Candida is a fungal infection caused from an overgrowth of Candida yeast. In most cases, the strain known as Candida albicans is responsible.
Generally, there are two categories of candida symptoms: overall and location-specific. The candida symptoms list includes:2,3,4,5,6,7
- Skin rash
- White patches on the tongue, throat, inner cheeks or mouth
- Loss of taste
- Difficulty eating or swallowing
- Redness or soreness in the mouth
- Pain while urinating
- Yeast infection
- Vaginal/penile itching, soreness or discharge
- Change in stool consistency
- Infected hair follicles that resemble pimples
- Foul body odour or breath
- Constipation and/or diarrhea
Candida overgrowth can appear on the surface of the skin as an itchy rash with a concentrated outbreak of red bumps. There’s an increased risk of developing candida on body parts with folded or skin such as armpits, groin and belly.3
You cannot catch a candida rash from someone else. The rash is the result of candida overgrowth in a person’s gut, which isn’t contagious.
To minimize the discomfort of these candida symptoms, skin should be kept clean and dry. However, if you scratch your rash, then touch another part of your (e.g. mouth, groin, soles of the feet), you may develop a secondary rash.
No matter where on the skin candida appears, following a candida diet may help reduce pain and inflammation.
Candida Rash on Face
A candida rash on the face often appears as an extreme breakout, often concentrated around the chin or forehead. The small red lesions are itchy and may become increasingly inflamed with spikes in candida growth.
To help ease a candida face rash, wash your face with mild cleanser three times a day. Be careful to not scrub the skin. Always pat the skin dry.
Coconut oil has antimicrobial properties that may also help soothe the skin and reduce the rash.1 Compared to some commercial moisturizers, coconut oil is a natural solution that helps prevent skin from becoming too dry while you combat candida.
Candida Behind Ears
Candida can develop behind, and sometimes inside, the ears causing itchiness. Assessing candida inside the ear requires specialized equipment. Treatment should be guided by a medical professional to prevent damage to the inner ear.
Candida behind the ears may lead to ‘candida scalp’. Symptoms include itchy, dry, flaky skin that may look like dandruff. However, candida over growth symptoms may also include red lesions on the scalp that can be sensitive to touch.
Candida rash often develops in the armpit because it’s a warm, moist area that can be difficult to keep dry.3 Wearing tight or synthetic clothing may worsen the rash.
By most accounts, using a topical antifungal cream is the best way to treat underarm candida rash. Start with an over-the-counter product. If there’s no relief within 2-3 weeks, seek medical attention.
Candida Under Breast
Developing a candida rash under breasts is uncomfortable and, in many cases, difficult to treat.
Whenever possible, suffers should refrain from wearing a bra. Topical antifungal creams found at the pharmacy may not be potent enough to kill the microbes quickly. Any treatment plan should be discussed with a healthcare professional.
Candida Yeast Infection
Candida overgrowth in the vagina is known as candida vaginitis or a yeast infection. Overgrowth is common in women, and may be caused by oral contraceptives, diabetes, pregnancy, a weakened immune system or recently taking antibiotics. Common candida yeast infection symptoms include:4
- Vaginal irritation and itching
- White, viscous discharge
- Inflammation around the labia
- Discomfort during sex
- Burning sensation while urinating
While most yeast infections may be treated with over the counter antifungal medications, home remedies for yeast infections may provide relief from symptoms and, if used in moderation, are unlikely to cause harm.
The most popular home remedy is plain yogurt. The active probiotics in unsweetened, plain yogurt have been shown to help regulate gut microflora. Taking a concentrated probiotic supplement may help quickly balance out yeast levels.
Another home remedy is adding 1 cup of apple cider vinegar to warm bath water that is only deep enough to reach the hip bones. Soak for 20 minutes then pat the vaginal area dry with a clean towel. Many report daily baths for a week ease irritation and inflammation.
Candida in Stool
Candida in stool is usually identifiable by its appearance. Candida overgrowth typically makes stools stringy with mucous. The stool will usually be a very light brown color and contain a large number of undigested pieces of food.
It should be noted that rectal candida doesn’t necessarily coincide with candida in stool. The primary rectal candida symptoms include:
- Itchy rectum
- Mucus discharge
The most reliable way to treat rectal candida is with prescription antifungal medication. To gain some relief from symptoms:
- Wear loose clothing
- Don’t scratch the infected area
- Sit a warm bath with ¼ cup baking soda then dry the area thoroughly
While C. albicans normally lives in the mouth and digestive tract, dietary, environmental or hormonal changes can cause an increase in yeast growth. Candida esophagitis is often called ‘thrush’ and occurs in the esophagus or mouth. Symptoms include:5
- Dry mouth
- Discomfort when eating or swallowing
- Redness or soreness in the mouth
- Gastrointestinal bleeding
- Unintended weight loss
Candida in throat often coincides with candida esophagitis. Symptoms are similar to thrush, but may also cause a sensation that something is stuck at the back of the throat.
Thrush candida symptoms can also manifest in the mouth. As one of the most notable candida symptoms, tongue discoloration often occurs. Tongues will appear to have a creamy white coating, while inner cheeks and the roof of the mouth may produce whitish-red lesions.5
Sufferers of candida in mouth report losing the sense of taste and a cottony feeling in their mouth.5 If the infection is in a sinus, candida symptoms can include loss of sense of smell.
Oral candida symptoms can be eased naturally by a saltwater gargle. Dissolve 1/8 tsp. of table salt in 6-8 ounces of warm water to make the gargle.
Candida Body Odor
If there’s a yeasty smell under your arms, in the groin area, or around your feet, it may be a symptom of infection known as ‘candida body odor’.
Other odorous signs of candida are yeasty breath and strong-smelling digestive gas. These are the result of the Candida microorganism mixing with other bacteria in warm, moist parts of the body.
Washing with mild soap and warm water twice a day and after heavy perspiration can help keep this symptom under control.
Can Candida Cause Hair Loss?
Currently, there is no reliable research to show that candida causes hair loss. While infection of hair follicles has the potential to lead to temporary or permanent hair loss, no candida hair loss symptoms have been noted by health authorities.
Intestinal Candida Symptoms
Symptoms of Candida overgrowth in stomach and intestines may resemble those of a systemic infection and include:
- Constipation and/or diarrhea
A popular way to gain some immediate relief of intestinal yeast infection symptoms is to do a candida cleanse. To combat Candida albicans overgrowth and reduce gut yeast infection symptoms try a 3-5-day cleanse. This involves:
- Not eating any meat, dairy, glutinous grains, fruit, or starchy vegetables
- Eating plenty of non-starchy vegetables, healthy oils, and non-glutinous grains
- Drinking 10-12 glasses of water each day
For the longer terms, following a candida diet, can ease symptoms and promote candida die off.
Sepsis is the clinical term for infection in the blood. While it’s rare for candida in the intestines or other body parts to infect the blood of otherwise healthy people, the risk increases for those with comprised immune systems or those receiving invasive care in a hospital.2,6
Research shows that 10-15% of sepsis developed in healthcare setting comes from the Candida genus of fungi.2 Symptoms of candida in blood include:
- Persistent fever and chills
- Coughing or difficulty breathing (symptoms of candida in lungs, a potential by-product of sepsis)
- Low urine output and renal failure
Candida sepsis is life-threatening and must be treated with a complex antifungal regimen under professional care.
Candida Symptoms in Men
In general, the symptoms of candida are the same in men and women – except in parts of the body exclusive to each gender. Men may develop candida in the penis and prostate.
Candida penile symptoms include itchiness, red sores, and a creamy white mucous on skin folds. These are similar symptoms to some sexually transmitted infections so professional diagnosis is critical before attempting any home remedies.
Left untreated, there’s a risk that any penile or prostate infection may cause fertility issues.
There are anecdotal reports that say candida overgrowth symptoms in men tend to be more concentrated to the digestive tract and skin.
Candida Symptoms in Women
The most gender-specific symptom of a candida infection is vaginal itching, inflammation and/or discharge.
Anecdotal reports also note women having more pronounced symptoms of Candida albicans in the gut. It’s unknown if this is a case of greater severity or simply increased vocalization of candidiasis symptoms.
Scientific Research Referenced in this Article
- Ogbolu, D.O., Oni, A.A., Daini, O.A., Oloko, A.P. (2007). In vitro antimicrobial properties of coconut oil on Candida species in Ibadan, Nigeria. Journal of Medicinal Food. 10(2).384-7. DOI https://doi.org/10.1089/jmf.2006.1209
- Delaloye, J., & Calandra, T. (2014). Invasive candidiasis as a cause of sepsis in the critically ill patient. 5(1). 161–169. http://doi.org/10.4161/viru.26187
- S. National Library of Medicine: Medline Plus. (2016, November 27). Candida infection of the skin. Retrieved September 12, 2017 from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000880.htm
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017, August 4). Vaginal candidiasis. Retrieved September 12, 2017 – View Reference
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017, August 4). Candidainfections of the mouth, throat, and esophagus. Retrieved September 12, 2017 – View Reference
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017, August 4). Invasive Candidiasis. Retrieved September 12, 2017 – View Reference
- Mathieson, R., & Dutta, S. K. (1983). Candida esophagitis. Digestive Diseases and Sciences, 28(4), 365-370. doi:1007/bf01324956