Candida Skin Infection (Adult) 

Candida is a type of yeast. It grows naturally on the skin and in the mouth. If it grows out of control, it can cause an infection. Candida can cause infections in the genital area, skin folds, in the mouth, and under the breasts. Anyone can get this infection. It is more common in a person with a weak immune system, such as from diabetes, HIV, or cancer. It’s also more common in someone who has been on antibiotic therapy. And it’s more common in people who are overweight or who have incontinence. Wearing tight-fitting clothing and taking part in activities with lots of skin-to-skin contact can also put you at risk.

Candida causes the skin to become bright red and inflamed. The border of the infected part of the skin is often raised. The infection causes pain and itching. Sometimes the skin peels and bleeds. In the mouth, candida is called thrush, and may cause white thickened areas.

A Candida rash is most often treated with an antifungal cream, gel, or powder. . The rash will clear a few days after starting the medicine. Infections that don’t go away may need a prescription medicine. In rare cases, a bacterial infection can also occur.

Home care

Your healthcare provider will advise using an antifungal cream, powder, or gel for the rash. He or she may also prescribe a medicine for the itch. Follow all instructions for using these medicines.

General care

  • Keep your skin clean by washing the area twice a day.

  • Use the medicine as directed until your rash is gone. Once the skin has healed, keep it dry to prevent another infection. 

  • If you are overweight, talk with your healthcare provider about a plan to lose extra weight.

  • Don't wear tight-fitting clothes.

Follow-up care

Follow up with your healthcare provider, or as advised. Your rash will clear in 7 to 14 days. Call your provider if the rash is not gone after 14 days.

When to get medical advice

Call your healthcare provider right away if any of these occur:

  • Pain or redness that gets worse or spreads

  • Fluid coming from the skin

  • Yellow crusts on the skin

  • Fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, or as directed by your provider

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