Understanding and Treating 3 Common Skin Infections
Over time, your skin will experience some distress. From cuts and scrapes to acne bumps and rashes, some issues that affect the skin are more common than others. In addition, some issues that affect your skin can become more dangerous than others. For example, certain infections that affect your skin may spread, affecting your overall health and wellness.
Considering your skin is your largest organ, proper understanding and care are essential. With this guide and a doctor’s help, you can diagnose and treat a few common infections of the skin.
Caused by a staph bacterium that does not respond to normal antibiotics, MRSA, or Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, infections can be quite dangerous if left untreated.
In most cases, these infections start as a red, swollen, and painful bump. To many, the bumps resemble a pimple or a spider bite. The bump and area around the skin may feel warm.
If the pus isn’t drained from the bump and the underlying infection isn’t treated, the bacteria can spread through the body, infecting the joints, lungs, heart, and bloodstream.
To diagnose a MRSA infection, your doctor will take a small sample of tissue from the skin. Once the diagnosis is confirmed, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics that are effective for the specific strain of bacteria that is causing the MRSA infection.
Impetigo is another common skin infection. Caused by bacteria that affects the top layer of the skin, an impetigo infection is highly contagious. Even though it is most common in infants and young children, impetigo can affect people of all ages.
Reddish spots are one of the first symptoms of this infection. These spots may be clustered in one area. Eventually, the reddish spots will turn into sores that ooze a yellowish pus. Most people with impetigo experience itchiness and soreness around the cluster of sores.
Impetigo is most common on the face, arms, and legs. It can affect healthy skin, but impetigo may also develop if there are cuts, scrapes, or other type of wounds where the skin is broken.
Fortunately, treating impetigo is pretty simple. Applying a topical antibiotic to the infected area for a few days is usually effective.
Cellulitis is another bacterial infection that affects the deeper layers of the skin. The infection may develop and spread quickly if and when bacteria enters the deeper layers of the skin through broken areas, such as cuts, scrapes, or sores.
Signs of cellulitis include the following:
- Tender, swollen skin
- Warm, inflamed skin
- Pain and discomfort of infected area
- Blisters or dimpling of skin
In addition to the above signs, patients with cellulitis may have a fever, chills, nausea, or swollen lymph glands.
Antibiotics are most effective for treating cellulitis. The type of antibiotics prescribed will depend on the specific bacteria causing the cellulitis infection. Determining which type of bacteria is the cause will require your doctor to take a sample of the skin or pus from an open wound.
In severe cases, treatment may involve a hospital stay so antibiotics can be administered through an IV. Since it can spread through the body and even into the blood, cellulitis can be life-threatening, so IV antibiotics may be the most efficient course of treatment.
It is important to remember that these infections affect more than just the look and health of your skin — they may also spread and infect your blood, a condition that can be life-threatening. Thankfully, help is available to you. For an efficient diagnosis and effective treatment of your skin infection, contact Premier Urgent Care Centers of California, Inc., today.