Candidiasis is a fungal infection of any of the Candida species, of which Candida albicans is probably being the most common. This can happen to any part of the human body.

In immunocompetent people, candida is usually only found in exposed and moist parts of the body. This would include the oral cavity (oral thrush), the vagina (vaginal candidiasis or thrush), diaper rash and folds of skin. In immunocompromised patients, candida can affect any part of the body, causing much more serious disease.

Candidiasis should be treated with antifungals. If indicated, an underlying reason should be looked for. As an example, oral candidiasis is often linked to the use of inhaled steroids in asthmatics. Patients on long term inhaled steroids should be taught to rinse their mouth after each dose of steroids. Parents with babies with diaper rash should be taught to keep their babies dry to keep the fungal growth down.

Any serious bout of candidiasis should raise the suspicion of immune compromise and lead to further investigation.

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