Many people are surprised to learn that various fungi and bacteria live on your skin. Some fungi are beneficial while others are harmful.

An overgrowth of Candida on the skin is known as cutaneous candidiasis or candidiasis of the skin. Candidiasis causes an itchy red rash. A candida infection is one of the most common fungal skin diseases. Each year there are more than 3.6 million outpatient visits and 26,000 hospitalizations in the United States for fungal skin infections. In addition to this, millions of individuals suffer from a skin infection without seeking out medical help.

Symptoms of Candidiasis of the Skin

The primary symptom of a candida overgrowth on the skin is a rash. The rash is typically bright red and causes extreme itching. If the skin becomes infected, this can lead to-

  • Irritation
  • Pain
  • Blisters
  • Cracked skin

Although the rash can occur anywhere, the most typical place is within the folds of your skin. The most common locations include under your breasts, the groin area, the armpits, or between your fingers. In addition to this, a yeast infection can form on the corners of your mouth, along with the sides of your nails, or under the nails.

If left untreated, the rash can spread to other areas of your body. The symptoms of yeast infection of the skin can be treated using anti-fungal powders or creams and good hygiene.

Causes of Candida Overgrowth

Candida is a fungus that lives on the skin; however, when it begins to uncontrollably multiply, it can result in an infection. There are several things that can increase the risk of fungal overgrowth, including:

  • A weak immune system caused by pregnancy, diabetes, and other medical conditions
  • Antibiotics
  • Corticosteroids and other medications that can affect your immune system
  • Incomplete drying of wet skin
  • Infrequent undergarment changes
  • Obesity
  • Poor hygiene
  • Tight clothing
  • Warm weather

Fungi thrive in damp locations, which is why it commonly occurs in the folds of skin. Diapers hold moisture which is why babies can develop candidiasis on their buttocks.

Candidiasis of the skin is not typically contagious; however, those with a weak immune system are at risk of becoming infected if they come in contact with the candida fungus. Furthermore, those who have a compromised immune system are at an increased risk of developing a severe infection.

Usually, a physical exam is all that is needed to make an accurate diagnosis. Your skin doctor will inspect your skin and in some cases a skin culture may be needed of the affected area for accurate analysis.

Treatment for Candida Overgrowth

The most important thing you can do for candida overgrowth is to practice proper hygiene. Wash the affected area with dye-free and scent-free soap regularly. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry, ensuring the skin is completely dry before getting dressed. Damp or wet clothing like sweaty workout clothes or swimsuits should be removed promptly. Opt for loose fitting clothing and change your undergarments and socks regularly.

Candida feeds on sugar; therefore, you should reduce the amount of sugar you consume. In addition to this, a probiotic supplement, as well as fermented foods, can help to reduce the amount of fungus on the skin and in the body by rebalancing your gut flora. If your fungal infection is severe, your doctor may recommend an antifungal cream or powder. This treatment is applied to the skin and works by eradicating the Candida fungus.

Excess candida on the skin will typically go away with treatment. Typically, it takes one to two weeks to make a recovery, depending on the severity of the overgrowth. There is a risk of a return infection, especially with those with a compromised immune system, including those with HIV or Aids or those undergoing chemotherapy.

How Can We Help?

Our team of skin specialists understand the intricacies of the human body. We provide a holistic approach to treatment of candida that includes improving your immune system, reducing the amount of fungi on the skin, and thereby improving your overall skin health. Food, diet, stress and your gut health all impact the heath of the skin and we will help uncover the root cause of your issues. You do not have to live with infections of the skin.