Skin Infections Caused by Bacteria
13 Jul, 2011
Skin protects the human body from microorganisms and several environmental hazards. There are millions of bacteria that live on the skin. These bacteria don’t cause any kind of infection since the skin stops them from entering the tissues and causing further harm by releasing harmful toxins. Nevertheless, when such bacteria do manage to enter the skin through a cut, minor injury or burn, it can cause skin infections. Let’s take a look at some of these skin infections caused by bacteria and some of the symptoms and treatments.
Different type of bacterial skin infections:
There are 2 main types of bacteria that have been identified to cause skin infections. These bacteria include the Staphylococcus and Streptococcus species. These bacteria have a tendency to form the normal flora of the skin. They enter the body through a small break in the epidermis, burns, and punctures wounds. Circumstances such as, diabetes, skin damage because of wounds or sunburn, autoimmune diseases and AIDS make an individual a lot more prone to bacterial skin infections.
Impetigo: This superficial skin infection is caused by the Streptococcus species. In this infection the lesions form a brownish, honey colored crust. This bacterial skin infection is quite contagious and can spread very easily. Impetigo skin infection develops on the facial skin, neck area, arms and legs. It appears like a small vesicle filled with fluid which ruptures and then forms a crust. The lesions can be of different shapes and sizes, and an individual can also suffer from swollen lymph nodes. The treatment for impetigo rash consists of topical antibiotics applications, bathing with antibacterial soap, and the use of oral antibiotics.
Cellulitis: This is a bacterial skin infection which develops on the face, legs and arms. This skin infection is caused due to different Streptococcus species that enter the skin through wounds or lesions. The symptoms of this bacterial skin infection include swelling on the skin, pain, formation of blisters, fever, headache, and chills. Treatment for this skin infection includes oral antibiotic therapy for a period of ten days.
Erysipelas: This is a superficial skin infection and is caused by Streptococcus and certain types of Staphylococcus. Erysipelas is usually noticed on the face and lower extremities. Rashes develop within 4 – 48 hours after the infection. The rash appears bright red in color; it is swollen and appears like a shiny patch. Symptoms include, fever, chills, fatigue, vomiting and anorexia. Treatment would include the use of oral antibiotics and intravenous antibiotics could be administered in severe cases.
Scarlet Fever: Scarlet fever is a common skin rash observed in children. It is related to Streptococcus. The rash looks like sandpaper and consists of small red bumps. The bacteria produce toxins which are let into the blood stream and leads to a rash on the skin. The rash appears on the forehead, cheeks, neck and chest. Symptoms include fever, sore throat, stomach ache, vomiting and headache. Treatment involves warm saline gargles, acetaminophen which helps to reduce fever and an increase in the intake of fluids.
Furuncle: Furuncle is a bacterial skin infection related to sebaceous gland. It develops on the face, neck and on the buttocks. It appears like a small red nodule which becomes very painful. After some days it will burst and pus will drain out. It usually subsides on its own.
Metrogel is considered to be an effective topical application medication to treat bacterial skin infections. It is used for treating certain inflamed skin rashes and works by killing bacteria. It is available in the form of cream, lotion and gel.