Thrush Infection Skin Yeast

Fungal infections of the skin, also called skin yeast infections, are usually seen and felt immediately. Determining the cause of a yeast infection of the skin, however, might be difficult. While skin yeast infections can simply be a small annoyance caused by exposure to a dirty shower stall, they can also be caused by poor hygiene or a compromised immune system.

Common Skin Yeast Infections

Yeast infections can manifest in different ways and on different parts of the body:

  • Athlete ‘s Foot: Athlete ‘s foot is a common malady that manifests as a persistent itching of the foot, which ranges in sensation from annoying to unbearable. The condition is called athlete ‘s foot because athletes are particularly susceptible to the infection, due to the fact that athletes are often exposed to communal showers, hot locker rooms, etc. Infection can affect any part of the foot, including the instep and the webbing between toes.Athlete ‘s foot can usually be treated with a topical anti-fungal such as Tinactin®, though oral medication might be required. Keeping feet dry and well-ventilated during the healing process is imperative, as yeast thrives in warm, moist environments.
  • Diaper Rash: Though many cases of diaper rash are merely superficial skin irritations that can be remedied with topical ointments, some are actually harboring a secondary problem: yeast. Yeast diaper rash is characterized by a raised red rash that may appear patchy or crusty.When the yeast invades the skin, the diaper rash is taken to a different level that requires a bit more care. Often times, over-the-counter anti-fungal creams such as clotrimazole or prescription cream Nystatin® should clear up the problem when applied two to three times daily in conjunction with more frequent diaper changes.
  • Jock Itch: Jock itch is a fungal yeast infection on the skin that can affect the areas covered by a jock strap, namely the genitals, buttocks and inner upper thighs. Jock itch is usually fairly easy to diagnose, given its location on the body, and is an itchy, raised red rash that can crack and flake.Jock itch is usually responsive to over-the-counter anti-fungal creams and powders, which should be applied after bathing and thoroughly drying the affected areas. Occasionally, prescription medication may be needed, so be sure to contact your physician should the rash not respond to treatment.

Skin yeast infections can also affect other areas of the body. It can manifest as red patches or pimply skin that oozes and bleeds and doesn ‘t respond to basic care or heal in a reasonable time. While most yeast infections on the skin can be treated by over-the-counter creams, be sure to call your doctor or nurse practitioner if you have any questions or concerns.

Candida Albicans: Skin Yeast Infection Culprit

Candida is a general term for a genus of yeast. The most common form is Candida albicans. This fungus is naturally occurring on people ‘s skin and in mucous membranes. It normally does not pose any problems, as it is kept in check by normal body conditions. However, when conditions change in a human body, Candida can grow uncontrollably on the skin, resulting in a skin yeast infection.

Preventing Yeast Infections of the Skin

Candida albicans, the yeast responsible for skin yeast infections, is naturally occurring in and on the body. People usually have problems only when body conditions allow the yeast to grow uncontrollably.

In general, yeast infections can be held at bay by staying in good health and eating well. If the body ‘s balance is maintained and normal defense systems are at optimal performance, yeast should be kept in check.

With yeast infections of the skin, a few more precautions can be taken:

  • If you have a skin yeast infection, keep the affected skin exposed to open air as much as possible.
  • If you participate in athletics, be sure to wear shower shoes in the locker room and communal areas.
  • For infants, change diapers often and keep the baby ‘s bottom dry. Also, don ‘t forget to cleanse the rolls of skin at the tops of your baby ‘s legs during diaper changes.Though tricky, try to keep the baby in open air if a diaper rash is coming on, to help heal the area before it progresses into a yeast diaper rash.
  • Practice good hygiene, making sure to dry off thoroughly after bathing. Don ‘t forget to dry skin folds and in between the toes.

Resources

Ask Dr. Sears (2007). Diaper Rash. Retrieved August 27, 2007, from the Dr. Sears Web site: http://www.askdrsears.com/html/8/T081400.asp.

Cleveland Clinic (2007). Fungal Infections of the Skin. Retrieved August 27, 2007, from the Cleveland Clinic Web site: http://www.clevelandclinic.org/health/health-info/docs/3700/3754.asp?index=12170