Every now and then, you may notice a skin rash in the genital area (or any other body part). In most cases, a skin rash is no reasonable cause for alarm. The skin might only be responding to an allergen such as an insect bite, and will mostly disappear on its own with no special treatment.
However, every once in a while, you may get a nasty genital rash that just won’t go away. Contact dermatitis and sexually transmitted infections top the list of conditions that cause genital skin rash. But there’s one condition that is mostly overlooked: candida.
What Is Candida?
This is a fungal strain that cause infections on the skin and other body parts. Normally, the skin hosts a small amount of fungus, which is not harmful to the body. However, when these small amounts of fungus multiply to create an overgrowth, it is a cause for alarm. According to CDC, an overgrowth can even be fatal if left unchecked. A majority of fungal infections are caused by Candida albicans.
Types of Skin Infections Caused By Candida
According to CDC, about 75% of adults have a fungal infection at some point in life. The candida infections, on the outlook, are often good. Generally, this condition is not too serious and can easily be treated. However, if left uncontrolled, it can be life threatening, especially to people with low immune system. Therefore, it is always advisable to get quick treatment to stop fungal spreading. Here are some of the types of skin infections that can be caused by candida.
This fungal infection mostly affects the feet. This condition is characterized by scaly, peeling, cracked or blistered skin with red and itchy patches. When left untreated, the flaking can spread to other body parts.
Oral candidiasis is characterized by white patches, also called plaques, in the mouth area. These can be wiped off easily, leaving red areas which may bleed. This redness, irritation or burning sensation in the mouth can persist to cause tastelessness or an awful taste in the mouth
This is characterized by soreness, itching and sometimes a burning sensation. Vaginal yeast infection is accompanied by a white-grey thick discharge and pain during intercourse
This is a condition that is characterized by yellow or white spots under the nails (toes and fingers). As the fungal infection grows deeper, the nails may discolor, thicken and become crumbly at the edges.
This is characterized by redness and persistent itching and burning in the affected areas. The rash worsens with activity and may result to skin flaking, peeling or cracking.
This is characterized by a reddish patch in the diaper area. The skin looks irritated and warm to touch and can be painful and uncomfortable to touch.
How to Recognize a Fungal Skin Infection
Every human being has a certain degree of fungi on their body. Normally, the skin is an effective barrier against infections. However, when bruises and cuts come into play, they break down the barrier which allows the fungus in the body, causing infections.
When the conditions are favorable, the candida grows to become pathogenic. Such favorable conditions include warmth, humidity, restrictive clothing, and poor hygiene. You can easily recognize a candida overgrowth if you have the following symptoms on any body part.
Skin rashes and colored patches on the skin
Flaky, white substances on the skin patches
Skin shedding or scaling and cracking accompanied by soreness
Creamy pustules (pus filled pimples) along the edges of the affected areas
White or red mouth lesions in cases of oral thrush
Treatment Options for Candida Infection
Fungal infections are easy to treat, with the right medication. The only time that you can be hospitalized for a candida infection is only if your immune system is dangerously low or the candida has spread to the bloodstream.
Normally, antifungal lotions, ointments and creams are effective treatment options for candida infection. Additionally, oral medications and suppositories are readily available, in addition to other over-the-counter anti-fungal treatments.
As soon as you notice any symptoms that you suspect could be fungal infection, it is advisable to visit a doctor. Have the necessary tests taken before you take any medication. This ensures that the treatment option you get will effectively control the extent of the fungal infection in your body.
Quick Tips to Prevent Candida Overgrowth
Fungi are everywhere. The good news is that the healthy bacteria in your body typically keep the candida levels in check. However, there are circumstances that encourage the fungus to grow out of control. These favorable conditions include the following:
A diet with high sugar or refined carbohydrates
Too much alcohol
Too many oral contraceptives
A diet comprising of high amounts of fermented foods
A high stress lifestyle
Too many antibacterial drugs that kill the good bacteria
While treatment can keep fungal infections in check, it is important to take good care of yourself, and avoid anything that could contribute to a fungus overgrowth.