Folliculitis literally means "inflammation of the follicle," the follicle referring to the small pores that the hair shaft grows out of. The inflammation may appear on the outer surface of the skin or in deeper parts of the skin. If folliculitis occurs near the skin surface, it looks like a tiny, white pimple at the base of a hair and is filled with pus, which contains microorganisms, usually bacteria. These small pimples can range from one to many. A person with folliculitis may find that the inflammation is tender to the touch.
Cellulitis is an infection of the skin and is most often caused by the bacteria Streptococcus or Staphylococcus. These bacteria are able to enter the skin through small cracks (fissures), causing the sudden appearance of redness, swelling, and warmth in the skin. Cellulitis is sometimes accompanied by fever, chills, and general fatigue.If the infection is left untreated for too long, cellulitis can result in pockets of pus (abscesses) or the spread of bacteria into the bloodstream (bacteremia). However, most cases of cellulitis resolve with appropriate antibiotic therapy.
Boils (furuncles) are painful pus-filled bumps on the skin resulting from the deep infection of a hair follicle. The infection is usually caused by a type of bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus ("staph"). Many people are "carriers" of the staph germ, meaning that it normally lives on their skin or in their nose without doing them any harm. Tiny breaks in the surface of the skin (such as those caused by friction or scratching), however, can help the germ gain entry into and infect the hair follicle, resulting in a boil.Boils may resolve with simple self-care measures, but the infected fluid (pus) needs to drain in order for them to heal completely. Many boils drain of their own accord, or they can be lanced by a health care professional. Antibiotics may also be prescribed. Untreated boils can enlarge or grow together to form a giant multi-headed boil (carbuncle). Rarely, the infection in the skin can get into the bloodstream, leading to serious illness.
Impetigo is a common and contagious bacterial skin infection that is usually a minor problem, but sometimes complications may occur that require treatment. Complications related to impetigo can include deeper skin infection (cellulitis), meningitis, or a kidney inflammation (post streptococcal glomerulonephritis, which is not prevented by treatment). Impetigo often starts with a cut or break in the skin that allows bacteria entry. Impetigo is usually caused by "staph" (Staphylococcus) or "strep" (Streptococcus) bacteria.
An abscess is an infection characterized by a collection of pus underneath a portion of the skin. Bacteria commonly causing abscesses are Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus. These bacteria enter the skin through any cracks or injury to the skin. That area of skin then becomes red, tender, warm, and swollen over days to 1–2 weeks and a fever may develop. Abscesses can sometimes form if minor superficial skin infections are not treated appropriately and in a timely fashion. Most abscesses resolve quickly once appropriately treated.Community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) is a strain of "staph" bacteria resistant to antibiotics in the penicillin family, which have been the cornerstone of antibiotic therapy for staph and skin infections for decades. CA-MRSA previously infected only small segments of the population, such as health care workers and persons using injection drugs. However, CA-MRSA is now a common cause of skin infections in the general population. While CA-MRSA bacteria are resistant to penicillin and penicillin-related antibiotics, most staph infections with CA-MRSA can be easily treated by health care practitioners using local skin care and commonly available non-penicillin-family antibiotics. Rarely, CA-MRSA can cause serious skin and soft tissue (deeper) infections. Staph infections typically start as small red bumps or pus-filled bumps, which can rapidly turn into deep, painful sores. If you see a red bump or pus-filled bump on the skin that is worsening or showing any signs of infection (ie, the area becomes increasingly painful, red, or swollen), see your doctor right away. Many patients believe incorrectly that these bumps are the result of a spider bite when they arrive at the doctor's office. Your doctor may need to test (culture) infected skin for MRSA before starting antibiotics. If you have a skin problem that resembles a CA-MRSA infection or a culture that is positive for MRSA, your doctor may need to provide local skin care and prescribe oral antibiotics. To prevent spread of infection to others, infected wounds, hands, and other exposed body areas should be kept clean and wounds should be covered during therapy.Factors that predispose individuals to developing an abscess include: Any skin infection, especially those that are untreated Diabetes Obesity Intravenous drug abuse Weakened immune system due to underlying illness or medication
Skinsight has decided to give everyone the gift of knowledge with the Twelve Days of Dermatology this holiday season. Each day we will be covering subject matter relating to rashes, skin conditions, and other dermatology topics.
For the Seventh Day of Dermatology, Skinsight has decided to give you interesting information about the skin infection called methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, commonly abbreviated and referred to as MRSA.
With infestations on the rise recently, bedbugs have been quite popular in the news. Bedbug bites are extremely uncomfortable and lead to itchy skin reactions similar to other insect bites, such as mosquito bites. Their notoriety comes both from increasing numbers of hotels, apartments, and retail stores with large infestations and from the difficulty of eradicating these pests.
Learning new things is always good, especially when it involves one’s health. Your skin is a very visible indicator of your well-being, and many have come to our site to explore our picture database of different kinds of skin conditions. Here is the list for top 10 skin topics viewed on Skinsight.com this year¹.
Q: I’ve heard that baths with diluted bleach can successfully treat kids with eczema. Is this true? A: Common household bleach (sodium hypochlorite) is best known as the product that “makes whites whiter,” but diluted bleach has also been used as a dental antiseptic and, in certain forms, as a wound disinfectant. Given the common perception of bleach as an irritant, one would think that bathing in it would be harmful, but clinical trials have actually proven this treatment to be very effective.