Fungal Infections of the Skin
How Is Ringworm Treated?
Treatment for ringworm usually consists of antifungal medications that are applied to the skin. Many ringworm infections respond well to over-the-counter creams, including:
- Micatin, Monistat-Derm
- Lotrimin, Mycelex
Prescription topical or oral drugs can be prescribed for more severe cases of ringworm.
Yeast infections of the skin are called cutaneous candidiasis and are caused by yeast-like fungi called candida. They occur when yeast on the skin grows more actively and causes a red, scaling, itchy rash on the skin. Yeast infections are not contagious.
Yeast infections may affect nearly any skin surface on the body, but are most likely to occur in warm, moist, creased areas including the armpits and the groin. Candida infection is especially common among people who are obese or who have diabetes. People taking antibiotics are also at risk.
Candida can cause diaper rash in infants and can cause infections of the nail. Oral thrush is a form of candida infection that is found in the mouth. Candida also causes vaginal yeast infections.
What Are the Symptoms of a Yeast Infection?
Signs of yeast infection in skin folds include:
- Patches that ooze clear fluid
- Pimple-like bumps
- Itching or burning
Signs of yeast infection in the nail beds include:
- White or yellow nail that separates from the nail bed
Signs of thrush (yeast infection of the mouth) include:
- White patches on tongue and inside of the cheeks
Signs of vaginal yeast infection include:
- White or yellow discharge from the vagina
- Redness in the external area of the vagina
How Are Yeast Infections Diagnosed?
In diagnosing a yeast infection, your doctor will need to take a medical history and do a physical exam. Your doctor may scrape the skin to confirm the diagnosis under a microscope.
How Are Yeast Infections Treated?
Yeast infection treatment depends on the specific kind of infection that is being treated. Skin yeast infections are highly treatable with medicated creams. Medicated suppositories may be used to treat yeast infections in the vagina. Thrush may be treated with a medicated mouthwash or lozenges that dissolve in the mouth. Severe infections or infections in someone with a compromised immune system may be treated with oral anti-yeast medications.