The skin is the largest organ in the body. Its function is to protect your body from infection. Sometimes the skin itself becomes infected. Skin infections are caused by a wide variety of germs, and symptoms can vary from mild to serious.

The types of skin infections

  1. Bacterial skin infections: Bacterial skin infections often begin as small, red bumps that slowly increase in size. Some bacterial infections are mild and easily treated with topical antibiotics, but other infections require an oral antibiotic. Bacterial infections are often treated with topical antibiotics applied directly to the skin or with oral antibiotics. Examples of bacterial skin infections include:
  • cellulitis
  • impetigo
  • boils
  • leprosy
  1. Viral skin infections: Viral skin infections are caused by a virus. These infections range from mild to severe. Some types of viral skin infections may improve on their own within days or weeks. Examples of viral infections include:
  • shingles (herpes zoster)
  • chickenpox
  • Molluscum contagiosum
  • warts
  • measles
  • hand, foot, and mouth disease
  1. Fungal skin infections: These types of skin infections are caused by a fungus and are most likely to develop in damp areas of the body, such as the feet or armpit. Over-the-counter antifungal sprays and creams can be used to treat a fungal skin infection. Examples include:
  • athlete’s foot
  • yeast infection
  • ringworm
  • nail fungus
  • oral thrush
  • diaper rash
  1. Parasitic skin infection

Skin infections are also caused by a parasite. These infections can spread beyond the skin to the bloodstream and organs. A parasitic infection isn’t life-threatening but can be uncomfortable. Examples of parasitic skin infections include:

  • lice
  • bedbugs
  • scabies
  • cutaneous larva migrans
Symptoms of skin infections

The symptoms depend on the type of infection. Some symptoms that are common to many skin infections include rashes, swelling, redness, pain, pus, and itching.

Frequent hand washing is one of the best ways you can prevent skin infection.



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