Candidiasis is a condition that affects the skin, mucous membranes or nails and it is caused by Candida albicans fungus. In 15% of healthy people Candida can be found in the oral cavity or genital mucosa, without any symptoms.
Candida is part of normal flora of intestines, living in symbiosis with the rest of the microflora, without excessive reproduction.
Causes of candida infections
Candida causes infection of the skin, mucous membranes or nails in cases of excessive intake of antibiotics, immunosuppressants, corticosteroids, drop of immunity.
Excessive use of aggressive soaps in the genital area destroys normal microflora, allowing excessive reproduction of candida.
Candidiasis can occur during menstruation, in pregnancy, when wearing synthetic inadequate underwear, due to skin-to-skin friction.
People suffering from diabetes are prone to recurrence of candidiasis since the high blood sugar allows the fungus to multiply.
Candidiasis of the oral cavity
Most often candidiasis in the oral cavity is present in infants and young children. Whitish deposits are formed on the mucous membrane of the oral cavity and tongue — oral thrush.
The deposits can look like clotted milk, with red painful sores underneath, making the feeding of the child difficult.
In adults, candidiasis infection occurs in the listed cases, characterised by whitish deposits and redness.
After a prolonged course of infection, the mucous membrane is bright red in colour, shiny, smooth without deposits.
Smokers are prone to oral cavity candidiasis, with the formation of thick, white deposits on the cheek mucosa and tongue.
Cutaneous candidiasis is common in newborns, in the groin area, under diapers. It also occurs in adults on the folds, in obese people, skin-to-skin friction area, under breasts in women. In these places, clearly shaped redness with moist, blisters and pustules forms.
Candidiasis can affect skin between fingers in people who se hands are often soaked in water, like housewives or confectioners.
Candidiasis in the corners of the mouth
Candidiasis in the corners of the mouth is often present in people with dentures — angular cheilitis.
Often in the corners of the mouth, redness, cracking of the skin, scaling, moist can be observed.
Genital candidiasis occurs on the vulva and vagina in women, in the form of redness, itching, whitish cheesy discharge.
In men, on the glans and foreskin, redness, whitish deposits and blisters can be found, leaving shallow sores after they break. The itching sensation is particularly pronounced.
Candida infection of the nails
Candida affects the cuticle around the nail, which becomes swollen, red, and tender to the touch. It often occurs in people who frequently soak their hands in water. In the area between the skin and the nail, pockets with purulent content develop.
Because of candida infection, the growing nail is ridged and brittle.
Diagnosis and treatment of candidiasis
The diagnosis can be made by microscopic analysis and isolation of candida from the affected surfaces.
When treating candidiasis, it is important to eliminate the predisposing factors that favour the reproduction of candidiasis pathogens. Topical treatment consists of the use antifungal creams.
Nail infection is treated with systemic antifungal therapy.
It is advised to avoid using aggressive soaps that disrupt normal microflora, as well as to avoid wearing synthetic materials.