Skin Infections caused by Corynebacterium minutissimum infection

Skin Infections caused by Corynebacterium minutissimum

Corynebacterium minutissimum is a gram-positive, nonmotile bacterium that can cause skin infections. It is a commensal organism which primarily lives on the surface of the skin. It is also an opportunistic pathogen, meaning it can cause disease if it enters deeper layers of the skin or is introduced to an area of the body that has a weakened immune system.

The most common form of disease caused by C. minutissimum is an infection of the outer layers of the skin called superficial corynebacterial dermatitis. It typically is characterized by the formation of pustules and the occurrence of folliculitis, which can be painful. Other symptoms may include erythema, edema, vesicles, and purulent exudate. In more serious cases, the infection can lead to cellulitis, abscesses, and even osteomyelitis.

Corynebacterium minutissimum is typically transmitted through open wounds, skin contact, or long-term care. In some cases, infection can be acquired through the handling of animals but this is rare. The bacterium is likely to thrive in moist, warm environments, so avoiding these areas when possible is important to reduce the risk of infection.

The diagnosis of skin infections caused by C. minutissimum typically relies on a physical exam and collection of samples. Once diagnosis is confirmed, treatment is typically done using antibiotics. In some cases, supportive care may also be required, such as wound care and removal of any necrotic tissue.


The best way to prevent skin infections caused by C. minutissimum is to practice good hand hygiene and avoid contact with potential sources of infection. It is also important to take care of any open wounds immediately and practice wound hygiene to reduce the risk of infection. In addition, it is important to avoid contact with people who have C. minutissimum infections and to wear protective clothing when necessary.

Tips to Take Care of Your Skin During Treatment

  • Shower regularly using a mild antiseptic soap to help reduce the risk of infection.
  • Avoid contact with any body fluid that may contain the bacteria.
  • Avoid using hot tubs or pools where the bacteria can easily spread.
  • Change clothes and bed linens frequently.
  • Avoid sharing personal items such as clothes, towels, and other items.
  • Keep the affected area clean and dry.
  • Apply a topical antiseptic to the affected area to keep the bacteria from spreading.