Cutaneous Candidiasis - Symptoms, Risk factors and Treatment

Fungi and bacteria surround us. Your body mostly needs them to function well. When they overgrow, your immune system works against them. However, in certain conditions, they can attack and infect us too. The fungus can infect your skin and nails. When fungus overgrows on the skin and causes infection, the condition is called candidiasis of the skin or cutaneous candidiasis. It mostly causes red and itchy skin that causes discomfort. However, it can be treated by using topical antifungal creams and maintaining hygiene. 



Symptoms 


The most common symptom of cutaneous candidiasis is a rash, accompanied by redness and severe itching. In some cases, the skin may become cracked and sore, causing ulcers and blisters. The rashes can occur on any part of the body, but most commonly, they occur in the folds of skin like in the underarms, groin area, under breasts, and between fingers. It can also infect the nails, causing a fungal nail infection called Onychomycosis, also called tinea unguium, which is an infection of the fingernails or toenails. It may begin as a white or yellow spot under the fingernail or toenail. Since the symptoms of a fungal nail infection develop gradually, it is hard to know about it readily. However, when it deepens, it causes the nail to discolor, thicken and crumble at the end. Fungal nail infection may infect more than one nail at a time. 



The symptoms of cutaneous candidiasis are;


  • Red rash growing on the skin 

  • Rash on the skin folds like genitals, middle of the body, buttocks, under the breasts, and other areas of skin

  • Infection of the hair follicles that resemble blisters or pimples 


Other diseases that resemble cutaneous candidiasis are;


  • ringworm

  • seborrheic dermatitis

  • eczema

  • psoriasis

  • hives

  • herpes

  • diabetes-related skin conditions

  • contact dermatitis



Causes 


Naturally, fungus resides on the skin. But when it overgrows, it infects the skin, causing cutaneous candidiasis. Fungus overgrowth can occur due to any of the following reasons.


  • Spending long hours in warm sweaty weather

  • Wearing tight clothing in which air can not pass through easily

  • Not maintaining hygiene, not bathing daily, especially in summer when you sweat more

  • Not changing your undergarments frequently

  • Being obese 

  • Use of antibiotics that kill the normal flora of your body that maintain fungal balance on your skin

  • Use of immunosuppressants like corticosteroids that suppress your immune system and it can not fight against viruses and bacteria effectively

  • Weakened immune system due to health conditions like diabetes, malignancies, pregnancy, and much more

  • Not drying your skin properly

  • Keeping your body wet for long hours

  • Swimming in a contaminated pool

  • Walking barefoot in damp and moist areas

  • Having psoriasis

  • Weakened immune system 

  • Reduced circulation to the feet and hands

  • Older age

  • Skin injury and inflammation


Candida fungus grows rapidly in moist areas. Therefore, it may occur in the buttock area of children. You must dry their buttocks after washing and making them wear the diaper. Candida infection is not contagious but people with a weakened immune system may catch it after touching the infectious lesion. 



Treatment


To get rid of cutaneous candidiasis, the healthcare providers may ask you to apply antifungal creams and maintain hygiene. Make sure you take shower daily and keep yourself clean and hygienic. 



Conclusion 


The fungus can infect your skin and nails. When fungus overgrows on the skin and causes infection, the condition is called candidiasis of the skin or cutaneous candidiasis. It mostly causes red and itchy skin that causes discomfort.


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