Cutaneous Candidiasis: Causes, Risk Factors, Signs, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

This condition is usually not a cause for concern since it can be treated with lifestyle modifications and more hygienic care.

It is a fungal infection of the skin caused by the candida fungus. Usually, humans have many bacteria and fungi present on their skin. However, the excessive presence of candida fungus produces an infection, which is candidiasis.

People with weak / compromised immune systems may have a serious situation on their hands with this infection or any other infection.

Cutaneous candidiasis is usually not contagious, but if a person with a weak immune system comes in contact with the candida infection, the risk of having or infecting this infection increases.

Frequent candida infections can also indicate an underlying immunodeficiency condition, such as HIV.


Candida albicans is the common cause of candidiasis. However, other types of fungi can also cause this condition.

Candida albicans also cause oral thrush and vaginal candidiasis.


Risk factor’s

  • Wear tight clothing.
  • Warm/humid climate
  • Lack of good hygiene
  • Take certain medications, such as antibiotics, that kill the normal flora.
  • Do not wear clean or changing underwear.
  • The immune system is compromised by medical conditions, such as diabetes, or by taking medications such as steroids.
  • Newborns/babies tend to have candidiasis in the groin and buttocks, where the diaper creates an environment
  • Being overweight also increases the risk of candidiasis since it provides an ideal environment for the fungus between the skin folds.

Signs and symptoms

  • Candidiasis can occur anywhere in the body, but it commonly occurs in regions where the skin is present in folds, such as armpits, between the fingers, groin, and under the breasts.
  • The patient experiences discomfort and itching when rashes are present.
  • The eruptions of candidiasis are red or white.
  • Candidiasis that occurs between the fingers may be white and look wet. The skin tends to peel, and the patient experiences pain and irritation in that region.
  • The rashes can also be red, causing itching with the patient feeling hot.
  • The patient also develops cracks, bumps, and blisters and experiences pain in severe cases.


A physical examination can diagnose the characteristics of the rash, the location of the inflammation, and the appearance of the skin. You can take a swab from the infected region and send it to tests to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment of cutaneous candidiasis

It is essential to maintain good hygiene to treat and prevent candidiasis by taking daily baths and keeping the skin dry.

Increasing the sugar level in the blood can also cause candida infections, so it is vital to maintain adequate blood sugar levels by following a healthy diet and reducing the intake of sugar in food.

Powdered antifungals or creams containing miconazole, clotrimazole, etc., are prescribed for topical application to treat and prevent the further spread of candida infection. Oral antifungal medications may also be prescribed.

Losing excess weight is also essential to prevent new infections.


  • Location: it is most frequently found in intertriginous areas, such as the armpits, the groin, the body folds, the creases of the buttocks, the digital web spaces, and the glans of the penis, as well as under the breasts.
  • Appearance: in people with light skin tones; the central area from bright red to red mates with peripheral red vesicles (satellite lesions); In people with dark skin tones: darker than the surrounding skin, the color can vary from dark red to purple, blue-purple, violet or eggplant.
  • Distribution: consolidated or patched.
  • Areas: diffusers of shape diffusers; small round erythematous papules, pustules, plaques, and satellite lesions.
  • Thickness: partial depth; superficial epidermal infection.
  • Bed: pink wound or fleshy red; crusts or scales associated with white exudate.
  • Margins: diffuse and irregular edges; satellite lesions (outside the leading edge of candidiasis) are the most important diagnostic feature.
  • Key diagnostic indicator: itching and burning.


  • The first strategy is to eliminate moisture.
  • Place the absorbent fabric in the folds of the skin.
  • Teach the patient and caregiver meticulous skincare.
  • Change clothes and dresses as often as necessary to stay dry.
  • Minimize friction and shear on the skin when cleaning, and use a pH-based cleaner that respects the skin. Cleaners without rinsing are handy.
  • Dry the skin well, especially in the folds of the skin.
  • At the first sign of redness, itching, or discomfort, apply an over-the-counter (OTC) antifungal or prescription antifungal powder or powder/silver cream to the area daily according to package instructions.
Examples include:
  • Nystatin.
  • Clotrimazol (Lotrimin, OTC).
  • Miconazol (Micatin, OTC).
  • Econazole (Spectazol).
  • Ketoconazole (Nizoral).
  • Oxiconazole (Oxistat).