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Candidiasis is a fungal infection caused by an overgrowth of a type of yeast that lives on your body (Candida albicans). A candidiasis infection often appears on your skin, vagina, or mouth, where Candida naturally lives in small amounts. Healthy bacteria in your body prevent yeast overgrowth. Imagine you have a two-armed scale with healthy bacteria on one side and yeast on the other. The scale stays balanced until disruption occurs from stress, a poor diet, a weakened immune system, or an uncontrolled medical condition. When something disrupts your scale, a Candidiasis infection occurs.

What types of candidiasis exist?

Since yeast naturally lives in your body, there are different types of candidiasis based on the location of the infection. Types of candidiasis include:

  • Vaginal candidiasis (vaginitis): A common infection that causes burning, itching, redness, and discharge from your vagina.
  • Cutaneous candidiasis: An infection on your skin that creates a raised, red patch with small, itchy bumps that form in folds of your skin, like in your underarms, under your breasts, and near your buttocks (diaper rash) or groin.
  • Oral candidiasis (thrush): An infection that causes white sores in your mouth, throat, esophagus, or tongue.
  • Candida granuloma: A severe, chronic infection that targets your skin, scalp, mouth, or fingernails.
  • Invasive candidiasis (systemic candidiasis): A serious infection that occurs throughout your body, often in your bloodstream or on the membrane lining of your heart or skull, as a result of an immune deficiency.

Who does candidiasis affect?

Candidiasis could affect anyone because yeast naturally lives in our bodies and it’s easy to disrupt the balance of yeast and healthy bacteria. Candidiasis can affect both healthy people and those who are immunocompromised. Candidiasis most often affects:

  • People with diabetes.
  • People who are pregnant.
  • Babies and infants.
  • People who wear dentures.
  • Hospitalized individuals.
  • Catheter users.
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