Causes and Treatment of Skin Infections

" To take hold, skin infections need to penetrate the skin, which is the largest and most visible organ of the body. It functions as an anatomical barrier between the internal and external environment. As such, it protects the body from pathogens (harmful organisms) and other substances in the environment. Although there are millions of bacteria, yeast and other microorganisms normally found in the human skin, skin infections occur only when there is a disturbance in the integrity of the skin or when the immune system is weakened."  

Causes

A skin infection occurs when the skin is invaded by harmful microscopic organisms like viruses, bacteria, and fungi, where they multiply and cause subsequent tissue injury, which may progress to disease. A break in the skin, such as a wound increases one’s risk for a skin infection. Other factors, such as poor hygiene, presence of a systemic disease, or weakened immune system also increase one’s likelihood for acquiring an infection on the skin surface.

The most common causes of infection includes:

  • Viruses, such as Herpes simplex virus (HSV), Herpes zoster, human papillomavirus (HPV), and Molluscum contagiosum
skin infection
Pictures of Common Types of Skin Infections
 (left to right; wart, herpes virus, Molluscum Contagiosum)


  • Bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pyogenes, impetigo, cellulitis and folliculitis

bacterial skin infections

Pictures of Bacterial Skin Infections
(Shown From Left to Right; Scalp Folliculitis, Impetigo)

cellulitis bacterial skin infection
Cellulitis Bacterial Skin Infection is a Deep Skin Infection that is Treated with Antibiotics. It can Occur at Any Age. Open Wounds Can Spread with Direct Contact.
Source: Meisenheimer Clinic


  • Fungi, such as Trichophyton rubrum, Candida albicans, Malassezia furfur, athlete’s foot, jock itch, and tinea versicolor.

fungal skin infections
Picture of Common Fungal Skin Infections
(Shown Left to Right; Athletes Foot, Jock Itch, Tinea Versicolor)
Sources: Meisenheimer Clinic, Naturasil

Diagnosis

To identify the pathogen causing an infection, a clinical skin examination is initially done, followed by laboratory examination of specimens obtained from skin scrapings, pus or exudates (fluid from the lesions). Microscopic examinations may involve the use of staining techniques and culturing methods to identify microorganisms. Ultraviolet light (Wood's lamp) may also be used for fungal infections. .

Symptoms

Most types of infection are characterized by erythema (redness), edema, and other signs and symptoms of inflammation. These may include itching, scaling, and pain.Focal accumulation of pus or fluid may develop. Alternatively, there may be no signs of inflammation. Other appendages of the skin such as the nails and hair follicles may be affected, causing discoloration and thickening of nails, inflammation of hair follicles and hair loss.

Infection may be localized or widespread, depending on the cause, and symptoms may vary from an inflammation confined to a small area of the skin or may involve the rest of the body, causing fever, malaise and inflammation of lymph nodes.

Treatment

Local infections on the skin are treated by repeated cleansing using soap or detergent, which contain an antimicrobial agent. Topical antiseptics like chlorhexidine may be used to eliminate the source of infection and prevent its spread to adjacent skin area or to other individuals.

Drying agents like aluminum chloride may be used to inhibit the overgrowth of other opportunistic microorganisms.

Keratinolytic agents like topical salicylatesare used to remove thick skin lesions that may harbor pathogens and to expose the infected skin surface to other local treatments.

Topical antimicrobial agents (antibiotics, antiviral and antifungal agents) are often used, but systemic therapy (oral or injected) may be needed for patients with more extensive skin disease.

Natural Remedies for Viral Infections on the Skin

Molluscum Contagiosum Remedy: This Molluscum Contagiosum Remedy is made from 100% plant extracts. The product is applied to the skin 2x to 3x per day until the infected area is clear. This product helps to relieve the symptoms without using acids or chemicals found in other products. (source:Markum E, Baillie J (2012). "Combination of essential oil of Melaleucaalternifolia and iodine in the treatment of  molluscumcontagiosum in children". J. Drugs Derm. 11 (3): 161–165)

Wart Remover: A wart forms when a virus enters a small cut or wound on the body. The Naturasil Wart Remedy uses plant extracts to help dry up warts so that they flake away. The treatment is applied 3x to 4x times per day until the wart disappears. You should see progress in 3 to 6 weeks using this method.

Natural Remedies for Fungal Skin Infections

Jock Itch Remedy: Naturasil for Jock Itch Remedy: Formulated with natural plant extracts to treat jock itch. Results are achieved in 1 to 2 weeks.

Athlete’s Foot Remedy: This Athlete’s Foot Remedy is formulated to reduce the discomfort associated with Athlete’s foot and to assist with the elimination of the fungal infection.

Tinea Versicolor: The Tinea Versicolor Remedy helps to eliminate the fungal infection on the skin surface and by penetrating the skin. It assists in relief of tinea versicolor including candida and onychomycosis. The product is made from 100% plant extracts. Product is applied 2x to 3x per day until the condition clears.

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References:

Cevasco, N. and Tomecki, K. Common Infections. Cleveland Clinic.

National Skin Care Institute.

Aly, R. Microbial Infections of Skin and Nails. NCBI.

 




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