Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.
Signs and symptoms of a candidal infection can vary depending on the location of the infection.
In women, signs and symptoms of a
vaginal yeast infection are a white discharge that is thick and often described as having a cottage cheese appearance. The infection typically causes itching and irritates the vagina and surrounding outer tissues. On occasion there may be
pain with sexual intercourse or burning with urination.
Genital yeast infection in men: Men may develop symptoms of a genital yeast infection after intercourse with a woman who has a vaginal yeast infection. However, yeast infection is not sonsidered to be a sexually-transmitted disease (STD) because women can have the yeast normally in the body and do not acquire it from an outside source. Most experts do not recommend treatment of male sex partners of women with candida yeast infection unless they develop symptoms. Symptoms can include itching and burning of the penis as well as a rash on the skin of the penis.
In infants and adults, a candidal infection can appear many different ways.
Oral candidiasis is called
thrush. Thick, white lacy patches on top of a red base can form on the tongue, palate, or elsewhere inside the mouth. These patches sometimes look like milk curds but cannot be wiped away as easily as milk can. If the white plaques are wiped away with a blade or cotton-tipped applicator, the underlying tissue may bleed. This infection also may make the tongue look red without the white coating. Thrush can be painful and make it difficult to eat. Care should be given to make sure a person with thrush does not become dehydrated.
Thrush was formerly referred to as moniliasis, based upon an older name for
Candid albicans (Monilia).
Candidal organisms naturally live on the skin, but breakdown of the outer layers of skin promote the yeast's overgrowth. This typically occurs when the environment is warm and moist such as in diaper areas and skin folds. Superficial candidal skin infections appear as a red flat rash with sharp scalloped edges. There are usually smaller patches of similar appearing rash nearby, known as "satellite lesions." These rashes may cause itching or pain.
In people with weakened immune systems, candidal infections can affect various internal organs and cause pain or dysfunction of the organ. People with suppressed immune systems due to AIDS, chemotherapy, or other conditions may contract a yeast infection called esophagitis in their upper gastrointestinal (GI) systems. This infection is similar to thrush but extends down the mouth and esophagus to the stomach. Candida esophagitis can cause painful ulcers throughout the GI system, making it too painful to swallow even liquids. If the infection spreads into the intestines, food may be poorly absorbed. People with this condition are in danger of becoming
dehydrated. There may be associated pain in the area of the sternum (breast bone), pain in the upper abdomen, and/or
nausea and vomiting.
If Candida gets into the bloodstream, the person may become sick with or without fever. If the
infection spreads to the brain, they may have acute changes in mental function or behavior.