Bacterial, Fungal and Viral skin infections cover a wide variety of issues, causes and treatments. With any infection, no matter the origin, it is critical not to spread the infection to others by avoiding skin-to-skin contact, not sharing towels, washcloths, razors or any other personal items, and avoiding sexual intercourse.
The symptoms of infection are varied and can range from a tiny spot to the entire surface of the body and from harmless to life-threatening. Symptoms can include painful boils, blistering, abscesses, scaly skin, warts and more.
What Causes Them?
Of the three, viruses are the smallest disease-causing organisms. These tiny terrors invade healthy cells in the body, reproduce and then attack the host cells, infecting them. Viruses infections include measles, chickenpox, warts and shingles.
Tiny single-celled organisms called bacteria make up the basis of all life on earth. Bacteria are so small that a line of 1,000 could fit across the eraser of a pencil, but are so important to our survival that life could not exist on our planet without them. Bacteria have many helpful uses, but a small percentage of bacteria types are harmful. If picked up, they can reproduce quickly in your body and give off toxins, which can make you sick. The infections are contagious, spreading from one person to another by direct contact or from an object or surface that has been exposed to the infection.
Bacterial infections include Staphylococcal (Staph), Streptococcal (Strep), boils, carbuncles, cellulitis, impetigo, scaled skin syndrome and MRSA.
Tiny organisms called microbes thrive all around us without our even seeing them. They live in water, air, soil, rock—even on your skin. Some microbes are essential for a healthy life and without them, we couldn’t survive, but in some instances, microbes can make us ill or cause fungal infections of the skin, hair, and nails. Fungal skin infections are common in people of all ages, especially among children and teenagers. They can appear anywhere on the body and lead to a variety of symptoms on the hair, skin, and nails. Fungal infections include ringworm, athlete’s foot, jock itch, scalp infection, fungal nail infections, tinea versicolor and tinea nigra.
The treatment a Riverchase provider prescribes depends on a number of factors, including age, health, where the bumps appear on your body and other considerations. Your doctor can treat an infection so it doesn’t spread to other parts of your body or to those around you.
There are no known cures for some illnesses, but medical treatment can greatly help ease the discomfort of symptoms and prevent the infection from growing out of control. For example, over-the-counter topical medications applied directly to the infected skin are usually effective at treating fungal infections within four weeks. If your infection doesn’t respond well to the ointment, it will usually heal when you are prescribed an oral medication.
Schedule an appointment to see a Riverchase provider if any of the following symptoms are present:
- Weak immune system
- Irritation, pain or bleeding
- Red streaking, pus, discharge or fever
- Breakout on the face or genitals
- Rapidly growing, spreading or multiplying bumps or warts
- Interference with daily activities
- Fever is present
- No response to self-care
- Irritation due to rubbing against clothing or jewelry
- Changes in color, shape or appearance
- Uncertainty about what spots or bumps could be