Candidiasis or yeast infection is a fungal infection of any of the fungi in the Candida family. It usually appears as a brownish-grey film on moist surfaces of the body, such as the tongue or the vagina, but its appearance depends on where the infection is located. It is usually mild and easily treated, but can become systemic and life threatening, particularly in immunocompromised patients.
Candida fungi are common on the skin and in the environment. In a healthy individual, both the immune system and other competing microorganisms keep the fungi in check. However, habits and conditions that affect either the immune system or the balance of bacteria in the body can lead to an outbreak. Known risk factors are the use of vaginal douches, diabetes mellitus, a high carbohydrate diet, the pill and use of antibiotics.