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Yeast Infections in the Skin - What Causes it?

Yeast infections seem to be a common occurrence these days and are seen in people of all ages. These infections can occur just about anywhere on the body where moisture and heat are found. Many people think that a yeast infection is something only a woman can get and only in her genital area. This is not the case. Yeast is actually living on and inside the body and can flare up at any time. Yeast infections on the skin are commonly referred to as intertrigo. There are many names for many different yeast infections on the body.

The weight factor

Approximately 65% of the people living in the USA today are overweight and obsese. Weight is a growing concern with many diseases but can also be a  contributing factor in yeast infections in the folds of the skin. Since yeast grows in warm, moist areas in humans, extra weight provides the ideal home for yeast to grow.  The areas between the folds of extra skin often become very sweaty and yeast overgrowth may occur causing an inflamed, itchy area to appear on the body. These areas are very common on the abdomen and stomach areas as that is where most extra weight seems to be carried.

Diabetes and other Causes

Diabetes, combined with obesity makes a person much more susceptible to a yeast infection on the skin. The infections will usually be inflamed areas and may have blisters. They will show up under the arms, breasts and where there is extra weight as well as heat and moisture build-up. Friction, which is known to cause chaffing of the skin, may also cause a yeast infection to occur.

Tight clothes can cause a vaginal yeast infection but may also be responsible for other causes of skin yeast infections. Firstly, tight clothes and synthetic materials affect the oxygen supply to the skin. Skin needs to be able to breathe in order to keep bacteria from building up. Material which does not allow the body to breath may cause excessive sweating, especially in those who are overweight. Sweating is the body's way of cooling off (when there is too much heat) and too much heat is what yeast bacteria need to grow. If an outfit is tight enough, it may even cause chaffing to occur under the arms, or in the legs, causing small raw wound areas in which bacteria from yeast can enter. Wearing loose, comfortable clothes made of natural material such as cotton, as well as maintaining a healthy body weight, will decrease the likelihood of a yeast infection of the skin.

Jock itch, athlete's foot and nail fungus are other examples of fungal infections.

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