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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Bacterial infections of the skin mostly happen when there is some break in integrity of skin. Some may happen due to an illness affecting another organ of body. Skin is armed with many defence mechanisms that effectively prevent most infections. Many times, the infection is able to overcome these natural barriers and cause symptoms like redness, pus, itching, burning and pain of the skin.


Bacterial skin infection is usually seen in office of dermatologist or surgeon. Patients demand urgent treatment due to the annoyance and cosmetic problem caused by the skin problem. Many times not much treatment is needed except for a dabbing of betadine solution or neomycin cream. The conditions that need stronger antibiotics are listed below:

-          Eryhtrasma: is a long-term infection affecting skin folds of feet, groin, axilla, breasts, etc and looks like a fungal infection. It may have red skin with sharp borders, scaling of skin and may get super-infected by lichen or fungi.

-          Pitted keratolysis: shows up as eroded pits in sole of foot. There maybe increased sweating at the sole due to the infection.

-          Impetigo: is an infection of skin caused by S. Aureus and pyogenes. It shows up as crusts or ulcers that look eroded.

-          Abscess, furuncle and carbuncle: abscess is a localised collection of pus. Furuncle is a deep-seated, red, hot, painful, nodule. Carbuncle is a deeper infection due to many interconnecting abscesses.

-          Cellulitis: happens in soft tissues below the skin. The tissue is hard and extremely painful to touch. In many cases skin forms pockets of infections and is eventually sloughs off, leaving behind raw area. In other cases it forms into a local abscess.

-          Wound infections: are common scenarios. All wounds have some infection but some of them get uncontrolled and require strong oral antibiotics. If the wound has pus, redness, warmth and pain, then it must be diagnosed by a surgeon or dermatologist and treated appropriately.

-          Some infections like staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome, toxic shock syndrome, sepsis, infective endocarditis, cutaneous diphtheria, leprosy, etc require intensive treatment in a hospital setting.

As discussed above, treatment of various skin conditions can vary. Ask A Dermatologist to confirm the diagnosis and correct treatment for your condition.


Written by - Dr Vaishalee Punj