Yeast Infection Skin

Overview

Definition

A yeast infection is a skin infection from a type of fungus. It is most common in folds of skin, between toes or fingers, and in the mouth and genitals. It is often easy to treat.

Causes

A yeast infection is caused by an overgrowth of yeast on the skin. Bacteria and yeast are normally found on the skin. They usually keep each other under control. Sometimes there is an imbalance that causes yeast to grow too much. Yeast also grows in moist conditions.

Risk Factors

Yeast skin infections are more common in warm, humid climates.

Other things that raise the risk are:

  • A weak immune system
  • Certain medicines, such as antibiotics
  • Obesity
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
Obese Body
IMAGE
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

SymptomsandDiagnosis

Symptoms

Symptoms of a yeast infection of the skin may be:

  • Scaly rash
  • Red patches of skin
  • Itching
  • Swelling
  • Skin breakdown

Diagnosis

The doctor will ask about symptoms and past health. A physical exam will be done. The diagnosis may be made based on how the rash looks.

The doctor may scrape and test a small area of skin. This will confirm the presence of yeast and rule out other causes.

Treatments

Treatment

The goal is to clear the infection. Most yeast infections are treated with:

  • Skin care—keeping the area clean and dry
  • Antifungal medicine applied to the skin or taken by mouth—depending on the extent of the infection

Sometimes, a steroid ointment or lotion is also applied to the skin. This helps ease inflammation.

Prevention

The risk of a yeast infection can be reduced by:

  • Keeping skin clean and dry
  • Wearing loose clothing with natural fibers
  • Changing wet clothing as soon as possible
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Managing health conditions, such as diabetes

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

Edits to original content made by Denver Health.

a (Candidal skin infection; Mucocutaneous Candidiasis)

RESOURCES

American Academy of Dermatology https://www.aad.org 

Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians https://www.familydoctor.org 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Canadian Dermatology Association https://dermatology.ca 

Health Canada https://www.canada.ca 

References

Andreas Kühbacher, Anke Burger-Kentischer, et al. Interaction of candida species with the skin. Microorganisms. 2017; 5(2): 32.

Candidiasis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/fungal/diseases/candidiasis/index.html. Accessed August 4, 2021.

Candidiasis (mucocutaneous). Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/dermatologic-disorders/fungal-skin-infections/candidiasis-mucocutaneous. Accessed August 4, 2021.

Invasive candidiasis in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/invasive-candidiasis-in-adults. Accessed August 4, 2021.