Yeast Infection on Face
What is a yeast infection on the face?
A yeast infection on your face is a type of skin infection called cutaneous candidiasis. Candidiasis is a fungal infection caused by a yeast called Candida. Yeast is a type of fungus.
Your skin has many kinds of yeast that live on it, including Candida. In healthy people, this usually doesn’t cause any problems. But when there’s an overgrowth of Candida, it can dig underneath the surface of your skin. This can cause a rash or skin infection. Cutaneous candidiasis can happen almost anywhere on the surface of your skin, including your face.
A yeast infection on your lips is a type of oral candidiasis. Oral candidiasis is also called oral thrush. Oral thrush occurs when there’s an overgrowth of Candida in your mouth. It can also affect your lips.
Symptoms and Causes
What are the symptoms of a yeast infection on your face?
A yeast infection on your face may appear as a red rash. The rash may have dry, scaly patches. The patches may crust over and ooze pus. The rash may look like acne on your face, with pimples or small bumps appearing around it. The rash may also be itchy, painful or burning.
If the rash is around your mouth or on your lips, you may have oral thrush. Other symptoms of oral thrush or yeast infection on your lips include:
- White patches on your lips.
- Redness or soreness on the corners of your mouth.
- Cracked, dry skin on the corners of your mouth.
What causes yeast infection on your face?
A yeast called Candida causes yeast infections on your face. Candida grows and thrives in moist, warm environments. Conditions that may allow Candida to grow on your face include:
- Wearing tight face masks that trap moisture.
- Poor hygiene.
- Hot, humid weather.
- Excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis).
- Taking antibiotics. Antibiotics kill the good bacteria that normally live in your body.
- Using harsh facial products.
Yeast infections are more common in people who have weakened immune systems. Conditions that can weaken your immune system and cause a yeast infection on your face or lips include:
- Diseases such as cancer, HIV/AIDs or diabetes.
- Poor-fitting dentures.
- Excessive lip licking.
- Thumb sucking.
- Medications that suppress your immune system.
Diagnosis and Tests
How is a yeast infection on your face diagnosed?
Your healthcare provider can diagnose a yeast infection on your face or lips through a physical examination. They will ask you about your symptoms and look at your face, lips and mouth. They may be able to diagnose a yeast infection by looking at the skin on your face.
Your healthcare provider may want to get a sample of the rash for testing. They may gently scrape some of the skin from the infected area. A pathologist will look at the sample under a microscope to determine the type of fungus that’s causing the infection.
Management and Treatment
How is a yeast infection on the face treated?
Treatment for a yeast infection on your face may include an antifungal medication. But the skin on your face can be sensitive, so you should work with your healthcare provider to treat your skin with care. You may experience a reaction to a medication on your face that you wouldn’t experience elsewhere on your body.
Your healthcare provider may recommend an antifungal cream, lotion or ointment. You can buy many antifungal medications over the counter. Your healthcare provider may need to prescribe you a stronger antifungal medication if the infection doesn’t go away. Topical antifungal medications include:
In some cases, your healthcare provider may recommend an antifungal medication that you take by mouth. This includes medications such as fluconazole. They may also recommend using a steroid cream as well to help with your symptoms.
Treatment for a yeast infection on your lips may include an antifungal medication as well. Your healthcare provider may prescribe you an antifungal medication. Prescription options include nystatin or fluconazole.
You may be able to get rid of a yeast infection on your face or lips with home treatment options. Researchers haven’t studied home remedies as much as FDA-approved antifungal medications. But scientists are doing some research on the use of oils and other topical home treatments. You should ask your healthcare provider before trying any home remedies. Home treatment options may include:
- Coconut oil.
- Tea tree oil.
- Ozonated olive oil.
- Diluted apple cider vinegar.
Make sure to keep your face clean and dry while treating your yeast infection. Keeping the area clean and dry can also help prevent future infections.
How can I reduce the risk of a yeast infection on my face?
You can prevent a yeast infection on your face by keeping the area clean and dry. Other steps you can take to prevent a yeast infection on your face or lips include:
- Practice good hygiene.
- Wash your face every day.
- Don’t use harsh products.
- Use a gentle cleanser on your face.
- Use disposable face masks.
- Clean cloth face masks frequently.
Outlook / Prognosis
What can I expect if I have a yeast infection on my face or lips?
You may be able to cure a yeast infection on your face or lips at home with over-the-counter antifungal medication. But if the infection doesn’t go away with treatment within a couple of weeks, call your healthcare provider. You may need a prescription medication option.
How long does a yeast infection on my face or lips last?
A yeast infection on your face or lips may take some time to clear up. After you start antifungal treatment, the infection should start to go away within a week or two. But yeast infections can be difficult to treat. If your symptoms linger, call your healthcare provider.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can babies get yeast infections on their faces?
If your baby has red, patchy areas on their face, they may have a type of yeast infection called cradle cap (seborrheic dermatitis). Cradle cap is a common skin condition that affects infants. Other symptoms of cradle cap include itching, burning and raised bumps on their skin. But many different conditions can cause rashes on your baby’s face. Talk to your child’s healthcare provider to receive a proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
A yeast infection on your face or lips can be itchy and uncomfortable. But it’s generally treatable with an antifungal medication. You can prevent yeast infections on your face by keeping the area clean and dry. If you have symptoms of a yeast infection on your face or lips, call your healthcare provider. They’ll be able to correctly diagnose your condition.
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