Types of Yeast Infection

In this short article, you’ll discover the various types of yeast infections, their symptoms/characteristics and some few ways you can treat them. As you might already know, a yeast infection, or candidiasis is caused by the proliferation of yeast (Candida albicans) cells on any warm, moist surface of the body.

This overgrowth of yeast cells is caused by certain changes which promote thriving of yeast cells. Candidiasis is a condition that affects women, men and children alike. There are several types of yeast infection, and this classification usually depends on which part of the body is affected. Yeast infections can be broadly divided into two categories:

1. Major types of yeast infection
2. Minor types of yeast infection

1. Major types of yeast infections

A few yeast cells are normally found on certain areas of the body such as the mouth, skin and vaginal areas. Due to various factors, the yeast may multiply leading to oral, skin, vaginal or systemic yeast infections respectively. The main types of yeast infections include:

a. Oral Yeast Infections

This type is also known as oral candidiasis or thrush. It is caused by an infection of tissues of the mouth, throat or around dentures by yeast cells. Oral yeast infections are commonly seen in infants as well as adults as they age.

Symptoms

I- Bad breath.
II- Thick, white patches on the tongue and inside the mouth.
III- An unusually reddish tongue without the white coating.

b. Skin Yeast Infections

A yeast infection may occur due to proliferation of yeast cells in the warm, moist areas of the skin such as the under arms, folds of skin under the breasts or lower abdomen as well as the nail beds (the skin under the nails). Also, if a cut or opening is present on the skin, yeast may enter and cause a skin infection. Overweight individuals are more prone to skin yeast infections because of the larger surface areas of their skin.

Symptoms
I. Itchiness and soreness in the affected areas
II. The affected skin becomes red and may ooze pus
III. Diaper rash in children

c. Vaginal yeast infections
Also known as Candidal vulvovaginitis, vaginal yeast infections are very common in women, mostly between the ages of 20 and 30. It occurs as a result of infection of the vagina’s mucous membranes by Candida albicans

Symptoms

I- Itchiness, soreness and redness of vulva.
II- A thick, whitish, odorless, cottage cheese-like discharge is produced.
III- An obnoxious yeasty odor is produced.
IV- Vaginal dryness and rashes.
V- A burning sensation when urinating.
VI- Pain during intercourse.

d. Systemic Yeast infections

This is a serious complication of yeast infection and about 45% of patients with this condition die. It occurs when the yeast cells spread throughout the body through the bloodstream. As a result vital parts of the body like the liver and the urinary tract are adversely affected.

Symptoms

I- Depression and anxiety
II- White coated tongue
III- Sleepiness or lack of sleep
IV- Dizziness
V- Sore throat
VI- Eye pain
VII- Frequent and painful urination
VIII- Painful joints
IX- Anemia and irregular heartbeat

2. Minor types of yeast infections

Oral, skin, vaginal and systemic candidiasis are the most common forms of yeast affecting people. However, medical practitioners have other categories of candidiasis, most of which are derivatives of the above types. These include:

a. Penile candidiasis/Balanitis
This condition occurs when the yeast infect the glans of a man’s penis. Symptoms do not appear until later stages but it may lead to itching and soreness of the affected area.

b. Intertrigo
This is an inflammation of the skin folds as a result of a Candida infection. The yeast thrives in the warm and moist conditions found in these parts of the body. The parts of the body mainly affected include: underarms, under the breasts, the groin region, behind the ears and the spaces between the toes and fingers.

Intertrigo is most likely to occur in
I- Overweight/Obese individuals because of the large surface of their skin.
II- Diabetics because their body fluids like sweat contain sugar.
III- Children using diapers.
IV- People confined to bed rest or use artificial limbs, because of the moisture that is trapped in the spaces where they are attached.

c. Angular cheilitis/ Perleche
This condition is characterized by inflammatory lesions at the corner(s) of the mouth as a result of candidal infection

d. Congenital cutaneous candidiasis
This is a rare skin condition in new-born babies where their skin has a lot of eruptions, most containing pus. It presents itself within the first 6 days after birth. This condition occurs when a baby is born by a mother who has yeast infections in her birth canal.

e. Diaper candidiasis
Commonly, referred to as diaper rash, this condition occurs when the yeast invades the diaper region of a child because of the warm, moist conditions found there.

f. Perianal candidiasis
This condition results when the anal region of a person is attacked by yeasts, which thrive in the warm, moist conditions found there. It is characterized by redness and itchiness of the affected area.

g. Candidal paronychia
This is a condition which comes about when yeasts invade the nail beds (the skin beneath the nails). It may require the nails to be removed.

h. Erosio Interdigitalis blastomycetica
This is a candidal infection in the spaces between the fingers of a person. It is characterized by oval patches of white skin in the spaces between the fingers.

i. Chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis
This condition is characterized by chronic candidal infection in the mucosal surfaces of the body as well as the skin and nails. This condition is brought about by an immune disorder of T-cells of the body.

j. Antibiotic candidiasis (Latrogenic candidiasis)
Strictly speaking, this is not a type of yeast infection. However, medical practitioners coined this term refer to the condition in people, whereby taking certain antibiotics causes them to have yeast infections.

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