Bacterial Skin Infections are very common skin problems. Human skin acts as a good barrier against bacteria but many bacteria can easily come in contact with the skin as well as stay on the skin. This condition makes skin vulnerable for bacterial infections. Bacterial Skin Infections usually start with small bumps or redness on the skin and slowly increase over the time. Some bacterial skin infections are easily treatable and curable while some bacterial skin infections are harmful causing life threatening diseases.
Many types of bacteria can infect the skin but the most common types are Staphylococcus and Streptococcus. Dermatologist is a skillful skin specialist who treats and cures complex bacterial skin infections.
Types of Bacterial Skin Infections
Important types of bacterial skin infections include:
Cellulitis is a common and sometimes painful bacterial skin infection. It mostly affects the skin of lower legs. Cellulitis is usually occurring on the surface of skin but it can also affect the tissues underneath. The infection can spread to lymph nodes and bloodstream. Hence timely treatment is necessary otherwise it can cause life threatening conditions.
Impetigo is a common and highly contagious bacterial skin infection. It mostly affects young children and infants. Most impetigo is caused by Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. It mainly affects skin of face, arms and legs. The identification mark of impetigo is a honey-colored crust. The sores usually occur around the nose and mouth but can be spread to other body parts through skin-to-skin contact as well as sharing clothing and towels with infected person.
• Boil or Furuncles
Boil is also known as Furuncles. Boils are bacterial infections of hair follicles. The infected hair follicle can be on any part of body and not restricted to scalp only. Furuncles are most commonly found on the face and neck. The furuncle looks like a red, raised bump on the skin. Boils is caused by Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. As the infection worsens, the boil can become hard and painful.
Leprosy is also known as Hansen’s disease. It is a chronic, progressive bacterial infection caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium leprae. It primarily affects the nerves of the extremities, the skin, the lining of the nose and the upper respiratory tract. This is one of the oldest skin diseases. Leprosy causes skin ulcers, nerve damage and muscle weakness. If it is not treated then it can cause severe disfigurement and significant disability. Leprosy is not highly contagious. However a continuous and close contact with an infected person for a longer time period can causes infection of leprosy.
Symptoms of Bacterial Skin Infections
Symptoms of bacterial skin infection are mainly depending on the types of infection. Common bacterial skin infections include:
• Pain and tenderness in the affected area
• Redness of skin
• Skin sore or rash growing quickly
• Muscle weakness
• Skin lesions
• Tight, glossy or swollen skin
• Burning sensation or irritation of skin
• An abscess with pus
• Blisters on the skin
Symptoms of serious bacterial skin infections are:
• Feeling ill
Causes of Bacterial Skin Infections
• Bacterial skin infections are mainly caused due to Staphylococcus and Streptococcus
• Infection easily starts in skin injuries such as cuts, bug bites and surgical wounds.
Risk Factors of Bacterial Skin Infections:
• Diabetic people are always at higher risk for bacterial skin infection diseases due to poor blood flow and high sugar level in the blood.
• Older age people due to weaker immune system.
• People who have human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), AIDS or other immune disorders like hepatitis.
• People who are undergoing chemotherapy or treatment with other drugs suppressing the immune system.
• Poor personal hygiene.
• Humid weather where bacteria grows rapidly.
• Skin to skin contact with infected person or using products of infected persons such as razor, towel, soaps, clothing and others.
Diagnosis of Bacterial Skin Infections
• Physical examination is the first step used to diagnose bacterial skin infections.
• If physical examination failed to diagnose skin problem then skin biopsy is used to determine type of skin infection. In skin biopsy method small piece of infected skin is removed and tested under microscope for precise diagnosis of skin infection.
• Doctor can also perform a lepromin skin test to determine the form of leprosy.
Treatment of Bacterial Skin Infection
The treatment of bacterial skin infection is primarily depending on the types of skin infections. Common treatment methods are:
Dermatologist prescribes oral or topical antibiotics to remove bacterial skin infection. In case of pain, doctor can also prescribe pain relievers. Antibiotics are also given through injection.
• Anti-bacterial creams
In most of the skin infection cases, doctor prescribes anti-bacterial skin creams or ointments. Topical creams and ointment are used to reduce itching and discomfort.
Doctor performs surgery if antibiotics medicines and skin creams failed to relive bacterial skin infections. In surgery, doctor opens the pus filled blisters and performs dressing to remove dead tissues. Doctor chooses surgical option in case of large infected area and severe skin infection.
Prevention of Bacterial Skin Infections
Many bacterial skin infection diseases are preventable. Some important preventive tips are:
• Keeping the skin undamaged and clean.
• Washing and cleaning skin cut or injury with disinfectant
• Covering skin injury with a sterile bandage.
• Maintaining proper personal hygiene
• Eating healthy diet for stronger immune system
• Avoiding direct contact with infected person
• Avoiding use of infected person’s products like towels, cloths and other.
• Many people simply ignore skin infection or prefer home remedies but these factors can make skin infection complicated over the time. Patients become nervous due to skin infections rather they should consult the dermatologist to get rid of skin infection problems. Bacterial skin infections are easily preventable, treatable and curable with proper medical treatments. Today various advanced medicines are available to cure bacterial skin infections. In society, there is a misunderstanding or blind belief about skin diseases, due to such condition, many times patient suffering from skin infection avoid social gatherings or functions. Hence a proper awareness about skin diseases is required.