Skin Infection Treatment

There are many various soft tissue and skin infections which varies from mild to severe. Determining if the infection only has a local response or has a systemic involvement is an important factor in treating and diagnosing a skin infection.

Topical Antibiotics

Topical antibiotics are recognized to be very effective for superficial skin infection treatment like in dermatitis and impetigo. Infected traumatic lesions such as lacerations, abrasions, and suture wounds are also treated by topical antibiotics.

Topical antibiotics are preferred in treating such infections because they are as potent with systemic antibiotics, the systemic toxicity is decreased, decreased bacterial resistance, its antibacterial agent is highly concentrated, and it is versatile.

Examples of Topical Antibiotics:

Skin Infection Treatment· Neomycin

· Mupirocin

· Bacitracin

· Polymyxin

Systemic Antibiotics

Skin infections accompanied by hypothermia or fever, hypotension or tachycardia, indicates that further diagnostic test is needed. These tests include drug susceptibility and blood culture, complete blood count, bicarbonate, creatinine, C-reactive protein levels and creatinine phosphokinase. Severe and complicated soft tissue infection indicates necrotizing infection presence and surgical evaluation is needed. These conditions include:

· Pain that is not proportion to physical findings

· Violaceous bullae

· Skin sloughing

· Cutaneous hemorrhage

· Skin anesthesia

· Gas in the tissue

· Rapid progression

Examples of systemic antibiotics for complicated skin infection treatment:

· Clindamycin

· Penicillin

· Cephalexin

· Doxycycline

· Dicloxacillin

· Minocycline

· Vancomycin

· Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole

Prophylactic Antibiotics

An inhaled Staphylococcus aureus predisposes to infection. Topical antibiotics applied in the nose for nasal carriers prevent infection caused by S. Aureus. The most effective topical agent is Mupirocin for reducing S. aureus carriage.

Topical Treatment Options

The different types of skin infections and different bacterial pathogens need a lot of therapeutic options. Antibacterial topical agents are versatile and extremely important in antimicrobial therapy. These topical agents treat surgical and traumatic wounds, multiple skin infections and for prophylaxis used to prevent infection.

The topical antibacterial agents

· Hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide acts by damaging the DNA of the bacteria. It is used in minor wounds and intact skin with limited bacterial activity but it can be harmful for the healing process.

· Chlorhexidine

The mechanism of action of chlorhexidine is by disrupting the cytoplasmic membranes of the bacteria. It is often used in hand washes, surgical hand scrubs, and preoperative skin operation. It remains active for a long time after application.

· Triclosan

Triclosan’s mechanism of action is by disrupting the bacterial membrane through lipid synthesis blockage. It is used in products such as detergents, soaps, cutting boards and toothpastes. It is resistant to strains of E. coli.

· Iodophors

It destroys the mibrobial DNA and protein. To reach full efficacy, it should have two minutes of skin contact. It is usually used in preoperative skin preparation. It is effective against Enterococcus species and MRSA. Adverse reactions are not common but it may cause metabolic acidosis and contact dermatitis in prolonged use.

· Benzoyl Peroxide

It is a broad-spectrum bactericidal. It is used to treat acne vulgaris. It is effective in different kinds of microorganisms which include Staphylococcus capitis, Propionibacterium, avidum, Staphylococcus Epidermidis and Propionibacterium acne.

Read More

Common Skin Infections

Bacterial Skin Infections

· Impetigo

Impetigo is a skin infection commonly caused by Staphylococcus aureus and occasionally by Staphylococcus pyogenes. It affects 1% of children.

Bullous and non-bullous are the two types of impetigo. Bullous impetigo is exclusively caused by Staphylococcus aureus with symptoms of flaccid bullae with yellow clear fluid which ruptures leading to formation of golden-yellow crust. The non-bullous appears in the extremities and face with pustules or vesicles in the reddened skin. The pustules rupture and leave a honey-colored or yellow-brown crust.

Treatment includes adequate topical application of bacitracin and mupirocin to be applied twice a day for seven to ten days. Systemic treatment is necessary for severe cases.

· Furunculosis, Folliculitis and Carbunculosis

Bacterial Skin InfectionsFolliculitis is the infection of the hair follicles described as erythematous pustules and follicular based papules. Deep infections of hair follicles are called furuncles or furunculosis characterized by nodules accompanied with pustular drainage which may form to carbuncles or larger draining nodules.

Folliculitis is asymptomatic but it is painful or itchy. The posterior area of the neck, beard, axilla and scalp are the common areas affected. The furuncles usually appear in the beard as reddened, tender nodules that rupture with discharge that is purulent. Carbuncles are deep and larger nodules with purulent discharge which mostly occur in the back of the neck, thighs and back. Carbuncles are painful and tender and sometimes accompanied by malaise and fever.

The diagnosis of the three is through culture of the site.

2% erythromycin and 1% clindamycin applied topically 2 – 3 times a day in the affected areas are the treatment. It should be washed with an antibacterial soap.

· Ecthyma

Ecthyma is characterized by thick crusted ulcerations and erosions. It is usually a consequence of an impetigo that is neglected. It usually occurs in persons with no home and soldiers assigned in humid and hot climates.

The infection begins with bullae and vesicles then progresses to ulcerations with a crust which heals with scar. The legs are the common infection site.

To confirm the diagnosis, culture is done.

· Cellulitis and Erysipelas

Erysipelas is a cutaneous superficial infection involving the skin and lymphatic vessels. Cellulitis is deeper extending to the subcutaneous tissue.

Erysipelas loves elderly and young children. Some risk factors for the adult patient are venous stasis, lymphedema, diabetes mellitus, web intertrigo, alcoholism, trauma and obesity.

Erysipelas is well-defined, reddened, tender, indurated plaque on the legs or face. Cellulitis is warm, tender, red and swollen plaque with undefined borders and spreads rapidly. It is usually accompanied by regional lymphadenopathy and sometimes bacteremia.

Diagnosis is through assessment of the symptoms and culture.

The treatment of choice for Erysipelas is penicillin. For facial and more severe cases, parenteral therapy is needed. The treatment of choice of cellulitis is oral anti-staphylococcal antibiotic. Parenteral therapy is done for patients with extensive or systemic symptoms and to patients who are immuncompromised. A warm compress three to four times a day for 15-20 minutes, good hygiene and elevation of affected limb helps in healing.

Read More

Skin Infection

The largest organ of a human body is the skin. A skin infection can build up after an injury or wound to the skin or the mucous membranes, such as the inside of the mouth or nose. A few symptoms of skin infection are as follows:

  • Pus draining from the area
  • Fever or chills with an unknown cause
  • Swelling, pain, redness, or warmth around the area.
  • Red streaks extending from the area.
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck, armpit, or groin.

The various skin infections are:

  • Dermatitis:

Skin InfectionDermatitis is an apparent inflammation of the skin, which is usually characterized by redness, swelling, vesicles, oozing, crusting and itching. Scratching or rubbing can lead to an infection. It is important to protect and prevent the skin from getting cuts and scratches.

  • Impetigo

One of the most common skin infections in children is impetigo. Impetigo is caused due to several reasons such as an open wound such as an abrasion, insect bite, or a minor injury at times can turn into impetigo. Improper hygiene, humid climates, and improper sanitation are also considered to be a few factors, which contribute to infection. The germ that mainly results to impetigo is referred to as Streptococcal. This bacterium is often present in sand and soil. The broken skin can easily get infected by dirty fingers, especially through casual contact and itching. Mild cases of impetigo can be treated by removing the crusts that get formed. These crusts should be soaked in warm water.

  • Ringworm:

Ringworm develops on the scalp and is named so because of its characteristic ring. It looks like a red patch, which appears like scales and is very itchy. It can be cured using an antifungal ointment. Preventative measures are avoiding using another personal comb, brush, pillow or hat.

Many other infections include Jock itch, fungal infections, Psoriasis, Melanoma, Squamous. It is very extremely important to keep the skin intact in order to prevent infections. Taking good care of your skin makes good sense. Bathing, moisturizing, use of sunscreen can help you prevent skin related problems.

Read More