SIGNS, SYMPTOMS AND RISK FACTORS
Candida can affect various organ systems and cause various symptoms such as:
Thrush is the common name for a mouth infection caused by the Candida albicans fungus. It affects moist surfaces around the lips, inside the cheeks, and on the tongue and palate. Thrush is common in people with diseases such as cancer and AIDS, which suppress the immune system. It also can develop in people with normal immune systems, particularly people who have diabetes or who have long-lasting irritation from dentures.
Symptoms: Curdy, white patches inside the mouth, especially on the tongue and palate and around the lips. If you try to scrape off the whitish surface of a patch, you will usually find a red, inflamed area, which may bleed slightly. There may also be cracked, red, moist areas of skin at the corners of the mouth. Sometimes thrush patches are painful, but often they are not.
Esophagitis is candida infections of the mouth can spread to the esophagus, causing esophagitis. This infection is most common in people with AIDS and people receiving chemotherapy for cancer.
Symptoms: Swallowing difficult or painful and it may sometimes cause a type of chest pain that centers behind the sternum (breastbone).
CUTANEOUS (SKIN) CANDIDIASIS
Candida can cause skin infections, including diaper rash, in areas of skin that receive little ventilation and are unusually moist. Some common sites include the diaper area; the hands of those who routinely wear rubber gloves; the rim of skin at the base of the fingernail, especially for hands that are exposed to moisture; areas around the groin and in the crease of the buttocks; and the skin folds under large breasts in women.
Symptoms: Patches of red, moist, weepy skin, sometimes with small pustules nearby.
VAGINAL YEAST INFECTIONS
Vaginal yeast infections are not usually transmitted sexually. During a lifetime, 75 percent of all women are likely to have at least one vaginal Candida infection, and up to 45 percent have two or more. Women may be more susceptible to vaginal yeast infections if they are pregnant or have diabetes. The use of antibiotics, use of birth control pills, or frequent douching also can promote yeast infections.
Symptoms: vaginal itch and/or soreness; a thick cheese like vaginal discharge; a burning discomfort around the vaginal opening, especially if urine contacts the area; and pain or discomfort during sexual intercourse.
DEEP CANDIDIASIS (for example, Candida sepsis)
In deep candidiasis, Candida fungi contaminate the bloodstream and spread throughout the body, causing severe infection. This type of candidiasis is especially common in newborns with very low birth weights and in patients with severely depleted immune systems or severe medical problems. In these people, Candida fungi may access the bloodstream through skin catheters, tracheotomy sites, ventilation tubing, or surgical wounds. Deep candidiasis also may occur in healthy people if Candida fungi enter the blood through intravenous drug abuse, severe burns, or wounds caused by trauma.
Symptoms: - deep candidiasis may cause a wide range of symptoms, from unexplained fever to shock and multiple organ failure.