sites on the body for yeast to grow include the mouth, vagina (in women) and in the folds of the skin (or areas of skin that are generally covered with clothing.
Candidiasis Symptoms and Treatment
Vaginal candidiasis symptoms in women include a discharge that resembles cottage cheese curd. Intense itching and red irritation. Pain or burning with urination or sexual intercourse may also occur. A sexual partner of a woman with candidiasis symptoms may develop penile itching and irritation. Treatment for vaginal candidiasis symptoms include topical (creams) anti-fungal inserted in and around the vagina and oral medication.
Oral candidiasis symptoms (thrush) can occur in infants or adults, but most commonly occurs in infants. The symptoms can vary greatly. In some cases a thick white plaque can occur on the tongue, or any other location within the mouth. In other cases the interior of the mouth and tongue become very red an inflamed. The mouth can become painful, making eating and drinking difficult. Treatment for oral candidiasis symptoms generally involves using an anti-fungal mouth rinse until symptoms are gone.
Skin candidiasis symptoms are often found in skin folds (such as under the breast and belly folds) or in the diaper area of infants. A red rash appears that is solid and non-raised or raised very little. There may be pain and itching at the site of the rash. Outlying patches of rash may appear in the surrounding area as the yeast multiply and spread. The yeast are able to cause the rash when skin breaks down. Treatment for candidiasis symptoms of the skin include topical anti-fungal creams applied to he affected area. Though seldom, yeast may gain entry to the interior of the body; infecting areas such as:
Gastrointestinal tract – generally an oral infection spreads via the esophagus to the stomach and other gastrointestinal organs. The infection usually occurs in those with a severely compromised immune system such as with HIV/Aids infections or chemotherapy patients.
Respiratory tract – This is a rare happening that occurs in some drug users who inhale harsh irritating chemicals such as methamphetamine and crack cocaine. Oral candidiasis symptoms occur due to the constant irritation of the mouth (from drug use) and the yeast are inhaled deep into the lungs when the drug is smoked. Pneumonia can occur from the inflammation. Both of these types of candidiasis can become life threatening and require systemic (complete body) treatment with oral medications.
Most candidiasis symptoms can be treated without further complication. A repeated occurrence of candidiasis symptoms may be indicative of other (more serious) underlying health problems such as diabetes, leukemia or HIV. Prompt treatment of candidiasis symptoms will help alleviate the uncomfortable pain and itching and keep the yeast from spreading; thus causing secondary problems such as bacterial infections.