Bacterial Skin Infections

Bacterial Skin Infections

Bacterial skin infections may slowly progress to the entire body surface, once small red bumps appear on the skin. Staphylococcus aureus and streptococcus are the most common types of bacteria that invade the skin, which is the largest organ of the body human.

Around 20 per cent people carry this bacteria. However, bacterial skin infections can be triggered by friction, scratching, pressure or excessive sweating. Additionally, the incidence of these skin infections is increased in people who live in crowded conditions with poor hygiene.

Types Of Bacterial Skin Infections

Primary Bacterial Infections
These include folliculitis (inflammation of the hair follicles resulting due to infection. It may arise due to chemical irritation or physical injury.) If the infection is superficial, it will manifest as a painless pustule that will heal without scarring.

A skin abscess, also called a boil, is a painful bump filled with pus that appears within or below the skin’s surface. The accumulation of the pus is typically due to a bacterial infection. Paronychia, an infection of the skin around the toenails and fingernails is characterised by redness and pus-filled blisters.

Secondary Bacterial Infections
These types of skin infections may develop on account of a weakened immune system or when a person is in a compromised state, due to an existing illness. For example, a secondary bacterial infections of dermatitis (eczema, psoriasis or lice) or wounds and injuries. Infections involving pre-existing dermatosis are seen much more frequently than primary skin infections in routine dermatology practice.


Bacterial skin infections are generally diagnosed by a dermatologist, based on their appearance. The diagnosis is done on the basis of laboratory results, which further helps to decide the line of treatment through a course of antibiotics.


Treatment of these infections is carried out with antibiotic therapy, depending on the type, extent, and severity of the disease, causative factors, antibiotic susceptibility profile and patient factors, such as age, underlying disease states, concomitant medications and known allergies to medications.

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