Everyone gets a skin infection at some point. There are several different types of infections of the skin. Although some infections go away on their own, others require prompt attention. It is important to seek treatment immediately to avoid serious complications, according to the dermatologists at Park Avenue Dermatology.
What Are the Main Categories of Skin Infections?
- Staph – There are 30 types of staphylococcus bacteria. A staph infection usually looks like a boil or pimple. Left untreated, staph infections can progress to impetigo, cellulitis, or enter the bloodstream and cause life-threatening body infections.
- Cellulitis – This infection is often caused by strep bacteria. Cellulitis is a skin infection that also involves the underlying tissue. The entire area will be red, swollen, and very painful.
- Impetigo – This skin infection is most commonly observed in infants and young children. It is extremely contagious. Itchy, red sores start in the nose and mouth area. Impetigo is caused by strep bacteria or staph bacteria and is treated with antibiotics.
Bacterial infections always require a call to the dermatologist. Contact Park Avenue Dermatology or a physician immediately if your skin is showing signs of a bacterial infection.
- Yeast Infections – When the yeast in your body overgrows, the result may be an itchy skin rash. Many yeast infections occur after taking antibiotics or from a prolonged illness.
- Athlete’s Foot – This fungal infection usually affects the toes, causing skin to crack and become itchy and painful. Athlete’s Foot fungi thrive in damp environments like showers, locker rooms, and swimming pools.
- Ringworm – The same fungi that cause Athlete’s Foot is also responsible for Ringworm. The name Ringworm describes the round rash that appears on infected skin. The rash is in the shape of a worm, but no worms are part of this infection. Ringworm is highly contagious.
- Scabies – A small mite causes scabies. Extremely itchy skin and a rash usually appear in skin folds. A dermatologist diagnoses scabies with a visual examination.
- Lice – There are over-the-counter lice treatments that are effective. Prescription medications from your dermatologist also treat lice.
- Cold Sores/Fever Blisters – The Herpes simplex virus is responsible for cold sores. The virus is contagious while active. Blisters frequently appear on the mouth area but can appear on other areas of skin. Your dermatologist can recommend a treatment, including medications that reduce or eliminate recurrence of the cold sores.
- Warts – Although warts are not cancerous, they do spread to other parts of the skin, and most people find them unsightly. They are caused by the human papillomavirus. There are many ways to remove warts, including laser therapy, freezing them off, and topical medicines.
- Shingles – The chickenpox virus remains dormant in the body and can eventually become active again in the form of shingles. Shingles may appear anywhere on the body as highly contagious, painful groups of blisters.
- Fingernail and Toenail infections
Fingernail infections are often caused by improper trimming or fungal infections.
Toenail infections frequently have the same causes as fingernail infections and can be quite painful. Contact your dermatologist if the skin around your nail is red, inflamed, or oozing pus.
Common Skin Infection Causes and Dermatological Treatments
The skin is the largest organ of the body, protecting it from germs. When there is an abrasion like a cut, germs enter the skin, and an infection results. A recent article published by the Wexner Medical Center at Ohio State University explores the evaluation and treatment of common skin infections.
Each type of skin infection is treated differently. Certain skin infections rapidly progress to medical emergencies. This is one reason why your dermatologist is the most qualified to evaluate your infection and what treatment is appropriate. Contact the dermatologists at Park Avenue Dermatology to evaluate and treat all your skin’s needs.