John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.
Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
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 cottage cheese-like discharge that typically itches and irritates the vagina and surrounding outer tissues. Occasionally, pain may occur with sexual intercourse or burning may occur with urination.
In infants and adults, a candidal infection can appear many different ways.
Oral candidiasis (thrush) causes thick white lacy patches on top of a red base 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 cotton swab, the underlying tissue may bleed. This infection may make the tongue look red without the white coating. Thrush can be painful and make eating difficult. Care should be taken to make sure a person with thrush does not become dehydrated.
Candidal organisms naturally live on the skin, but a breakdown of the outer layers of skin promotes 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. Smaller patches of similar-appearing rash, known as "satellite lesions" or "satellite pustules," are usually nearby. These rashes may cause itching or pain.
Intertrigo appears as softened red skin in body fold areas.
Candidal paronychia appears as nail fold swelling.
Mucocutaneous candidiasis appears with nail abnormalities.
Erosio interdigitalis blastomycetica occurs in the finger webs.
Oral thrush requires medical treatment and a visit to the doctor. If children take no fluids for longer than 12 hours, contact the doctor for possible IV fluid replacement. Any fever or prolonged problems with feeding or a significant decrease or absence of urine production also warrant a visit to a doctor or the emergency department.
Diaper rash or other candidal infections on the skin can be treated with over-the-counter nystatin powders (Mycostatin, Nilstat, Nystat-Rx, Nystex, O-V Staticin) or antifungal creams and lotions.
If the rash worsens at any time or if the lesions do not clear up in one to two weeks, call a doctor.
Fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, or the rash spreading to other parts of the body may be a sign of a more serious illness.
Chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis (CMC) refers to a heterogeneous group of disorders characterized by recurrent or persistent superficial infections of the skin, mucous membranes, and nails with Candida organisms, usually Candida albicans.