Yeast Infection (Cutaneous Candidiasis)

A yeast infection is an infection caused by a fungus, specifically Candida albicans. Fungi are present everywhere in our environment and usually cause no harm. But when conditions are present that allow the fungus to grow unchecked, an infection develops. Candida intertrigo is a fungal infection that causes inflammation, burning, and itching in moist skin folds.

The rash of a fungal infection is fiery red with a scalloped border and sharply outlined edges. This rash appears as tiny pus-filled pimples mainly in the folds of genital skin. A rash may also be present in other skin folds, such as on the neck or underarms or around the navel.

Things that increase your risk for developing a yeast infection include:

  • Poor hygiene.
  • Being overweight.
  • Wearing tight-fitting, "nonbreathable" clothing that keeps moisture in the genital area.
  • Having a condition or disease that may weaken the body's ability to fight off disease or recover from illness, such as diabetes or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.
  • Antibiotic use.

Most cases of yeast infection are treated with a nonprescription topical ointment.

A yeast infection may be the cause of a diaper rash. See the topic Diaper Rash in Related Information.

By Healthwise Staff
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
David Messenger, MD
Last Revised March 1, 2013

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