Bacteria are one of the most common life forms that we can find literally everywhere. Different species of the organism act differently to us, humans. Some cause no issues where others can make people very sick. Bacteria holds the ability to infect any part of our body, especially the skin because it’s the major organ that has to face millions of them on a regular basis. Bacterial skin infection is quite common in the world. The intensity varies from mild to severe, even life-threatening. There are a number of bacterial infections that people suffer all over the world. Here are some of the most common bacterial infections.
Cellulitis – Cellulitis is a bacterial infection that affects the deep layers of the skin – the dermis and the subcutaneous tissues. The infecting bacteria strands are majorly associated with both Streptococcus and Staphylococcus genus. However, bacteria or other types are also responsible for the condition. This type of infection usually occurs where the skin is broken and the natural defense is weak, for example, surgical wounds and ulcers.
Erysipelas – This type of infection occurs on the top layers of the skin. Erysipelas is also known by a different name – St. Anthony’s Fire. This type of infection causes pain and an intense burning feeling. In a sense, both Cellulitis and Erysipelas are similar but the major difference is, they affect the different layer of the skin. Bacteria from Streptococcus are the main culprits. Common symptoms include very red and swollen infections with a sharp differentiation between the infected and healthy skin tissue.
Folliculitis – It’s quite a common infection that usually affects the hair follicles. The culprits of folliculitis include both bacteria and fungi strands. General characteristics of such infection include tiny red bumps filled with pus. Folliculitis is a common occurrence for people with acne. Shaving is a big factor in increasing the risk of folliculitis. Most of the time, the infection goes away by itself. However, if the infection persists or becomes severe, it can cause permanent hair loss and/ or permanent scarring. In this condition, medical treatment is necessary.
Hot Tub Folliculitis – This is a type of folliculitis that is caused specifically by bacteria Pseudomonas. This strand is quite common in contaminated water, for example, physiotherapy pools, whirlpools, water slides, hot tubs and, even loofah sponges. Children are more prone to this type of infection than adults.
Furuncles – Folliculitis involves the hair follicles only. In the case of furuncles, it affects the entire pilosebaceous unit. A pilosebaceous unit consists of the follicle, sebaceous gland, shaft, and erector pile muscle. The entire body is covered by the pilosebaceous units with a couple of exceptions like the palms, soles and lower lip. When the unit or units become infected by bacteria and cause infection, it’s known as furuncles.
Furuncles are more common to a certain area of the body, for example, on the face, chest and upper neck. This type of infection holds the potential to develop into an abscess if not treated or treated very poorly. Warm compresses are beneficial to improve the condition as it forces the furuncles to mature and drain. In severe cases, the boils need to be treated at the doctor’s office.
Carbuncles – This is a serious skin infection. A carbuncle is a cluster of several furuncles and they are packed densely with interconnections. Carbuncle requires medical treatment to get rid of. If an area is affected by furuncles, there’s a very high chance of developing carbuncle. It can develop on the buttocks, groin, armpits, or thighs. If left untreated, carbuncles will contribute to other serious health issues that can be fatal. For example, it can contribute to the development of sepsis – a severe fatal infection throughout the body from inside out.
Impetigo – Impetigo is caused by bacteria when the epidermis is infected. It’s highly contagious and is more common in children than adults. The primary symptom of impetigo is a honey-colored crust. Usually, the nose and the mouth are mostly affected by the sores. However, by skin contact, impetigo can spread to other parts of the body. Clothing and towels also contribute to spreading the infection. Streptococcus bacteria are mostly responsible for impetigo. It is treated with topical medication rather than oral antibiotics.
Hidradenitis Suppurativa – It is a complex form of bacterial infection that involves the sweat glands of the armpits, scalp, groin or buttocks. It can also spread under the female breasts. There’s no specific cure for this infection. Currently, it is treated with a combination of antibiotics, steroids, hormones, etc. The treatment may continue for a longer period as well.
MRSA Infections – Often times, MRSA infection causes mild, ulcerative sores on the skin. However, it can lead to serious fatal infections. There’s also a very high chance of spreading throughout the bloodstream. If it leaks into the bloodstream, it will infect important organs like lungs, heart, urinary tract and others. Otherwise, it will become life-threatening. It can easily spread by person-to-person contact. It’s up to the doctor to determine the treatment. Usually, it includes antibiotics, depending on the severity of the infection.
A bacterial skin infection can be nasty in cases. That is why if there’s any damage to the body, it should be treated properly so that no harmful bacteria invade your body. Proper hand hygiene is the easiest way to reduce the risk and spread of infection to yourself and others. For a better and effective treatment, always contact your doctor. Like to read more on other articles? click here.