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, including diaper rash, beneath large breasts, and nailbed infections.
- Candida 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 candida 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 AIDS.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/1/2015
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