Skin plays an important part in protecting our body from any type of infection. It is the only largest organ which helps in keeping our body free from bacterial or fungal infections which only happens if you have been in contact with any type of bacteria or fungus. There are various types of germs that find a host to live in. anywhere where there’s warm and humidity, they tend to grow their allies. You may have symptoms that depends on the condition of your skin infection, from mild to moderate to severely dangerous. If you are only at the stage of mild infection, it can be easily treated with over the counter medications. For cases like moderate or severely dangerous, you need a medical help. It’s very important to know the types of skin infections and how they are caused. An early help is worth treating the infection.
Types of skin infections
Skin infections are typically of four types. They are bacterial, viral, fungal and parasitic. Let’s explore each one of them !
Bacterial skin infections
In bacterial skin infection, you may encounter with a small red bumps which will slowly gain in size. You can treat bacterial infection with a topical antibiotics but this works only for mild cases. If you have any severe form of bacterial infection, you may need an oral antibiotics. There are many types of bacterial infection that can attack you. They are:
Viral skin infections
As the name suggests, viral skin infection is caused by a virus. This can vary from mild to severe. Here’s some types of viral infections:
- Molluscum contagiosum
- shingles (herpes zoster)
- hand, foot, and mouth disease
They can easily transfer from one individual to another through physical contact.
Fungal skin infections
Fungal infections are caused by fungus which loves to reside in damp areas of your body like your feet or armpit where they get the warmth and humidity that is needed for their survival. There are certain fungal infection which isn’t communicable and thus you have no such life threatening conditions with them.
Here’s some types of fungal infection:
- Athlete’s foot
- diaper rash
- Yeast infection
- Oral thrush
- Nail fungus
Parasitic skin infection
Parasitic skin infection are somewhat dangerous as they tend to grow from skin to the rest of your organs. These parasites are taken into the organs through the bloodstream and thus they wreck your entire system.
The Parasitic skin infection includes:
- cutaneous larva migrans
Symptoms of skin infections
Depending upon the type of skin infection, the symptoms varies. However, you may encounter with some of the most common symptoms of skin infection like that of redness and skin rash. Other than redness or rash, you may have itching, pain or tenderness. You must have a consultation with one of our GP in Harley Street if you see pus on your blisters. If your infection is growing worse over time, make sure you have informed your doctor about this. Often times, these can become life threatening.
These are some of the severe signs of infections:
- Skin breakdown
- Dark appearing skin
Causes and risks of skin infection
The causes depends on the types of infection you are having. Let’s have a look at them!
Bacterial skin infection
When the bacteria invades your body through the breaks of your skin. Such breaks could be because of the cut or if you have a scratch on your skin. Not necessarily you will have a skin infection if you have cut on your skin. This only happens if you have much weaker immune system that responds very bad with the external unwanted agents. Your immune system can only fails to work if you are either on a medication or if you are ill.
Viral skin infection
As mentioned above, a viral infection is caused by a virus and they are typically of three groups- herpes virus, poxvirus and human papillomavirus.
Your biological condition and way of living has a direct impact on your body. Such things will increase the chances for fungal infections. Fungus can be spread from body contact or if you somehow came across such fungus. Such infections generally happen to athletes who are always in touch with each other through sweats. The best place for fungi to grow is the warm and moist place. Once it attacks your body, it starts to ransack for the warmest area and thus they can reside there for long. If you have been wearing wet and sweaty socks or clothes for a long period of time, you can experience fungal infection. If you have breaks on your skin, it can penetrate easily through the cut and gets inside your body (at least deep layers of your skin).
Parasitic skin infection
If the organisms start to multiply their family into your skin, you can have the risks of parasitic infection. Tiny insects can lay eggs underneath the skin which can increase the infection to the rest of your body.
Is there a way to diagnose skin infection?
You need to go through a medical examination which will determine if you are suffering from any skin infection and what type is it. Your doctor will be able to identify which skin disease is causing you discomfort.
The doctor will ask about any symptoms that you have been noticing lately. You will be put to a close examination for the potential signs of skin infections like rashes or bumps or if you have any type of irritation. The doctor might take some samples of your skin in order to test for the accurate type of infection.
The treatment for skin infection
Skin infection is caused by many factors and thus the treatment plans also varies. It also depends on your particular case as the infection ranges from mild to severe. Often times you will see that certain types of viral infection goes by itself within a few days. You can cure your bacterial infection with the help of a topical antibiotic which is meant to be applied on the skin directly. If it doesn’t work, your doctor at Harley Street Medical Centre may also prescribe oral antibiotics that work better than the topical ones. If the bacterial infection is out to treat with any type of antibiotic then you will be given intravenous antibiotics under the supervision of the respective hospital.
Fungal skin infection can be treated with antifungal sprays and creams which are easily available over the counter stores. If still your condition gets worse, inform your doctor about the medications you have been using. Even for the parasitic infection, you can treat it with the medicated creams as per your doctor’s recommendation.
Is there any home treatment available?
There are many home care treatments that are sure to reduce the effect of the skin infection. Home care treatment include:
- Applying cold compressor on your skin where you feel the irritation. Cold compressor will lessen the effect of itching and inflammation which is caused because of skin infection.
- If the itching is getting unbearable, you can take over-the-counter antihistamines.
- Prefer using ointments that will help in reducing the itching.
The treatment for skin infection depends highly on the type of infection. Some infections are easy to cure with the help of over the counter medications and they react very well with it. Others are very hard and requires much more medical concerns.