Candidal Dermatitis

?What is candidal dermatitis

Candidal dermatitis is a type of skin infection caused by the Candida fungus. Candida is a type of yeast that is normally found on the skin, but it can sometimes grow out of control and cause an infection. Candidal dermatitis most commonly affects the folds of the skin, such as the armpits, groin, and under the breasts. It can also occur in the diaper area of infants.

Symptoms of candidal dermatitis

The symptoms of candidal dermatitis can vary depending on the location of the infection. In general, the affected area will be red, itchy, and inflamed. There may also be a white, cheesy discharge. In some cases, the skin may crack and bleed.

Causes of candidal dermatitis

There are a number of factors that can increase the risk of developing candidal dermatitis. These include:

  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Immune system problems
  • Wearing tight-fitting clothing
  • Not washing the skin regularly
  • Using harsh soaps or detergents
  • Having a skin injury


Treatment for candida skin infection is usually simple. You don’t need to be hospitalized unless you have problems with your immune system or the candida has spread to the bloodstream. Your doctor may prescribe drying agents with antifungal creams, ointments, or lotions that are applied to your skin. Suppositories and oral medications are also available.

You will probably be prescribed over-the-counter drugs, such as ketoconazole or clotrimazole, both of which are topical (you apply on top of the skin) and from a class of antifungal drugs known as azoles. They are available in forms like ointments, tablets, and creams. They don’t have the same serious side effects as other antifungal agents such as nystatin or amphotericin B. Amphotericin B is an intravenous medication only used in the hospital setting.

Different kinds of drugs will be used based on the type of infection and the affected body part. For example:

Vaginal gels or creams, such as miconazole, are often used for vaginal yeast infections.
Thrush is often treated with antifungals in the form of lozenges, tablets, or liquid mouthwash that you swallow.
Athlete’s foot is most often treated with sprays, powders, and ointments.
Severe infections are most often treated with oral or even intravenous medications.
Most medications will be used once or twice a day.

Some medications, such as miconazole and clotrimazole, can be safely used to treat candida infection in any trimester of pregnancy. Ask your doctor or pharmacist what is safe for you to use.

All medications have potential side effects. Side effects for antifungals most often include:

itching at the site of application
redness or mild burning at the site of topical application
indigestion or upset stomach
rashes on the skin
Intravenous antifungals are more likely to cause negative side effects, which can include:

loss of appetite
feeling sick
muscle and joint pain
In rare cases, antifungals may cause severe allergic reactions or severe skin reactions, including peeling or blistered skin.

Those with liver damage should not use antifungal medicine without a doctor’s oversight. Antifungals can result in liver damage in healthy patients, but it’s more likely to be severe in those who already have liver damage.

Medications that may interact with antifungals include:

rifampin (also known as rifampicin), an antibiotic
benzodiazepines, which are used to induce sleep and reduce anxiety
estrogens and progestogens, which are found in contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy
phenytoin, which is used to treat epilepsy

Prevention of candidal dermatitis

There are a number of things you can do to help prevent candidal dermatitis. These include:

  • Keeping the skin clean and dry
  • Avoiding wearing tight-fitting clothing
  • Using mild soaps and detergents
  • Avoiding using harsh chemicals on the skin
  • Treating any skin injuries promptly
  • Maintaining a healthy immune system

Complications of candidal dermatitis

Candidal dermatitis can sometimes lead to complications, such as:

  • Secondary bacterial infection
  • Eczema
  • Psoriasis
  • Lichen planus

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