Your Path to Clear, Infection-Free Beauty
Your Path to Clear, Infection-Free Beauty
The human skin is vulnerable to infection from an array of different organisms. While these infections are problematic and bothersome, there are treatments which resolve the core cause of infection and allow you to regain excellent skin health. Infections can be caused by viruses, bacteria, and other organisms and require close care from a skilled specialist.
Organisms That Can Cause Skin Infections
Bacteria can lead to a wide range of infections on the skin, which can infect hair follicles, the top layer of the skin (epidermis) or even deeper tissues. When a break in the skin that is caused by an injury or even a medical procedure, allows bacteria to enter the body, cellulitis may occur.
Although generally not a serious condition, there is the potential for a bacterial skin infection to advance into the bloodstream or underlying tissues.
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Although viral infections are common with young children, vaccines prevent the majority of them, including mumps, measles, and chicken pox. HSV (the herpes simplex virus) cannot be cured, however, and can cause recurring flare-ups of genital herpes or cold sores. Wart viruses are also common and result in unsightly bumps on the skin. Children who had chicken pox may experience a flare-up of the shingles virus later in life.
Yeast and Fungus
Fungal skin infections are known as ringworm, jock itch, or athlete’s foot. Each is the result of a skin fungus thriving in the epidermis (outer layer of skin). We diagnose these with a visual exam, sometimes examining the scale of the skin under the microscope (skin scraping), and will then treat these conditions with topical creams and oral antifungals.
Yeast infections are also common in areas of the body that naturally accumulate moisture, such as skin under the breasts, folds about the groin and creases around the mouth. Treatments include anti-fungal creams, ointments, or oral anti-fungal prescriptions, along with preventative measures.
Skin mites that create itching, irritation, and constant discomfort are typically scabies and body lice. We identify scabies using a microscopic examination of skin scrapings. These conditions are highly contagious but easily treatable with topical and oral medications. All persons in close contact will need to receive treatment as well.
Body lice are not microscopic but can cause the same type of irritation and itching in the hair-bearing areas of the body. Prescription lotions, creams, and shampoos are common body lice treatments.
Most Common Skin Infections
Although we see and treat many forms of skin infections, the most common patient complaints are as follows:
A wart occurs when the papillomavirus infects the skin. This growth is benign, but because of their obvious presence and propensity to spread, patients often seek urgent treatment. We eliminate these blemishes with freezing, topical medications, injecting them with medication, or laser surgery.
There are multiple nail disorders that are caused by skin disease or infections. The toenails are most affected because of an increase in moisture and warmth resulting from footwear. Prescription oral and topical medications can treat and eliminate infections.
Herpes and shingles
Herpes is a highly contagious skin condition that stems from the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) and can appear anywhere on the body, not just around the genitals as commonly thought. Two strains exist, with the HSV-2 virus generally causing blisters around the groin, and HSV-1 as a cold sore or blister around the mouth.
Shingles is caused by another virus in the same family, the varicella zoster virus. The first time someone is exposed to the virus, chickenpox is developed. After this clears, years later in life the virus can cause fluid filled blisters that appear in a line down the arm or abdomen, termed shingles or zoster. These often burn and cause pain.
Treatment for these conditions are medications to diminish the breakout and prevent further occurrences.
Also known as water warts, molluscum contagiosum is a viral skin infection that appears in small, raised, pink lesions with a dimple in its center. They may be sore or itchy, occurring in groups or as a single lesion.
They can affect any area of the skin but are most common on the face, neck arms, legs, abdomen, and genitalia. Although the condition will abate without treatment, this may take up to one year. The virus can be spread through direct contact, including sexual activity or using the same towels.
Multiple in-office treatments, as well as topical medications, are available to treat and resolve this viral skin infection.
Visit our Dermatologist for Treatment of Skin Infections
Protect your health and the health of your loved ones by seeking immediate treatment for a skin infection. As some infections are highly contagious, it’s important to visit a dermatologist who can provide effective treatment. For more information about treatment for warts, bacterial, viral or fungal skin infections in Plainfield and Burr Ridge, call Burt and Will Plastic Surgery and Dermatology’s board-certified expert today!