• Shruti GOCHHWAL

10 Types of Skin Infections

Skin infections are caused by any invading microorganisms and cause complications to the immune system that causes visual symptoms of the surface of the skin. Most infections are caused by pathogens like bacteria, viruses, and fungi- they are usually harmless on the surface of the skin but on internally entering, it can be extremely harmful.

Types of Skin Infections

The most common skin infections include:

  1. Cellulitis

  2. Impetigo

  3. Necrotizing Fasciitis

  4. Folliculitis

  5. Genital Herpes

  6. Chickenpox

  7. Warm warts

  8. Athletes foot

  9. Staph infection

  10. Leprosy

Cellulitis

A condition that causes and triggers skin redness, swelling, pain, and tenderness due to some bacterial infection. It produces a lot of heat on your skin surface and spreads rapidly.

The skin physically appears to be bumpy, uneven, and rough that usually occurs in the arms and legs. Other complications include:

  1. Confusion

  2. Increased heartbeat

  3. Fever

  4. Blood poisoning and organ infection in severe cases.

Impetigo

A bacterial infection that may internally enter the skin but sometimes can also be caused without entering. Crusty sores are developed mainly on the face and hands but also occur in other body parts.

Although everyone can get this condition, male children are most prone to it, especially during the hot summer seasons.

Necrotizing Fasciitis

This serious condition is also known as flesh-eating bacteria and is caused by different types of bacteria.

The infection spreads, penetrates, and damages the elastic superficial fascia which is the deepest layer of skin. As a result, a small lesion that may be mistaken for a  bug bite or boil commonly appears in areas around the legs and feet.

Other complications include:

  1. Toxicity

  2. High fever

  3. Disorientation of the body

  4. Exhaustion and tiredness

  5. Damage of important skin tissues

Folliculitis

A condition where the hair follicles undergo inflammation. Hair follicles are sockets or pouches that connect and hold the roots of your hair in place.

This type of information can be caused by bacteria, fungus, virus, yeast, and parasite infections. Thus, treatment varies depending on the type of pathogen that has infected the follicle.

If folliculitis occurs in regions like the genital, then the laser hair removal procedure will be the best option of treatment.

Genital Herpes

Genital herpes commonly occurs around the anal or the genital area and is caused by the HSV-2 virus which usually lasts throughout the person’s life, once infected. The most common form of transmission is through sexual contact with an infected partner.

Symptoms include:

  1. Itching

  2. burning

  3. Small, reddish blisters formation

Antiviral medications: Aciclovir, Valaciclovir, and Famciclovir.

Chickenpox

It is a viral infection caused by the Varicella-zoster virus (VZV). The condition spreads when a person comes in contact with an infected person and thus, chickenpox is highly contagious and patients should be isolated until they are cured. Moreover, an infected person could even be contagious 2-3 days before the symptoms even start to appear.

Symptoms include:

  1. Red bumps or spots that form blisters

  2. Intense itchiness

  3. Fever

  4. Headache

Eventually, the blisters dry up, form a scab, and then fall off. The most affect areas are here arms, legs, face and scalp

Warm warts

This viral infection causes a formation of pearl-shaped papules or mollusca that grows on the skin. Although harmless, they are extremely irritable and cause scarring. As the name suggests, people living in warm and humid areas will be most susceptible to this infection.

The virus cannot be eliminated from the body. However, there are effective treatment options to treat the symptoms. They include:

  1. Laser treatment

  2. Cosmetic surgery

  3. Chemical peels

  4. Cryotherapy

Athletes foot

This condition is caused by a fungal infection which is caused by several different fungi. The affected areas are usually the toes, heels, and soles of your feet.

Symptoms include:

  1. Cracked and dry skin

  2. Itching

  3. Swelling

  4. Peeling of skin

  5. Burning

  6. Stinging

Treatment: Topical allylamines (terbinafine) is the most consistent and effective form of treatment.

Staph infection

This infection is caused by Staphylococcus aureus bacteria and is also known as the golden staph. Usually, the type of bacteria is present on your skin in small amounts but the immune system always kept it in check.

However, if a person why dry skin, the bacteria could enter the inner layers through the cracks of the skin and cause infections. Sometimes, it could even enter through open wounds during an injury. In rare cases, staph infection could spread by breastfeeding.

 If the bacteria makes its way to the bloodstream,  it can cause sepsis or fatal blood poisoning.

Symptoms include:

  1. Swelling

  2. Redness

  3. Large pimples and boils

  4. Chills and fever

  5. Peeling of skin

Preventive measures: Tend to wounds with clean hands. Keep any wounds clean, dry,  covered, and avoid sharing personal items like razors.

Leprosy

It is caused by a bacterial infection that grows and develops very slowly as it could take a person around 15-20 years to start showing symptoms after infection.

Affected areas include:

  1. Skin

  2. Eyes

  3. Nose lining

  4. Nerves

Symptoms include:

  1. Discolored skin

  2. Thick skin

  3. Loss of eyebrows and lashes

  4. Foot ulcers

Typical Treatment of Skin Infection

As mentioned above:

  1. Bacterial skin infections are usually treated with antibiotics.

  2. Fungal infections are treated with antifungal or antimycotic medications

  3. Viral skin infections usually run its course and go away on its own but antiviral m

  4. Medications are also used.

However, doctors face a lot of problems with treating some infection causing pathogens which have become resistant to antibacterial and anti fungal.

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