What is yeast skin infection?

Yeast skin infection: Overview

Yeast normally lives on your skin. Sometimes too much yeast can overgrow in certain areas of the skin and cause an infection. The infection causes red, scaly, moist patches on your skin that may itch.

Common areas for skin yeast infections are skin folds under the breasts or belly area. The warm and moist areas in the skin folds can make it easier for yeast to overgrow. Yeast infections also can be found on other parts of the body such as the groin or armpits.

You will probably get a cream or ointment that contains an antifungal medicine. Examples of these are miconazole and clotrimazole. You put it on your skin to treat the infection. Your doctor may give you a prescription for the cream or ointment. Or you may be able to buy it without a prescription at most drugstores.

If the infection is severe, the doctor will prescribe antifungal pills.

A yeast infection usually goes away after about a week of treatment. But it's important to use the medicine for as long as your doctor tells you to.

What are the symptoms of a yeast skin infection?

The most common symptoms of a yeast skin infection are:

  • Red, scaly, moist patches on the skin.
  • Itching or burning.
  • Irritation or tenderness.

How is a yeast skin infection treated?

A yeast skin infection is treated with an antifungal medicine. Your doctor may give you a prescription for the cream or ointment. Or you may be able to buy it over the counter at a drugstore. Examples of these medicines are miconazole and clotrimazole.

If the infection is severe, your doctor may prescribe antifungal pills.

A yeast infection usually goes away after about a week of treatment. But it's important to use the medicine for as long as your doctor tells you to.

To help keep yeast growth under control, keep your skin clean and dry. Wear loose clothing. Your doctor may suggest a powder that contains an antifungal medicine. You only need to apply it in problem areas, such as skin folds.

How is a yeast skin infection diagnosed?

A yeast skin infection can often be diagnosed based on how it looks and feels. Sometimes a KOH test or culture is done to be sure that yeast is the cause.

How can you care for a yeast skin infection?

  • Be safe with medicines. Take your medicines exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor if you think you are having a problem with your medicine.
  • Keep your skin clean and dry. Your doctor may suggest using powder that contains an antifungal medicine in the skin folds.
  • Wear loose clothing.

What causes a yeast skin infection?

Things that make it easier for too much yeast to grow include:

  • Warm and moist areas on the body.
  • Tight-fitting, "nonbreathable" clothing that keeps moisture on the skin.
  • Antibiotic use.
  • Certain health problems, such as diabetes, that weaken the body's immune system.

What is a yeast skin infection?

A yeast infection is usually caused by a fungus called Candida albicans. This kind of yeast naturally lives on your skin. When too much yeast grows, it is called a yeast skin infection.

Yeast skin infections tend to happen in skin-to-skin areas. These include the underarms, as well as skin folds under the breasts, neck, belly, or groin.

Yeast skin infection: When to call

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have symptoms of infection, such as:
    • Increased pain, swelling, warmth, or redness.
    • Red streaks leading from the area.
    • Pus draining from the area.
    • A fever.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • You do not get better as expected.

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The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.