5 Common Skin Infections and How to Manage Them

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Published on 30/06/2020 . 4 mins read
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When a microorganism goes inside a person’s body then causes harm, it is called an infection. If you are wondering about common skin infections in the Philippines, here are some fast facts about the types along with skin infection causes and treatment.

Types of Infections

Before we discuss skin infection causes and treatment, it helps to first define its possible types.

The microorganism enters the body to use it as a host and to reproduce and colonize to create an infection. Infectious microscopic organisms are called pathogens. Some examples of pathogens can include:

Viruses

If you get an infection from a virus, then you may have a viral infection. Researchers identified around 5,000 types of viruses, but there is a good chance that there could be millions.

An example of a viral skin infection is herpes. Herpes can create open sores, which are called ulcers, and can create blisters in the genital area.

Fungi

A fungus is usually a multicellular parasite. It uses an enzyme to decompose and absorb most organic matter. Although, there are single-celled types, such as yeast.

Some fungal skin infections can include yeast infections, athlete’s foot, certain eye infections, ringworm, etc. A common sign that could signal a fungal skin infection is a rash.

Bacteria

Single-celled microorganisms called prokaryotes are bacteria. Most of the “good” bacteria can attack the “bad” bacteria to prevent sickness.

However, certain bacteria can still cause diseases, such as skin infections. Some examples can include folliculitis, cellulitis, furuncles, etc.

Atopic dermatitis: Definition, Causes, Remedies

Symptoms of an Infection

Symptoms of an infection can vary based on what organism caused the infection. Additionally, the site of your infection could determine what symptoms you may get. Here are some symptoms you may see.

Viral Skin Infection Symptoms

The symptoms of a viral skin infection can vary based on what type of viral infection you have. However, a very common symptom of a viral skin infection is a rash.

Although it can come in other forms. For instance, spots or small bumps can appear in the mouth, on the lips, on the soles of the feet, and inside the mouth for hand, foot, and mouth disease.

Bacterial Skin Infection Symptoms

Like with the other infections, the symptoms will depend on your infection. For example, cellulitis causes a red, painful infection.

Boils are another example of a bacterial skin infection that is deep skin infections that begin in the hair follicles. Boils often contain pus.

Fungal Skin Infection Symptoms

A common symptom of a fungal skin infection can include skin changes, such as red or potentially peeling or cracking skin. Additionally, itching is another common symptom.

Causes of Infections

As mentioned earlier, pathogens cause infections. So the symptoms of an infection, like a runny nose, signals that your body is trying to remove the organism.

The type of pathogen will also determine who an infection is spread. For instance, you can get a viral skin infection by touching someone else.

However, certain viral skin infections like chickenpox can be caught through both the air and touch. Here is a quick rundown of how most skin infections get spread.

  • Skin contact
  • Contact with feces
  • Transferring bodily fluids
  • Consuming contaminated water or food
  • Touching items a person with the pathogen also touched
  • Inhaling airborne droplets or particles

Common Types of Skin Infection: Causes and Treatment in the Philippines

Now that we know about the causes, symptoms, and types of skin infections, let’s move onto common skin infections in the Philippines.

Acne

Believe it or not, acne is a bacterial skin infection. However, not all acne bacteria will create acne. Additionally, the frequency and severity of acne may depend on the strain of bacteria.

How to Manage Acne Breakouts

Yeast Skin Infections

Candida, or yeast, is a fungus that practically lives anywhere, and that includes in your body. While your immune system can keep the yeast under control, if it becomes weak then you could get an infection.

Ringworm

Despite the name, ringworm is caused by a fungus and not a worm. However, the infection creates a lesion on the skin that looks like a worm in a ring shape.

Both animals and humans can get ringworm infections. Typically, the first sign of this infection is red patches on the skin’s affected areas and it could spread throughout the body.

Warts

Warts are viral skin infections. Some examples of warts can include flat warts, common warts, genital warts, and plantar warts.

Athlete’s Foot

A common fungal skin infection is athlete’s foot. It typically creates scaling, cracked, burning, and itching skin in the part between your toes. It is often caused by damp environments like a shower.

Who Is More At Risk of Getting a Skin Infection?

Some people can be more at risk of getting a skin infection than others. Some things that could put you at higher risk can include:

  • Poor circulation
  • Immune system diseases like AIDS/HIV
  • Elderly
  • Diabetes
  • Malnourished
  • Excessive skin folds, typically from obesity
  • A weak immune system from medication that could suppress your immune system

How To Treat a Skin Infection

Treatment depends on what your infection is and how severe it is. However, minor skin infections could go away by themselves.

For instance, a doctor may give you antiviral medication for your viral skin infection. However, it would be wise to avoid using antibiotics to treat viruses because they do not work.

Although antibiotics prescribed by a doctor can treat bacterial skin infections. However, certain strains can survive treatment.

A doctor may give you antifungal medication to deal with a fungal skin infection. It can either keep the fungi from growing or kill the fungi.

How to Prevent an Infection

There is no single way you can avoid all infectious diseases. However, following a few steps could reduce your risk.

  • Receiving and staying up to date with vaccinations
  • Washing your hands regularly
  • Using condoms for sexual intercourse and getting STI checks
  • Not sharing personal items like kitchen utensils, drinking glasses, toothbrushes, etc.

When You Should See a Doctor

While some skin infections can be minor and could be treated at home, some symptoms could mean you need medical attention.

  • Progressively worsening symptoms, such as intense spreading of a rash
  • Intense itching
  • Tenderness in or surrounding the infected area
  • Pain
  • High fever

Learning more about skin infections can help you learn how to treat and prevent getting them again.

Learn more about skin health, here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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