Care for Skin Infections | Lynchburg, VA
Common Skin Infections
Humans are natural hosts for a wide variety of bacteria that colonize the skin and are considered normal. Occasionally, an overgrowth of the bad bacteria due to injury, trauma, poor hygiene and other factors can create a recipe for a skin infection. The most frequently occurring skin infections include:
- Folliculitis, Furunculosis and Carbunculosis
- Necrotizing fasciitis
- Fungal and Yeast infections
- Viral infections such as herpes simplex
Risk Factors for Skin Infections
There are numerous conditions that increase risk factors for contracting a skin infection. Risk factors increase if your immune system is weakened due to a chronic illness or medications that weaken immune systems. Also, contact sports increase the risk of contracting a skin infection. Additional risk factors include:
- Dialysis for kidney failure
- Cancer due to the weakened immune system
- Damage to the skin caused by insect bites, spider bites or trauma from an open wound
- Eczema – if open and not under control
- Surgical wounds
- Contact sports – staph bacteria spreads easily through cuts, abrasions and skin-to-skin contact. The locker room and the gym are hot spots for staph bacteria and athletes should take precaution by not sharing razors, towels or uniform equipment.
These reasons should not keep you from doing the sports you love or enjoying life. Extra precautions can be taken to help you stay safe.
Treatment and Prevention of Skin Infections
If your doctor has diagnosed you with a skin infection, it is important to follow his/her instructions so you can heal and resume normal life activities. Staph infections require antibiotic treatment. Some skin infections can be treated with topical antibiotic if caught in early stages. Skin infections have the tendency to rapidly worsen, so if you are suspicious of a wound or cut, seek medical attention right away.
There are precautions that you can incorporate into your routine that boost your hygiene and help prevent skin infections including:
- Wash your hands frequently and use hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable.
- Keep wounds covered with a dry, sterile bandage so no new bacteria are introduced to the wound and you refrain from spreading the bacteria to others.
- Do not share personal items such as razors, towels, sheets, or athletic equipment.
- Wash all athletic clothing or uniform washables in hot water as well as towels and sheets. Use bleach when possible to kill germs and dry your laundry in the dryer whenever possible.
Seven Hills Dermatology is dedicated to diagnosing and treating your skin infections and getting you back to optimal health. Dr. Bohrnstedt will examine your skin lesion and collect samples for testing to determine the best treatment for you.