Candidiasis is an infection caused by the fungus called Candida . Candida is a genus of yeast-like fungus, and there are many different species of which only a few cause infections, including the following: Candida albicans, Candida glabrata, Candida krusei, etc.
The candid are some fungi found naturally in the environment, inanimate targets, animals, food and part of the saprophytic humans in the skin, in the digestive tract (mouth and oropharynx) and skin and mucosa of the female genitalia.
Yeast infections occur when the balance is broken between the pathogenicity of the fungus and the normal defense mechanisms of the body. This situation can occur when taking antibiotics, because they alter the normal microbial flora by eliminating common bacteria and fungi have more room to play. Another situation that facilitates candidiasis are the diseases that affect the immune system by themselves or due to treatment (such as HIV, cancer and chemotherapy or organ transplants).
There are different types of candida infection by site: basically divided into mucocutaneous candidiasis and disseminated candidiasis.
The mucocutaneous candidiasis are affecting some areas of mucous membranes or skin. Among the most frequently found vulvovaginal candidiasis in women, oral candidiasis (also known as thrush) or esophageal candidiasis, and Candida superinfection some dermatitis and diaper rash in infants, or dermatitis localized in areas of folds in the very obese.
As factors favoring these infections are diabetes, immunosuppression, antibiotic treatment, or lack of hygiene in diaper rash.
The disseminated candidiasis occur when Candida enter the bloodstream and spread throughout the body and can affect different organs. Abscesses usually occur in the affected organs. The organs most affected are usually the eye (the retina), brain, kidneys and heart, but also can affect the liver, spleen, etc.. The disseminated candidiasis are favored by the following factors: antibiotic treatments and chemotherapy, intravenous catheters, indwelling urinary catheters, abdominal surgery, etc.
In mucocutaneous candidiasis affecting the oral mucosa or esophageal white plaques are seen in the oral mucosa, tongue or esophagus. They are not painful and below may have redness and bleeding mucosa. In vulvovaginal candidiasis appears pruritus (itching), pain and vaginal discharge and scratch marks. The candidiasis of infant diaper rash appears bright red rash in the diaper area, scaly areas and development of satellite lesions (red patches that grow and are mixed with other injuries.
The disseminated candidiasis symptoms depend on the organ affected. They can be very serious infections requiring hospitalization for treatment and control.
Diagnosis is based on clinical suspicion and candid display of microscopic preparations from fresh or affected tissues. You can also make special crops that confirm the growth of the fungus.
Blood tests are nonspecific, and serology in this case has no diagnostic utility of yeast infection.
Treatment of candidiasis is based on specific treatment with drugs that act against the fungus, called antifungals. Different drugs, and therefore can be administered topically in form of creams, ointments, ovules or solutions, such as oral systemic route (tablets or capsules) or intravenously.
In mucocutaneous candidiasis usually sufficient local treatment with topical preparations for several days, although in some cases you have to give an oral therapy to definitively resolve the infection.
Disseminated candidiasis in the systemic treatment is necessary, according to the severity and type of antifungal choice, either oral treatment require intravenous treatment.
Are the measures to minimize the risk of infection. We highlight the following: to prevent diaper rash, is very important to maximize hygiene measures in diaper rash and change baby’s diaper frequently. In obese people, keep the skin clean and dry well, especially in areas where the folds may appear dermatitis and Candida superinfection (sulcos submammary, English folds, etc..)
To minimize candida vulvovaginitis episodes besides hygiene, try to restrict the most use of broad spectrum antibiotics in women prone (which are the main cause).
In some immunocompromised patients can take oral solutions to minimize the risk of oral thrush, but this will be decided by the physician always.