What are Skin Infections?
Skin is one of the largest organs of your body with the primary function of protecting you against infections. However, due to unhygienic surroundings and unsanitary conditions, there are chances of your skin getting infected. Furthermore, the exposure of open wounds to several germs in the environment can lead to severe cases of skin infections as well.
If it is a mild skin infection, it can be treated with over-the-counter medicines and some home remedies. However, severe conditions of skin infection would require medical attention which can be easily covered with the help of health insurance.
Causes of Skin Infections That You Should Look Out for!
There can be various causes of skin infections based on their type, so here are a few:
Bacterial Skin Infection:
You may develop a bacterial skin infection in case of an open cut or a scratch that is exposed to bacteria. However, this does not mean you will definitely get a bacterial skin infection if you have a cut. The probability shall be higher in case of a weaker immune system or other such aspects.
As fungi thrive in moist and warm environments, the chances of developing fungal infections may depend on your lifestyle choices as well as your body.
The likelihood of getting a viral skin infection is by getting exposed to certain viruses. Some common viruses are human papillomavirus, herpes virus, poxvirus, etc.
Parasitic Skin Infection:
The cause of parasitic skin infections can be small insects or bugs that might attach to the inner layer of your skin and lay eggs.
Symptoms of Skin Infections to Note Down
Similar to the causes, there are numerous skin infection symptoms based on the type of infection that you may have. Some common signs to check for are rash or redness of the skin, pain, itching, etc. Thus, it is crucial to seek medical attention to avoid the spread of the skin infection and get it treated in time. You can watch out for these symptoms to know if you have a skin infection:
Redness around an injury on your skin
Fluid or pus leaking from a cut on the skin
Pain or swelling that worsens day by day
A yellowish crust on the skin
Discoloured, tender or painful area on your skin
A wound that isn’t healing after a week
Dark and raised areas of skin
Types of Skin Infection
There are four different types of skin infection that you may develop, such as:
Many bacterial skin infections are caused by Streptococcus pyogenes or Staphylococcus aureus. You might develop red bumps that keep increasing in size with time or other symptoms depending on your age, type of bacteria or the location of infection. Some common bacterial skin infections are cellulitis, bacterial folliculitis, impetigo, etc.
Fungi grow in moist and warm areas and such skin infections develop in damp regions that don’t get much airflow such as folds of skin, feet, etc. Any direct contact with fungi on animals, plants or certain items can lead to the development of infection. Some examples are ringworm, jock itch or athlete’s foot.
The cause of such an infection is a virus, where it might be an actual infection of your skin or a reaction to the virus that’s inside your body. Common examples of this are measles, warts, chickenpox, cold sores or shingles.
A parasitic skin infection resulting from a parasite can spread from the skin to the organs and the bloodstream. Different types of parasitic skin infections include bedbugs, lice or scabies.
Diagnosis of Skin Infection
A doctor shall carry out a medical test to diagnose the skin infection and ask about your symptoms. Many a time, the doctor might be able to determine the type of skin infection based on its location and appearance. Usually, lab tests such as a skin culture, blood test, skin sample, etc. might help with pinpointing and diagnosing the infection.
If you notice any of the mentioned symptoms, it is best to consult a physician or a dermatologist. The doctor will determine the skin infection treatment to heal the affected region.