More commonly known as yeast infection, candidiasis or thrush is a type of mycosis or fungal infection from any species of Candida or yeast. Technically, the infection may also be referred to as moniliasis, oidiomycosis, and candidosis. Candida albicans symptoms are seen in cases where the infection is caused by Candida albicans, the most common type among all Candida species.
Yeast infection can come in various types ranging from the superficial like vaginitis and oral thrush, to the more systemic and potentially serious ailments. Life-threatening forms of candidiasis are called candidemia, and usually occur in severely immuno-compromised individuals such as organ transplant, cancer and AIDS patients. Patients requiring emergency non-trauma surgeries are also included in this category.
Superficial skin and mucosal membrane infections caused by Candida that result to discomfort and local inflammation are common in various races around the world. Although they can all be clearly associated to the incidence of the opportunistic pathogens from the Candida genus, candidiasis can be characterized in a variety of disease syndromes that usually vary as far as their causes and outcomes are concerned.
Most yeast infection cases can be treated and usually result to minimal complications like itching, discomfort, and redness. However, when left untreated, the complication may worsen and can even be life-threatening for some people. When the condition occurs in immuno-compromised people, candidiasis is a generally localized skin or mucosal membrane infection that includes thrush (oral cavity), the gastrointestinal tract, the esophagus or pharynx, the urinary bladder, or the genitalia (penis or vagina).
Although candidiasis is more commonly known to cause vaginitis or vaginal irritation, it can also happen on the male genitals. In immuno-compromised people, yeast infections can easily affect the esophagus and can potentially become systemic which will result to a more severe condition or a candidemia.
Thrush is one of the Candida albicans symptoms that are commonly manifested in infants. However, it is not generally considered to be abnormal in infants unless the condition lingers longer than two weeks. Children from three to nine years of age are most susceptible to chronic mouth yeast infections that can be seen as white patches near the mouth. This is a fairly rare condition, however.
Candidiasis symptoms may differ depending on the particular area of the body affected. When it occurs in the vulva or vagina, the infection may result to severe itching, soreness, burning, irritation, and a whitish or whitish-gray vaginal discharge that resembles cottage cheese or curd in appearance. These symptoms also occur in the more prevalent bacterial vaginosis.
According to a study published in the “Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology” in 2002, only 1/3 of women who were under self-treatment for yeast infections actually had such an infection. The rest either had bacterial vaginosis or some other mixed type of infections. Candida albicans symptoms may appear on the male genitalia in the form of patches of red sores on the foreskin or in an area proximate to the head of the penis, a burning sensation, or severe itching. Although uncommon, candidiasis of the penis may also be characterized by a white discharge.
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