The largest organ in the human body is the skin. The body is shielded against infection by it as it acts as the outer defence organ. The skin can occasionally catch an infection. Many different types of microorganisms can cause skin infections, which can have moderate to serious symptoms. While some infections can be treated at home or with over-the-counter drugs, some may need to be treated by specialist doctors known as dermatologists. Learn more about the details of skin infections in the following paragraphs, along with advice on how to treat them.
Types of skin infection
The skin infection types are categorized based on the causing agent as follows:
- Skin infections caused by bacteria:
When certain bacteria enter the body through some skin cuts or wounds or scratches and when the person has a weak immune system it is likely to develop bacterial skin infections. Skin infections caused by bacteria frequently start as little, red pimples that gradually become larger. While certain bacterial infections can be managed effectively with topical antibiotics, others necessitate the use of oral antibiotics. Boils, leprosy, cellulitis, and other bacterial skin infections are a few examples.
- Skin infection caused by fungus:
Fungal skin diseases are fungus-based infections and most frequently appear in moist body regions like the armpit or feet. Some fungi infections are not contagious, and they usually do not pose a serious threat to life. Some of these fungal infections are yeast infections, athlete’s foot, ringworm, etc.
- Skin infection caused by viruses
Skin infection can be caused by a certain virus which may be mild or even severe. Common examples are shingles also known as herpes zoster, chickenpox, warts, measles, etc.
- Skin infection caused by parasites
Some parasites can cause skin infections that have the capability to penetrate and reach beyond the skin thereby entering into the bloodstream and affecting organs. A parasitic skin infection though isn’t life-threatening but it can cause serious discomfort. For example lice, scabies, etc.
Fungal skin infection in detail
Despite the fact that there are nearly millions of fungus species, only about 300 of these species are known to cause infections in humans. The skin can develop a number of different fungal infections. Given that fungi like warm, moist conditions and sweaty or damp regions with little airflow as these regions help in fungal growth, thus such moist places are frequently where fungus skin infections can occur. The feet, groyne, and folds of skin are a few examples. These infections frequently manifest as an itchy, scaly rash or skin discolouration of the skin.
Some types of fungal skin diseases are highly prevalent. The infection, while occasionally is bothersome and painful, is usually not dangerous to life.
Fungal Infection Symptoms
- A fungal skin infection may have the following symptoms:
- Irritation of the skin with itchiness
- Having scaly skin
- Redness of the skin or the infected area
- Presence of blisters
- Having a ring-shaped rash that has slightly raised edges indicating ringworm infection. This is highly contagious.
- Having itching or burning in the toe region, sole of the feet, red or flaky skin at the toe region indicating athlete’s foot.
In case you have any of the associated symptoms consult a dermatologist for the right course of treatment. Dermatologists are expert health professionals who are capable of diagnosing and treating a large number of nearly greater than 3,000 diseases related to skin, hair, and nails. The consultation with the dermatologist can be done through both online and offline modes. Dermatologist in Bangalore can charge a minimal consultation fee of 500 INR.
Risk factors for skin infection
The risks of developing a fungal skin infection can rise due to a number of reasons. Some of them are as follows:
- Living in a warm or humid environment,
- Experiencing sweating a lot,
- not keeping your skin clean and not having proper hygiene
- having dry skin,
- sharing clothes, shoes, towels, or bedding,
- wearing constrictive clothing or footwear that doesn’t allow proper air to the skin,
- engaging in activities that require frequent skin-to-skin contact,
- coming into contact with animals that might be infected with skin infection,
- having a weakened immune system as a result of immunosuppressive medications, cancer treatment, or illnesses like HIV are some of these risk factors.
Fungal skin infections can be treated with antifungal medications. These medicines kill the fungi or prevent their growth. These antifungal medications can be in the form of ointments, lotions, pills, shampoos, and powders. Over-the-counter (OTC) fungus medications finally result in improvements in a variety of fungal skin illnesses. However, if in case you have a fungal skin infection that doesn’t go away, and the situation is worsening, or it recurs despite taking OTC treatment, or if you are seeing patches of hair loss associated with itching or scaly skin; or if you have a compromised immune system or disease like diabetes consult a dermatologist and get the right treatment. The dermatologist shall examine the affected area, may seek certain tests if necessary and may provide the right course of treatment and provide you with the best guidelines for preventing further infection.
Skin infections caused due to fungi are very common. Despite the fact that these infections are typically not serious, the red, itchy, or scratchy skin they might cause can be uncomfortable. The rash could spread or aggravate if left untreated. Numerous OTC treatments are available that can help treat fungus-related skin problems. Visit an expert dermatologist, for more efficient treatment, and quick relief. Follow proper hygienic processes to ensure that you and your skin remain healthy.
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