Chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis familial (CMC) is a group of different rare genetic disorders which affect the immune or defense system. The genetic change or mutation that causes these conditions does not allow the body to fight off fungal infections (candidiasis) of the skin, mucous membranes, or nails. Unlike other CMCs, the familial types do not seem to involve the hormonal or endocrine system. Research has shown that CMC can be caused by both dominant traits (only need one changed gene) and recessive traits (need both genes in a pair to be changed). There are several different genes which when changed can cause CMC.
Most people with CMC will experience random outbreaks of candidiasis, which usually begin in childhood. Candidiasis occurs when a fungus called Candida albicans overgrows. The fungus causes a red rash on the skin, which may be itchy, crusty and scaly. Nails will become thickened, discolored and scaly. CMC rarely progresses to systemic candidiasis (a yeast infection involving the whole body), but the fungal infections are chronic or recur often.
Diagnosis of the fungal infection is usually confirmed by examining scrapings from affected tissue. If the infection occurs multiple times or is chronic, your doctor will take a family medical history and run tests to check for immune, autoimmune and hormone system disorders. Although some genetic testing is possible, at this time, such tests will not pick up all familial cases. Treatment may include antifungal medications, immunological treatments or a combination of these therapies. Research is ongoing, so if you have been diagnosed with CMC, talk with your doctor and specialists about the most current treatment options. Genetic counselors can help you better understand how the condition may run in your family and discuss available genetic testing. Support groups are also a good resource of information and can connect you with others living with CMC.