Don’t you want to have perfect skin health at all times? But nothing mars your skin health than a bacterial skin infection. Our skin is constantly battling bacterial infections like a shield but sometimes the bugs win due to a weak immune system, stress, environmental factors or genetics. A seemingly insignificant skin puncture because of a cut or a burn can create a gateway for these bacteria to penetrate your skin’s surface and cause a bacterial skin infection.
There are two main types of bacteria that cause skin infections- Streptococcus and Staphylococcus. The skin infections they cause are Cellulitis, Folliculitis, Erysipelas, Furuncles, Impetigo.
Cellulitis: A common skin infection where the dermis and the subcutaneous tissue beneath the skin get affected. Cellulitis symptoms include skin swelling, redness, tenderness and pain in the affected area. Often the swelling spreads to the neighboring tissue. It can develop around wounds and can also arise without any particular source of bacterial infection. It can occur anywhere on the body but the tibia or shinbone is where it is most found. Apart from this cellulitis can also be found on the feet, arm, head, and neck.
Folliculitis: This is a skin infection where the hair follicles and the tissue surrounding it gets affected because of the Staphylococcus bacteria. The skin becomes inflamed and red. Though aesthetically displeasing folliculitis is medically harmless. However a ‘hot tub rash’ which is a type of folliculitis that is itchy and progresses on to becoming red and pus filled around the hair follicle may need medical intervention. You can contract a hot tub rash from public swimming pools, hot tubs, spas or contaminated lakes. The rash is bad around areas under your swimsuit since it keeps the contaminated water in contact with your skin.
Erysipelas: Erysipelas is a skin infection that normally emerges on the face and legs. This bacterial infection affects the superficial skin surface and then extends into the cutaneous lymphatics. This skin infection develops as a skin lesion and grows fast. It has a demarcated raised border and appears as a red, swollen, hard, painful and warm rash.
Furuncles: Furuncles are similar to folliculitis but are larger and tend to emerge more as boils alone or in groups of boils. Mostly elderly people, people diagnosed with diabetes or having a low immune system are prone to this bacterial skin infection. Furuncles normally appear on the neck and face as well as in the armpits.
Impetigo: Impetigo is a very common and a very contagious bacterial skin infection. It is most common amongst small children or children living in undesirable and unhygienic conditions. Adults are likely to get affected if they have been exposed to a respiratory illness. This skin infection begins as a small blister on the skins surface but can get pus filled. A more serious type of impetigo is called Ecthyma. Ecthyma penetrates the skins surface and impacts the dermis causing painful, pus filled sores that can grow into ulcers.
Treatment Regimes: Bacterial skin infections may or may not be painful. Make sure that you keep the infected area clean and dry. Heat and humidity act as bacteria stimulators and hence must be avoided. You will need medical attention to take care of your skin condition with the help of medicines and ointments. If the infection progresses to fever, irritability, intense discomfort, pain and inflammation do visit your physician or dermatologist. At the same time make dietary changes and incorporate foods rich in Vitamin A, B and C in your diet to strengthen your immune system and make for a speedy recovery.
How have you battled a bacterial skin infection? Share your experience with us.
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