Cutaneous candidiasis infection is caused by the yeast Candida albicans
or other Candida
species. Yeasts are unicellular fungi that typically reproduce by budding, a process that entails a progeny pinching off of the mother cell. C albicans
, the principal infectious agent in human infection, is an oval yeast 2-6 µm in diameter. C albicans
(as well as most medically significant fungi) has the ability to exist in both hyphal and yeast forms (termed dimorphism). If pinched cells do not separate, a chain of cells is produced and is termed pseudohyphae. candidal infection of the skin
has increased in prevalence in recent years, principally because of the increased numbers of patients who are immunocompromised.