9 Common Bacterial Skin Infections

The skin is a very good shield that protects us against bacterial infections. However, there are certain bacteria that come in the contact and reside on your skin. Normally, it is not easy to establish an infection easily. When your body comes in contact with any bacteria then it ranges from a tiny spot to the whole body surface. The bacteria can be harmless as well as life-threatening.

Sensitive Skin

Bacterial skin infections are a very common problem throughout the world. There are various types of bacteria such as Acinetobacter, Staphylococcus, Brevibacterium and Corynebacterium etc. that are just normal skin flora. They cause no harm to the skin. But there are some bacteria that cause damage to your skin and results in serious skin and wound infections. Some of them may affect your hair follicles and cause folliculitis or some may cause a deeper abscess and results in superficial cellulitis.

People who are older or have HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), AIDS or other immune disorders, hepatitis, diabetes or undergoing any therapy are the ones who are at a particular risk of developing a skin infection easily. Skin damaged by trauma, sunburn, or scratching has more chances to get infected.

The infection can take any form depending on the location and the age of the person. There are various bacteria’s that can be treated by general physicians and the medicines prescribed by them such as Norfloxacin-TZ, Clotrimazole (Lotrimin), terbinafine (Lamisil AT) etc. and more complex one’s required specialist, dermatologists and sometimes a rheumatologist which can be consulted through docprime.

Listed below are some of the bacterial infections ranging from severity from mild to deadly:

Cellulitis: Although there are various bacteria that may cause this skin problem. But it is majorly related to Staphylococcus and Streptococcus.  This infection affects the two deeper layers of the skin: the subcutaneous tissue and the dermis. Cellulitis occurs in the area where the skin is broken.

Erythrasma: This infection develops in areas where skin touches skin such as between the toes, groin, and armpits. Because of its location and appearance, Erythrasma is often get confused with fungal infection such as jock itch and athlete’s foot. If this infection doesn’t respond to antifungal treatments then a short course of antibiotics are given to treat the condition.

Hidradenitis Suppurativa: It is a bacterial infection of the sweat glands in the armpits, buttocks, groin, or scalp. It may also develop under the female breasts. There is no cure of this infection. People don’t get infected with this bacterial infection until well after puberty. Over time breakage of this infection can cause unsightly digging in the skin. A combination of antibiotics, hormones, steroid injections, and immune suppressive drugs such as Humira (adalimumab) is given to help in managing the symptoms of this infection.

Erysipelas: Commonly referred to as St. Anthony’s fire, Erysipelas occurs in the top two layers of the skin. The major cause of this infection is Streptococcus bacterium. Erysipelas is similar to cellulitis but affects different skin layers. In this skin infection, the affected area turns red and swollen. And there is a sharp border between the normal and infected tissue. This infection can be very painful and it causes an intense, burning sensation.

Folliculitis: It is a very common hair follicle infection. It may be caused by fungus and bacteria. This infection is identified by tiny red bumps filled with pus. It is very common among people with acne. Shaving may increase the risk. This infection may cause scarring or permanent hair loss. This may require a course of antibiotics as per the severity of the infection.

Hot Tub Folliculitis: This infection of hair follicles is caused by the bacteria called Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Usually, this bacterium is found in contaminated pools, hot tubs, physiotherapy pools, water slides or even loofah sponges. Mostly the children get affected by this bacterium than adults as the skin of children are more vulnerable and sensitive and they also tend to stay in the pool for a longer duration.

Furuncle: Also referred as a boil, Furuncle is an infection of the whole pilosebaceous unit. Commonly it is found on the chest, face, and upper neck. If it is left untreated that it can also develop into an abscess.

Carbuncles: This infection is much more than complex and serious than a furuncle which typically needs a medical attention. A carbuncle commonly occurs in the same area as of furuncle. But it can also develop on thighs, groin, buttocks, and armpits.

Impetigo: It is a bacterial infection develops on the top layer of skin known as the epidermis. Impetigo is highly contagious and is commonly seen in children. It can be caused by either Streptococcus or Staphylococcus aureus. Impetigo can be characterized by a honey-colored crust. This usually occurs around the nose and mouth. But it can spread to the various another part of the body as well through skin-to-skin contact, towels, and clothing.

Lana Martinez
Lana Martinez is a freelance technical writer living in the Santa Clara. She's a gadget and tech geek who loves to write how-to articles about a wide range of topics. When she's not writing about technology, Lana loves watching and reading mysteries, cross stitching, and attending musical theatre. She's also an avid Doctor Who fan.