home

How could we improve it?

close
chevron
This article contains false or inaccurate information.
chevron

Please tell us what was incorrect.

wanring-icon
Please note that you do not need to fill this detail if it's inconvenient for you. Click Send My Opinion below to continue reading our site.
chevron
This article doesn't provide enough info.
chevron

Please tell us what was missing.

wanring-icon
Please note that you do not need to fill this detail if it's inconvenient for you. Click Send My Opinion below to continue reading our site.
chevron
Hmm... I have a question.
chevron

We’re unable to offer personal health advice, diagnosis, or treatment, but we welcome your feedback! Just type it in the box below.

wanring-icon
If you're facing a medical emergency, call your local emergency services immediately, or visit the nearest emergency room or urgent care center.

Or copy link

New

What's That Itch? Learn About Fungal, Bacterial, and Viral Skin Infections

What's That Itch? Learn About Fungal, Bacterial, and Viral Skin Infections

What are Fungal, Bacterial, and Viral Skin Infections?

Fungal, bacterial, and viral skin infections all differ in how they infect people and spread. This is because while fungi, bacteria, and viruses can all be thought of as germs, they are very different in structure.

There are many types of fungal, bacterial, and viral skin infections, and they all vary in how contagious and how seriously they can affect the body. Here are some of the more common examples of the three.

Fungal, Bacterial, and Viral Skin Infections: Viruses

Of all the causes of fungal, bacterial, and viral skin infections, viruses are the most simple of germs. This is because viruses are just genetic material, Ribonucleic Acid (RNA), in a protein shell. Scientists even debate if they can be considered alive, with some saying they are closer to automatons than living things. Viruses hijack our cells and replicate themselves until our bodies can no longer fight them off. They also start damaging our healthy cells.

Among common viral infections are:

Measles

The source of measles is rubeola. Measles is common in very young children, usually under the age of 5. A cough, runny nose, swollen eyes, sore throat, high fevers, and a red rash are some of the commonly seen symptoms of measles.

Chickenpox

The varicella-Zoster virus causes chickenpox. This is a viral infection that causes itchy rashes peppered with liquid-filled blisters. Signs to look out for include tiredness, headaches, fevers, and a loss of appetite, aside from the tell-tale bumps and blisters.

Fungal, Bacterial, and Viral Skin Infections: Bacteria

Bacteria are larger and more complex than viruses. However they are may also be contagious, and may spread through mediums like the air. Some bacteria are good for the body, such as the ones in yogurt that help us digest food better. On the other hand, there are some strains that can be very dangerous when their reproduction becomes out of control They may also be a danger when they release toxins that can harm our bodies.

Some bacterial infections to look out for are:

Cellulitis

This is characterized by a painful, red, inflamed infection of the dermis and subcutaneous tissues in the skin. It’s usually located near preexisting cuts, or breaks in skin, trauma, and other infections like athlete’s foot, jock itch, and ringworm of the body. Streptococcus or staphylococcus bacteria cause this condition.

Erysipelas

People also call this condition St. Anthony’s fire. This bacterial skin infection causes light red inflammation in the upper layers of the skin. The inflammation is commonly found in the face or leg areas of the body. Streptococcus bacteria, and rarely staphylococcus infections, cause this inflammation.

How to Prevent Bacterial Gastroenteritis – No to Stomach Flu

Fungal, Bacterial, and Viral Skin Infections: Fungi

Fungi are more complex compared to bacteria and viruses. Most fungi are harmless to us, like edible mushrooms and yeast in bread. However, there are types of fungi that cause health issues when we come into contact with them, or they grow out of control in our bodies.

Here are some fungal infections to watch out for:

Tinea cruris

Better known as jock itch, this is a mild fungal infection that causes red, ring-shaped rashes around the groin area and buttocks. This can spread through direct touching of the area, or indirect means such as sharing clothing items like underwear and towels. The condition is easy to treat.

Tinea pedis

Better known as athlete’s foot, this is another mild fungal disease that grows on and around the feet area. Athlete’s foot, when left unchecked, can grow around the groin area and develop into jock itch.

Tinea corporis

This is also called ringworm of the body. This is another mild fungal infection. This fungus likes to grow in the torso area. Just like jock itch, athlete’s foot, and many other fungal conditions, tinea corporis likes warm damp places.

Key takeaway

There are many types of fungal, bacterial, and viral skin infections. They vary in how they affect the skin, how contagious they are, and how seriously they can affect the body. If you suspect you have a fungal, bacterial, or viral condition, contact your doctor immediately.

Learn about Other Skin Diseases here.

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

Picture of the authorbadge
Written by Kip Soliva Updated May 20
Fact Checked by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
x