Secondary skin infection

What is a Secondary Skin Infection?

A secondary skin infection is an infection that results when a primary infection is left untreated or is inadequately treated. The primary infection, if not addressed properly, can lead to further development of the initial infection into a secondary skin infection. Secondary skin infections can be bacterial, fungal, or viral and are often seen with worsening symptoms, a persistence of the original infection, or signs of a newly acquired infection.

Causes of Secondary Skin Infections

A secondary skin infection is caused by the same type of organism that caused the primary infection. This can be bacteria, fungi, or viruses. Bacterial infections are typically caused by staphylococcus aureus, which is found on the skin of most people but can also be contracted from cuts in the skin. Fungal infections are usually caused by a type of yeast, such as Candida albicans, which can be contracted from contact with people who carry the infection, from surfaces, or from contaminated food or water. Viral infections can be caused by viruses such as the herpes simplex virus, hepatitis B, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

Signs and Symptoms of Secondary Skin Infections

The signs and symptoms of a secondary skin infection can vary depending on the type of infection and the severity. Common signs and symptoms include:

  • Pain and swelling at the area of infection
  • Redness around the infection
  • Pus formation or drainage from the infection
  • Development of blisters or sores
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle aches

Treatment of Secondary Skin Infections

Treatment of secondary skin infections involves addressing the underlying primary infection, as well as managing the symptoms. Treatment usually involves a combination of antibiotics, anti-fungal medications, and antiviral medications, depending on the type of infection. In some cases, a doctor may also recommend draining the affected area to reduce inflammation and pus buildup. In severe cases, a doctor may recommend hospitalization and additional treatments.

Prevention of Secondary Skin Infections

The best way to prevent secondary skin infections is to properly treat the primary infection as soon as possible. This can help reduce the chance of the infection developing into a secondary infection. Other preventive measures include avoiding contact with people who have a contagious infection, washing the hands regularly, and avoiding contaminated surfaces and objects.