Candida albicans is a yeast fungus that is present on our skin and in the openings of our body (such as the vagina and mouth). Normally, the other bacteria present maintain a healthy balance between yeast and bacteria. In fact, this symbiosis (balance) keeps us healthy, occasionally the yeast grows too large and causes Candida symptoms. Other yeast fungi can be responsible for candida symptoms; however, the most common is caused by the yeast variety Candida albicans.
Yeast does not cause Candida symptoms without having the right conditions that allow them to reproduce at a rate that outpaces other cells and produces symptoms. Generally, a moist area, openness in the body and a dark environment are required. Candida entry is most often through cavities such as the mouth, vagina, and skin-to-skin areas such as under the breasts, armpits, or between the toes.
Symptoms you will incur with an infection will include some form of irritation, redness, a rash, and discharge or oozing. Those with other health problems that compromised the immune system are more susceptible to this infection.
Candida Symptoms and Facts
When Candida overgrowth in the vagina, the two most common symptoms to occur are severe itching and a white lumpy discharge that looks like milk curd. Candidiasis is the name given to Candida that occur from an infection in the mouth. Infants and young children are predominantly affected by yeast infection; however, adults can also become infected. Symptoms include a white covering inside the mouth or the inside of the mouth becomes inflamed and red; causing pain.
Adults who smoke drugs that irritate the lining of the mouth (methamphetamine, for example) have a higher incidence of Candida. In rare cases, Candida symptoms can cause a serious internal infection. This occurs when yeast enters the body, usually through the esophagus (throat) and enters the lungs or stomach.
Any area of the skin can be prone to Candida symptoms if the conditions are right and the integrity of a person’s skin is compromised. When areas like skin folds remain moist, yeast is likely to grow. A flat, red rash will appear and the area will itch or become irritated. Diaper rash in babies is often the result of Candida. Diabetes patients have a high incidence of Candida symptoms due to the high blood sugar they have when symptoms are uncontrolled. Yeast feeds on sugars to reproduce.
Treatments for Candida include antifungal applications in the form of topical creams, mouthwashes, and oral medications. Secondary bacterial infections (most often staph) can occur if symptoms are not treated. Mild Candida symptoms can sometimes be treated with a vinegar solution (diluted with water). In general, most Candida symptoms are treated without further complications.
Recurring Candida symptoms can indicate other serious diseases such as cancer (leukemia), diabetes, and autoimmune deficiency. Anyone with repeated symptoms should see a healthcare professional. Someone who receives oral antibiotics for other infections is prone to yeast infection; particularly vaginal infections in women and oral infections in children. The antibiotic can kill good bacteria inside and outside the body; along with bad bacteria. Consuming yogurt cultures has been shown to help prevent Candida in people prone to yeast infections.