What are Bacterial Skin Infections

There are many types of bacteria, both good and bad. In fact, most bacterial species cannot cause disease. Many species even play beneficial roles producing antibiotics and foodstuffs. The soil teems with free-living bacteria that perform many essential functions in the biosphere, like nitrogen fixation. As well, our bodies are covered with commensal bacteria that make up the normal flora.

The skin is the body’s first barrier against bacteria that cause infections. Even though many bacteria live on the surface of our skin, healthy skin can usually protect us from infection. Bacterial skin infections can affect a small spot or may spread, affecting a large area. They can range from a treatable infection to a life-threatening skin condition.

Many types of bacteria can infect the skin. The most common are Staphylococcus and Streptococcus. Skin infections caused by less common bacteria may develop in people while hospitalized or living in a nursing home, while gardening, or while swimming in a pond, lake, or ocean.

Bacteria usually enter through small breaks in the epidermis that result from scrapes, punctures, burns, and skin disorders. Areas of the skin that become swollen with fluid (edema) are especially vulnerable. Cellulitis is more common in people with poor blood circulation (chronic venous insufficiency). However, cellulitis can also occur in skin that is not obviously injured.

Folliculitis is the inflammation of hair follicles due to an infection, injury, or irritation. It is characterized by tender, swollen areas that form around hair follicles, often on the neck, breasts, buttocks, and face. Boils are pus-filled lesions that are painful and usually firm. Boils are usually located in the waist area, groin, buttocks, and under the arm. Carbuncles are clusters of boils. These are usually found in the back of the neck or thigh.

Staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome is a response to a staphylococcal infection and is characterized by peeling skin. The disease mostly affects infants, young children, and individuals with a depressed immune system or renal insufficiency. The disease can be life threatening.

Cellulitis is a deep bacterial infection of the skin. The infection usually involves the face, or the arms and legs. It may happen in normal skin, but it usually occurs after some type of trauma causes an opening in your child’s skin. This opening can lead to an infection.

When treating bacterial skin infection topically, is there any evidence to prefer fusidic acid, chlorhexidine, clioqinol, or mupirocin, or miconazole in terms of efficacy, and emergence of resistance. (standard guidance sugests avoiding systemically used drugs topically to minimise resistance, but this only really applies to fucidic acid, which is rarely used sytemically).

Skin infections are extremely common during the neonatal period. This may be due to changes in the social and cultural behavior. Most mothers nowadays depend on housemaids or nurseries to take care of their infants or young children. This may lead to more exposure to infections and various skin diseases.

A skin infection of the top layers of skin, more prevalent in the tropics. The condition mainly affects adults and persons with diabetes. The condition usually appears in areas on the body where skin touches skin, such as under the breast and in the groin area. Symptoms may include irregular pink patches that turn into brown scales.

To prevent yourself from developing a bacterial skin infection, good personal hygiene habits need to be practised. Hand washing is especially important as we touch many surfaces with our hands and then touch our own skin. Casual contact cannot spread Staph infections, but close contact can. Drinking fountains, desks, and pencils are casual contact; whereas towels, bed linens, hats.

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