Oropharyngeal Candidiasis (OPC)
When candidiasis is located in the mouth and throat, it is called oropharyngeal candidiasis, also known as thrush. In the mouth, thrush can look similar to cottage cheese with white raised lesions on your tongue and cheeks. Candidiasis of the mouth can cause mouth pain and redness. This is one of the most common infections in those with HIV/AIDS, newborns, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems. Thrush can be contagious to those at risk, but for those without a weakened immune system, it is rare for it to be passed on. If you are worried about contracting thrush from another person, we recommend avoiding coming into contact with their saliva and washing your hands as often as possible.
What Are The Symptoms Of OPC?
Candidiasis of the mouth and esophagus often develops suddenly. A common symptom of oropharyngeal candidiasis is white patches in the mouth that are often painless, but others may experience redness and soreness inside the mouth. Some may also experience cracking along the corners of their mouth along with pain and difficulty swallowing. This infection can also spread to the lungs, liver, and skin, so if you are noticing any of these symptoms reach out to one of our dermatologists in Ohio today!
How Can OPC Be Diagnosed & Treated?
Our Boardman dermatology offices are often able to diagnose oropharyngeal candidiasis just by looking for the white lesions on your mouth, tongue, or cheeks. By lightly brushing away these lesions, it may reveal a reddened area that may bleed slightly. The tissue from the legions will be examined to confirm whether you have thrush. To treat oropharyngeal candidiasis, antifungal medications are often prescribed as tablets, lozenges, or liquids to be swished around the mouth, which will normally have to be taken for about 10–14 days.
General Yeast Infection
As mentioned above, candida yeast lives inside and outside the body, typically without causing problems, but this yeast is also found inside the vagina. When candida yeast multiplies and the environment inside the vagina changes, encouraging this growth, possibly leading to candidiasis in the vagina, also called a vaginal yeast infection. Vaginal yeast infections aren't considered a sexually transmitted infection, but there is an increased risk of vaginal yeast infections at the time of first regular sexual activity.
Symptoms Of Vaginal Candidiasis
While many of the symptoms of vaginal candidiasis are mild, some patients can develop severe infections. Symptoms of vaginal candidiasis are often similar to those of other vaginal infections, which are treated with different medicines. Itching and discomfort are the main symptoms of a yeast infection, but there are others we have listed below.
- Vaginal Itching Or Soreness
- Pain During Sexual Intercourse
- Pain Or Discomfort When Urinating
- Abnormal Vaginal Discharge
- Burning, Redness, And Swelling Of The Vagina And The Vulva (The Outer Part Of The Female Genitals)
If you are noticing any of these symptoms, we recommend contacting our Boardman dermatologists before treating yourself. As the symptoms of vaginal candidiasis are similar to other, more serious conditions, including bacterial vaginosis, an accurate diagnosis is important to get you the best treatment possible.
How To Treat Vaginal Candidiasis
One of the most common ways to treat vaginal candidiasis is through the use of over-the-counter antifungal creams, ointments, and suppositories. If the infection is more severe or is recurring, other treatments may be needed. Treatment can last anywhere from 1–7 days, depending on what your dermatologist has prescribed. It is also important to note some yeast infection medications can weaken condoms or diaphragms making it easier to get pregnant or contract sexually transmitted diseases. If you have any underlying medical conditions, especially diabetes or a weakened immune system, yeast infections can occur over and over again, called recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis.
Candidiasis Of The Skin
Candida yeast lives on the skin, and when there is an overgrowth of candida yeast on the skin, an infection called candidiasis of the skin, or cutaneous candidiasis, can occur. This is a common type of skin condition and infection commonly identified by a skin rash, commonly found in the folds of the skin, but it can also spread to other body areas.
What Are The Symptoms Of Candidiasis Of The Skin?
Skin rashes are the primary symptoms of cutaneous candidiasis, which can include redness of the skin and an intense itching sensation. When the infection is more severe, it can lead to cracked skin and the development of blisters and pustules. This infection typically occurs in the groin, between the fingers, in the armpits, and under the breasts. Candida yeast can also lead to infections in the nails, around the nails, and the corners of the mouth.
What Causes Candidiasis Of The Skin?
One of the main causes of candidiasis of the skin is the warm, moist environments often found in the folds of the skin. In babies, a diaper also provides the perfect environment for candida, meaning candidiasis is often found on the buttocks of babies. Candidiasis of the skin isn't usually contagious but can be transmitted to those with weakened immune systems after touching the skin of an infected person.
How To Prevent & Treat Candidiasis Of The Skin?
A trained dermatologist is able to diagnose candidiasis of the skin by performing a physical examination, during which they will inspect the location of the rash. In addition, the dermatologist may want to perform a skin culture, which involves rubbing a cotton swab over the area and testing for the presence of candida yeast. There are some home remedies to help prevent candidiasis of the skin, including washing the skin regularly and drying thoroughly.
To properly treat candidiasis of the skin, your dermatologist might recommend over-the-counter antifungal cream or powder that can kill candida and help reduce the spread of the infection. If the over-the-counter treatments aren't helping to get rid of the infection, your dermatologist might prescribe an antifungal cream. On the chance the infection has spread inside your body, oral antifungal medication might be needed for treatment.