Candida albicans is the most common type of yeast infection found in the mouth, intestinal tract and vagina, and it may affect skin and other mucous membranes. If the immune system is functioning optimally, this type of yeast infection is rarely serious. However, if the immune system is not functioning properly, the candida infection can migrate to other areas of the body, including the blood and membranes around the heart or brain, causing serious candida symptoms. (1)
The Center for Young Women’s Health (CYWH) is a collaboration between the Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine and the Division of Gynecology at Boston Children’s Hospital. The Center is an educational entity that exists to provide teen girls and young women with carefully researched health information, health education programs, and conferences.
You can ask your physician for a prescription for Diflucan (fluconazole) if you'd prefer taking a single oral dose of medication over using a vaginal cream or suppository. The drug is appropriate for uncomplicated cases and had only mild to moderate side effects—including headache, dizziness, diarrhea, heartburn, and stomach pain—in clinical trials. However, oral fluconazole should not be taken if you are pregnant, as it can cause birth defects.
Fermented vegetables contain microflora that help to protect the intestines. Regular consumption of fermented foods can help improve the immune system, making the body less hospitable for candida. Begin with a half cup per day of sauerkraut, kimchi or other fermented vegetables as part of a new eating plan dedicated to bringing your body back into a healthy balance.

While your baby is healing, don't use baby wipes or any perfumed soap or bubble bath (which you should be avoiding anyway). Instead, try a soothing oatmeal bath, which can help alleviate the itch. After the bath, let her bottom air-dry before you dress her in a clean diaper. It's also important to keep your hands and your baby's hands clean after diaper changes, since yeast can spread to other areas. If you don't see any improvement in the rash within three to five days of treatment, or your baby develops a fever or seems lethargic, give your pediatrician a call.
A yeast infection commonly appears in the skin folds where it is warm and moist. Other common names are a fungal infection or Candida albicans. It usually presents as a swollen red rash with white scales and lesions. They may also appear as small white pus-filled lesions surrounded by redness. In addition to the skin folds, lesions may be found on nearby skin outside the diaper area, such as the thighs or abdomen. These are called satellite lesions, and are usually a common sign of the yeast infection.
Vaginal yeast infection is the most common yeast infection. Men can get yeast infections too, and people with diabetes or compromised immune systems may also get yeast infections. Some are not genital infections, but can affect the mouth or other parts of the body. Treatment is either a topical application or an oral medication. Learn more about yeast infections from our experts.
Candida is a fungus that occurs naturally in the vagina at low levels without issue, but in large numbers, it can lead to the uncomfortable symptoms of a yeast infection, like irritation of the vulva and vaginal opening, a burning sensation during sex or while peeing, a vulvar or vaginal rash, and a thick, lumpy discharge that resembles cottage cheese. (Keep in mind that you may not always have all of these symptoms.)
Try it: If you’re having recurrent yeast infections and you’re on hormonal birth control, talk to your doctor. They “may try to change the type of birth control to see if that helps,” Dr. Wider says. If you need to change your hormonal birth control for whatever reason and you’re prone to yeast infections, your doctor may recommend a preventative round of fluconazole just to be safe, Dr. Ross says.
When an individual experiences recurring infections in the urinary tract or vagina, candida may be at the root of the problem. It is important to realize that candida can be sexually transmitted, and partners can spread it back and forth. For women, reduce the risk by avoiding tight-fitting underwear or pantyhose and avoid hot baths during an active infection. (6)

Candida overgrowth syndrome, or COS, is the term used when candida has grown out of control in your body. Make no mistake: This is a chronic health condition. In addition to candida symptoms, individuals who have never experienced a serious yeast infection can find they have developed new sensitivities, allergies or intolerances to a variety of foods. These foods include dairy, eggs, corn and gluten.
In women, yeast infections are the second most common reason for vaginal burning, itching, and discharge. Yeast are found in the vagina of 20% to 50% of healthy women and can overgrow if the environment in the vagina changes. Antibiotic and steroid use is the most common reason for yeast overgrowth. However, pregnancy, menstruation, diabetes, and birth control pills also can contribute to getting a yeast infection. Yeast infections are more common after menopause
Most women are bothered at one time or another by vaginitis -- the itching, burning, pain, and discharge that comes with a vaginal yeast infection. Yeast infections can be caused by a number of organisms, many of which inhabit the healthy vagina. One of the most common causes of vaginitis is the fungus Candida albicans. The annoying symptoms can include itching, discharge that has a "baked bread" odor, and reddening of the labia and, in some cases, the upper thigh.
Your pediatrician will often make the diagnosis by examining your child and her symptoms. Scrapings of Candida lesions inside the mouth or elsewhere can be examined under the microscope for signs of the infection. An ultrasound or CT scan can detect candidal lesions that have developed in the brain, kidney, liver, or spleen. Cultures of the blood or mouth lesions are taken to grow the fungus in the laboratory and identify the type and sensitivity of the yeast.
A yeast infection results from an overgrowth of yeast (a type of fungus) anywhere in the body. Candidiasis is by far the most common type of yeast infection. There are more than 20 species of Candida, the most common being Candida albicans. These fungi live on all surfaces of our bodies. Under certain conditions, they can become so numerous they cause infections, particularly in warm and moist areas. Examples of such infections are vaginal yeast infections, thrush (infection of tissues of the oral cavity), skin, including diaper rash, beneath large breasts, and nailbed infections.
Watson, C. J., Grando, D., Fairley, C. K., Chondros, P., Garland, S. M., Myers, S. P., & Pirotta, M. (2013, December 6). The effects of oral garlic on vaginal Candida colony counts: A randomised placebo controlled double-blind trial [Abstract]. BJOG, 121(4), 498–506. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1471-0528.12518/abstract

Short-course vaginal therapy. Antifungal medications are available as creams, ointments, tablets and suppositories. An antifungal regimen that lasts one, three or seven days will usually clear a yeast infection. A number of medications have been shown to be effective, including butoconazole (Gynazole-1), clotrimazole (Gyne-Lotrimin), miconazole (Monistat 3), and terconazole (Terazol 3). Some of these are available by prescription only, while others are available over-the-counter. Side effects might include slight burning or irritation during application. You may need to use an alternative form of birth control. Because the suppositories and creams are oil-based, they could potentially weaken latex condoms and diaphragms.

Candidiasis can affect the skin, mucous membranes (eg, mouth, throat), fingernails, eyes, and skin folds of the neck and armpits, as well as the diaper region (eg, vagina, folds of the groin). The oral infection, called thrush, frequently occurs in infants and toddlers. If Candida infections become chronic or occur in the mouth of older children, they may be a sign of an immune deficiency, such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Very low birth weight babies are susceptible to candidiasis as well. Newborns can acquire the infection from their mothers, not only while they’re still in the uterus, but also during passage through the vagina during birth. Most of these infections are caused by Candida albicans, a yeast-like fungus, although other species of Candida are sometimes responsible. In some cases, children can develop candidiasis after being treated with antibacterials.
Remember: Do not use anti-yeast medications without seeing your health care provider, unless you’ve been diagnosed by an HCP more than once, so you’re really sure of the symptoms and signs. The medicine(s) that is prescribed for yeast infections will not cure other kinds of vaginal infections such as bacterial vaginosis or sexually transmitted infections (STIs). You would need another prescription medicine to treat the infection.

One-fourth to one-half of babies experience diaper rash. Of these, 15%-50% are due to yeast. Yeast diaper rashes tend to decrease as children get older and end when the infant stops using diapers. The air exposure afforded by underwear lessens the establishment of an infection on macerated skin surfaces. This explains the tongue-in-cheek opinion of pediatricians that a quick cure for diaper rash (contact or infectious) is successful toilet training.


Respiratory, gastrointestinal, and esophageal candidiasis require an endoscopy to diagnose.[23][49] For gastrointestinal candidiasis, it is necessary to obtain a 3–5 milliliter sample of fluid from the duodenum for fungal culture.[23] The diagnosis of gastrointestinal candidiasis is based upon the culture containing in excess of 1,000 colony-forming units per milliliter.[23]
Antibiotic treatment. Babies exposed to antibiotic treatment (even if the nursing mother is consuming antibiotics) are more prone to develop yeast infection. The reason is that consumption of antibiotic kill good bacteria (besides the disease causing bacteria) present in body that keeps the excessive yeast growth in check. In the absence of good bacteria, yeast can grow excessively.
This is because vaginal infections caused by bacteria, as well as some sexually transmitted infections (STI), may have symptoms very similar to those caused by yeast, but they require different treatments. Since yeast infection treatments have become available over the counter (OTC), many women simply visit the closest drugstore and buy an antifungal cream.
One of the most common symptoms is intense itchiness in both the vaginal opening and the vulva, so feeling like you constantly have to scratch is a solid indicator that something isn't right, Mason says. It doesn't help that fungus thrives in warm, moist environments (like your vagina), so it's important that you start treating a yeast infection right away before your symptoms get worse.
Infections of the mouth occur in about 6% of babies less than a month old.[6] About 20% of those receiving chemotherapy for cancer and 20% of those with AIDS also develop the disease.[6] About three-quarters of women have at least one yeast infection at some time during their lives.[7] Widespread disease is rare except in those who have risk factors.[16]
Vaginal yeast infection, also known as candidal vulvovaginitis and vaginal thrush, is excessive growth of yeast in the vagina that results in irritation.[5][1] The most common symptom is vaginal itching, which may be severe.[1] Other symptoms include burning with urination, white and thick vaginal discharge that typically does not smell bad, pain with sex, and redness around the vagina.[1] Symptoms often worsen just before a woman's period.[2]
Fortunately, most yeast infections are not serious. Left untreated, yeast infections will usually go away on their own, but the severe itching can be hard to tolerate for some. Fortunately, the infections respond well to over-the-counter antifungal creams or suppositories, so if you’re sure you have a yeast infection, go ahead and try an OTC yeast infection medication like Monistat or yeast arrest suppositories, which contain boric acid, a mild antiseptic. However, pregnant women should avoid boric acid.

Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

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