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Types of Bacterial Skin Infections and their Treatments

There are many types of bacterial skin infections that frequently occur when there is a weakness in part or all of the skin. Bacteria lives all over the body and is normal, however skin that is healthy can fight off any illnesses that might occur as a result of this bacteria. On the other hand, if you have a weakened immune system due to AIDS or another immune disorder, diabetes, cracks or breaks in the skin, or even sun damaged skin then you are at an increased risk of a bacterial skin infection. The following are just a few of the more common types of bacterial skin infections that you should keep in mind. After reading this review you will know what the most common types of bacterial skin infections are, their causes, symptoms, and even treatment options.


Cellulitis is a bacterial skin infection that is generally caused by a staph or strep infection, animal bite, or a wound. The infection can spread above the skin or below it and typically results in tenderness, swelling, bruising, blisters, headache, and other symptoms as well. Most often cellulitis occurs on an individual’s legs and is diagnosed by a checkup and skin and blood samples to test for the bacteria. There are many types of treatments used for cellulitis that depends on your age, degree of infection, any allergies, and your general preference in medications. Frequently, penicillin is prescribed as well as other antibiotics, dressing the wounds and elevating the legs, and simply taking it easy.

Boils, Carbuncles and Folliculitis

Other bacterial skin infections that are closely related are boils, carbuncles, and folliculitis. Folliculitis is an infection of the hair follicle, which becomes inflamed. A boil is the swollen and tender surrounding tissues of an inflamed hair follicle. Carbuncles are a group of boils. General symptoms of folliculitis includes pus in the hair follicle and follicles that are generally irritated. Boils have pus and can have a bloody and whitish discharge. Carbuncles have the same symptoms as boils, just increased and often accompanied by fatigue or fever. If you have folliculitis, boils, or exacerbated carbuncles then you should focus on keeping your skin clean to avoid this bacterial skin infection. Frequently, antibiotics are prescribed as well to clear up the infection.


Staphylococcal is a skin infection that causes the skin to peel and is most common in youngsters and those with a deficient immune system. Frequently this infection occurs near the nose or ears, but can occur anywhere. The site of the infection is usually red and inflamed, painful and might blister, and the patient will likely have a fever, dehydration, and general feeling of weakness. The skin peels off in sheets and as a result is often misinterpreted by parents as dry skin or another dermatological problem. A doctor should be consulted if these symptoms are present. A biopsy will be performed and if the individual does have this bacterial skin infection hospitalization is most frequent in a burn unit as well as intravenous antibiotics to clear up the infection quickly.


This bacterial skin infection generally occurs when there is a cut or scrape on the body. Frequently, erysipelas affects the face, hands, arms, legs or anywhere else a cut might be present. The area surrounding the cut is infected, inflamed, and even a rash or blisters might occur. Antibiotics like penicillin and erythromycin are generally used to treat individuals with the bacterial skin infection of erysipelas.


This bacterial skin infection can occur anywhere in the world, but is most common in tropical areas. Generally, erythrasma occurs in adults and those with weak immune systems and the affected skin is generally under the breasts, armpits, or where skin rubs against skin. The affected skin starts out light pink and in graduated stages turns into dark brown scales. Oral or soap antibiotics are most frequently used to treat this disorder, but it is not a cure and erythrasma may recur.


A staph infection causes impetigo to occur, most frequently in children but occasionally in adults as well. Also, impetigo appears on the face, legs, and arms and is known for its large or small pus filled blisters. There are various treatments used, but for best results treatment should be sought immediately because the infection can spread deeper into the skin causing more infection and even scarring. Antibiotics are frequently used as well as other types of treatments.


This bacterial skin infection generally affects fingernails and toenails. It might be a result of manicuring, a hangnail, or a simple cut in the area, but regardless of how the cut is caused it leaves the finger and toenail area open to infection of paronychia. This bacterial skin infection is characterized by pain or pus filled blisters that are sensitive. Generally, a hot compress, draining the abscess, or taking antibiotics will clear up the paronychia infection.

There are so many different types of bacterial skin infections you cannot name them all. However, these are a few of the more common types of bacterial skin infections that occur most frequently. If you or your child has any of the symptoms of bacterial skin infections listed above you should immediately head to a doctor’s office or hospital for treatment. In general, if bacterial skin infections are caught early treatment is easy and discomfort is mild. However, since skin is the largest organ in the body if the infection spreads or is not treated in time it could be fatal. Keep this in mind the next time you notice any of these symptoms in order to get treatment as soon as possible.

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