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Skin Yeast Infection
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
What do I need to know about a skin yeast infection?
Yeast is normally present on the skin. Infection happens when you have too much yeast, or when it gets into a cut on your skin. Certain types of mold and fungus can cause a yeast infection. A skin yeast infection can appear anywhere on your skin or nail beds. Skin yeast infections are usually found on warm, moist parts of the body. Examples include between skin folds or under the breasts.
What increases my risk for a skin yeast infection?
- Elderly age, especially as skin gets thinner and tears more easily
- Obesity that causes skin folds where moisture can collect
- Diapers that are not changed regularly and allow moisture to sit on your baby's skin
- Diabetes, especially if it is not controlled
- Bedrest that allows moisture to collect on your skin
- Immune system problems
- Certain medicines, including antibiotics or medicines that weaken your immune system
- Pregnancy or hormone changes
- Moisture left on your feet or between your toes after you bathe, or that builds up under a ring you wear
What are the signs and symptoms of a skin yeast infection?
Signs and symptoms will depend on the type of yeast causing the infection, and where the infection is located.
- Red, scaly skin
- Changes in skin color, especially a beefy red color
- Itching, dry skin
- Painful, cracking skin at the corners of your mouth
- Thick, discolored, chipping nails
- Skin lesions that may be red or purple and round
- Pus bumps
How is a skin yeast infection diagnosed and treated?
Your healthcare provider may know you have a skin yeast infection from your signs and symptoms. He may take a sample of your skin to check for fungus. He may also look at areas of your skin under ultraviolet light to show which type of yeast infection you have. You may be given an antifungal cream or ointment to treat the infection. You may be given antifungal medicine as a pill if your infection is severe.
How do I care for the skin near the infection?
You may only have discolored patches of skin, or areas that are dry and flaking. Care for these skin problems as directed by your healthcare provider. If you have painful skin or an open sore, you will need to protect the skin and prevent damage. You will also need to keep the skin dry as much as possible. Ask your healthcare provider how to care for your skin while the infection clears. The following are general guidelines for caring for painful or open skin:
- Keep the skin clean. Ask your healthcare provider if you should wash with mild soap and water. Do not use soap that contains alcohol. Alcohol can dry and irritate the skin and make symptoms worse. Your baby's healthcare provider may tell you to use diaper cream or ointment when you change his diaper. This will protect the skin and prevent moisture from collecting.
- Keep the skin dry. Pat the area dry with a towel. Do not rub, because this may irritate the skin. If you have a skin yeast infection between skin folds, lift the top part gently and hold it while you dry between your skin folds. Always dry your feet completely after you swim or bathe, including between your toes. Dry your skin if you are sweating from exercise or exposure to heat. Use a clean towel each time to prevent spreading or continuing the infection.
- Keep the skin protected. Ask your healthcare provider if you should cover the area with a bandage or leave it open. Check your skin each day to make sure you do not have new or worsening problems. You may need to have someone check the skin if you cannot see the area easily.
What can I do to prevent a skin yeast infection?
- Do not share clothing or towels
- Wear shower shoes if you need to use a public shower
- Dry your feet completely after you bathe, and apply antifungal powder or cream as directed
- Put on socks before you get dressed so you do not spread fungus from your feet
- Wear light clothing that allows air to get to your skin
- Manage your weight to prevent skin folds where yeast can collect
- Manage diabetes
- Change your baby's diaper often, and keep the area clean and dry as much as possible
- Use a diaper cream or ointment that contains zinc oxide or dimethicone on your baby's diaper area as directed
When should I seek immediate care?
- You have signs of infection, such as pus, warmth or red streaks coming from the wound, or a fever.
When should I contact my healthcare provider?
- Your symptoms worsen or do not get better within 7 to 10 days.
- You have new or returning signs of a skin yeast infection after treatment.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Care AgreementYou have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.
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