Candida is the common name given to up to 150 yeasts that naturally occur in the body. In proper numbers, candida is harmless. But sometimes when an excess of candida growth occurs, it can lead to a number of uncomfortable symptoms, including itchy skin.
Causes and Symptoms of Candida Infections
Normally, the body regulates the amount of candida in its system. However, a number of factors can cause the body to be unable to do this. These factors include a weakened immune system due to illness or general health issues, diets high in sugars or in women, pregnancy and menstruation.
When candida infections spread to the skin, they can produce irritated and itchy areas. The infected area may be dry and itchy, it may be made of small, oblong circles or may be red and bumpy. If these areas do not consistently to traditional anti-itch treatments, they may be the result of candida.
Since candida lives inside the body, what you put into your body can have a significant effect on how the body can get a candida infection under control.
Avoid sugar. Sugar is fuel for these yeasts. If there is an abundance of sugar in the body from sodas, sugary foods or alcohol, candida may ingest them and grow much faster than normal. If you are in the middle of an candida infection, cut the amount of sugars you are eating.
Not only should you avoid foods that may be fueling your infection, you should also increase the types of food that help your body run smoothly. The body is typically capable of keeping candida under control on its own. So if you have an infection, give your body the kinds of food it needs to function well.
Eating lots of leafy green vegetables and lean protein can help get your body back on a healthy track. Green vegetables are low in sugar and are high in fiber, which helps your body eliminate potential toxins. Lean proteins give your body the fuels it needs without bogging it down with excess fats.
Taking multi-vitamins, apple cider vinegar and the supplement acidophilus can also go a long way toward treating a candida infection. Apple cider vinegar and acidophilus can help regulate the pH levels in your body and bring them back to levels that restrict yeast growth.
There are a few things to do directly to the skin itself to help fight a candida infection. Dandruff, the itchy, flaky scalp condition, is also caused by a yeast. Using anti-dandruff shampoo on the infected area on your skin can help ease the irritation and fight the infection.
Keeping skin clean and dry: It may be tempting to put a lot of moisturizer on the itchy skin, but this can actually fuel candida growth. Instead, clean the infected skin several times a day and make sure that you keep the area dry.
If the infection is severe enough, or does not respond to dietary and topical treatments, your doctor may prescribe a prescription-strength antifungal treatment.