Localized Infection caused by susceptible bacteria

Overview of Localized Infection

A localized infection is an infection of a certain area of the body. Generally, there are two types of localized infections— superficial and deep. Superficial or skin infections may involve boils, abscesses, carbuncles, impetigo, cellulitis, fungal infections, and warts. Deep localized infections, on the other hand, occur in the deeper layers of the skin and can include sties, cold sores, and gangrene. Most localized infections occur either on or around the skin.

Bacterial Causes of Localized Infection

Localized infections are typically caused by an invasion of bacteria into the area. In some cases, these bacterial invaders contain toxins which damage the tissue and cause cell death. Certain bacterial species are known to cause localized infection more commonly than others, including:

  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae
  • Escherichia coli
  • Streptococcus pyogenes

Some bacterial species can be quite resistant to antibiotics, making it difficult to successfully treat localized infection without the use of antibiotics.

Risk Factors for Localized Infection

Anyone can be at risk of developing a localized infection, however, certain factors can increase the likelihood of developing this type of infection. Those who have weakened immune systems due to a pre-existing medical condition are especially susceptible to localized infection, as are people who use intravenous drugs. Other factors that can increase the risk of localized infection include:

  • Diabetes
  • Organ transplant recipients
  • Use of antibiotics for an extended period of time
  • Obesity
  • Injury or other long-term skin conditions

Symptoms of Localized Infection

The symptoms of localized infection vary depending on the type and severity of the infection. Generally, however, typical symptoms of localized infection include:

  • Redness of the skin
  • Pain
  • Swelling around the affected area
  • Warmth of the skin
  • Fever

In some cases, localized infection can be localized to one area such as a finger or toe. In these cases, the area may become discolored and the infection can spread to neighboring areas if left untreated.

Treatment of Localized Infection

Localized infection can often be treated with antibiotics and other medications depending on the type and severity of the infection. Treatment may also involve the use of topical ointments and wound care. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the infected area. It is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible to prevent the spread of infection.