Candidiasis Yeast Infection Overview
A yeast infection results from an overgrowth of yeast (a type of fungus) anywhere in the body. Candidiasis is by far the most common type of yeast infection. There are more than 20 species of
Candida, the most common being Candida albicans. These fungi live on all surfaces of our bodies. Under certain conditions, they can become so numerous they cause infections, particularly in warm and moist areas. Examples of such infections are
vaginal yeast infections,
thrush (infection of tissues of the oral cavity), skin and diaper rash, and nailbed infections.
- Candidal infections commonly occur in warm moist body
areas, such as underarms. Usually your skin effectively blocks yeast, but any
breakdown or cuts in the skin may allow this organism to penetrate.
- Typical affected areas in babies include the mouth
and diaper areas.
- Vaginal yeast infection, which is the most common form of vaginitis is often
referred to as vaginal Candidiasis.
- In adults, oral yeast infections become more common
with increased age. Adults also can have yeast infections around dentures,
in skin folds under the breast and lower abdomen, nailbeds, and beneath other skin folds.
Most of these candidal infections are superficial and clear up easily with treatment.
Infections of the nailbeds often require prolonged therapy.
- Rarely, the yeast infection may spread throughout the body. In systemic candidal disease
(in which the fungus enters the bloodstream and spreads throughout the body), up to
45% of people may die. Even common mouth and vaginal yeast infections can cause critical illness and can be more resistant to normal treatment.
- Yeast infections that return may be a sign of more serious diseases such as
diabetes, leukemia, or
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/25/2013
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