Types of Skin Infections

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There are many types skin infections, but they usually fall into three categories: Fungal, Bacterial and Viral. Each of these come with their own symptoms, issues and treatments.

Fungal Skin Infections

Fungal skin infections are very common and may include candidiasis, athlete’s foot, ringworm and jock itch.

Candidiasis (Yeast Infection)
This type of skin infection is caused by yeast. There are several different species of candida, with the most common type being candida albicans. They can live on just about any surface of our body and can wreak havoc on our skin and nails.

Sporotrichosis
Most of the time this type of fungus is closely related to the yeast that is used to brew beer or that which is found on moldy bread. It is found on rose bush thorns, sphagnum moss, hay, tree twigs and in soil. It is more commonly found among people who work outdoors and spend a lot of time working in the dirt, with roses, hay and moss.

Fungal Nail infections
This type of infection has a tendency to attack toe and fingernails or the nail bed (the skin under the nail).

Athlete’s Foot
This is one of the most commonly diagnosed types of fungal skin infections. While it has earned the name athlete’s foot, you don’t have to be an athlete to end up with it. It can be quite annoying and is most common in between the toes and the soles of the feet. It can cause cracking, peeling, itching, and other symptoms.

Ringworm
An actual worm does not, contrary to popular belief, cause ringworm. It is a skin infection that usually appears as a raised red ring on the skin. It is caused by dermatophytes.

Bacterial Skin Infections

Carbuncles
Carbuncles are red, swollen and painful clusters of boils that are interconnected under the skin.

Leprosy
This bacterial infection is caused by Mycobacteriumleprae (M. Leprae) that is slow growing. It is also known as Hansen’s disease, named for the scientist who discovered it in 1873.

Staph Infection and Cellulitis
These infections begin in several ways including infected cuts and being tattooed with non-sterile tattoo equipment. A staph infection can manifest itself as a small boil or anti-biotic resistant flesh-eating infection that is very difficult to get rid of.

Impetigo
This is a highly contagious skin infection that can appear anywhere on the body, but attacks exposed areas. It causes blisters on the neck, hands, face and diaper area. It is caused by Staphylococcus and Streptococcus pyogenes. There are two forms of impetigo non-bullous which causes crusting of the areas and bullous which causes large blisters.

Boils
Boils usually begin in the hair follicle or oil gland and appear as a red, swollen lump that is often tender to the touch. Within a week, it may turn white as pus forms under the skin. These often resemble very large pimples and can be very painful.

Pilonidal Cysts and Abscesses
This type of cyst is normally found at the base of the tailbone and become pus-filled. Once they have become infected and are filled with pus they are called pilonidal abscesses.

Viral Skin Infections

Molluscum Contagiosum/ Warts
This is a viral skin infection that can cause single or multiple raised papules on the skin. These papules often resemble small pearls or bumps – They spread quickly.

Chickenpox
This is a viral illness that manifests its symptoms on the skin. It appears as a very itchy red rash and is very common in children and the elderly. Most people do not contract chickenpox more than once. Recent studies have shown that the chickenpox virus can lead to shingles later in life.

Shingles
Also known as Herpes Zoster, it has recently been found that this viral infection is caused by exposure to the chickenpox virus earlier in life. Shingles appear when the Varicella virus is reactivated. It causes a painful rash and usually appears as a single strip of blisters that wraps around the right or left side of the torso.


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