Candidiasis is a type of fungal infection caused by yeast like fungus called candida. There are several types of candida that can cause infection in human beings, but Candida albicans is the most common type. Candida can cause infection in healthy people and people with a weak immune system.
Primary candida infection: In most healthy people, superficial infections such as vaginal yeast infection, oral thrush, and skin and diaper rash can be eliminated with a short treatment (sometimes a single dose) of antifungal medication. Many of these infections can be treated with over-the counter-medications. Most infections clear within 1-2 weeks of treatment. Nail bed infection needs long term treatment for cure. People with nail bed infection are usually prescribed oral anti-fungal drugs.
Recurrent candidiasis: Recurrent candidiasis may be a problem in people with some other underlying problem (such as cancer, AIDS, diabetes, chemotherapy), which weakens the immune system. In these people, Candida infections can be difficult to treat and the infection can spread rapidly to the blood and other internal organs. Mild or superficial infection may be treated with medications prescribed by the doctor at home, but more serious infections may need IV medications (such as amphotericin) given at the hospital. Even with appropriate and prompt treatment, the infection can progress to cause complications or death.
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