Yeast Infection

What is a yeast infection?

Yeast is a fungus normally found on your skin. It’s also found in your digestive system. If you’re a woman, you also have yeast in your vaginal area. When too much yeast grows on your skin or other areas, it can cause an infection. This infection is also called candidiasis.

What causes a yeast infection?

A yeast infection can happen if your skin gets damaged. Yeast can
also overgrow in warm or humid conditions. An infection can also happen if you have a
weak immune system. Taking antibiotics can also cause an overgrowth of yeast. That’s
because antibiotics kill the healthy bacteria in your body that normally keep the yeast
in balance.

Who is at risk for yeast infection?

Anyone can get a yeast infection. Those at higher risk for it include:

  • Babies
  • People who wear dentures
  • People taking antibiotics
  • People getting cancer treatment
  • People with other health conditions, such as HIV or diabetes

What are the symptoms of a yeast infection?

The symptoms of a yeast infection
depend on where it is in the body. The chart below shows the most common symptoms of a
yeast infection. But yours may be slightly different.

Location

Symptoms

Skin folds or belly
button

  • Rash with redness and skin breakdown
  • Patches that ooze clear fluid
  • Pimples
  • Itching or burning

Vagina

  • White or yellow discharge from the vagina
  • Itching
  • Redness in the outer
    part of the vagina
  • Burning

Penis

  • Redness on the underside of the penis
  • Scaling on the underside of the penis
  • Painful rash on the underside of the penis

Mouth (thrush)

  • White patches on the tongue and inside of the cheeks
  • Redness or soreness 
  • Trouble swallowing may
    mean you have yeast in your food pipe (esophagus) 

Corners of the mouth (angular
cheilitis)

  • Cracks or tiny cuts at
    the corners of the mouth

Nail beds

  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Pus
  • White or yellow nail that separates from the nail bed

The symptoms of a yeast infection may look like other skin conditions. Always see your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.

How is yeast infection diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms and health
history. He or she will also give you a physical exam. He or she may scrape off a bit of
skin or remove part of a nail and check it to confirm the diagnosis.