Skin Infections

Common Skin Infections – Symptoms, Causes, Treatments

Skin infections occur when bacteria, parasites, or fungi enter the body through the skin and cause an infection. This usually happens when the skin is weakened or broken, such as during a cut or burn, or when there is contact with an infected person or animal. Skin infections can vary in severity, ranging from mild to life-threatening.

Common skin infections include:

  • Folliculitis: This is an infection of the hair follicles, often caused by the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria.
  • Cellulitis: This is a serious infection of the deeper layers of the skin and underlying tissue, often caused by the Streptococcal bacteria.
  • Impetigo: This is a bacterial infection of the superficial layers of the skin, most often affecting children. It is usually caused by the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. Impetigo can cause blisters or sores and is highly contagious.
  • Athlete’s foot: This is a fungal infection of the feet, caused by the fungus Trichophyton. It is highly contagious and often causes dry, cracked, itchy, and peeling skin.
  • Boils: Also known as furuncles, boils are pus-filled lumps that develop on the skin as the result of a bacterial infection. Boils are usually caused by the Staphylococcus bacteria.
  • Candidiasis: This is a yeast infection that affects moist areas of the body, such as the groin or armpits. It is usually caused by the Candida albicans fungus. Candidiasis can also cause thrush (a Candida infection of the mouth or throat).
  • Ringworm: Although this infection is referred to as ‘ringworm’, it is caused by a fungus, not a worm. Ringworm is highly contagious, and is usually spread through direct skin contact, or contact with contaminated surfaces or objects.

Symptoms of skin infections vary depending on the type of infection. Signs and symptoms may include redness, swelling, blisters, sores, itchiness, and pain. In some cases, there may also be a fever or other flu-like symptoms. It is important to see a doctor if you experience any signs or symptoms of a skin infection.

Treatments for skin infections depend on the type and severity of the infection, and may include antibiotics, antifungals, or antivirals, as well as medications to reduce inflammation. In some cases, a topical cream may be recommended. In more severe cases, a hospital stay may be necessary in order to prevent the infection from spreading to other parts of the body, or to provide more aggressive treatments.