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Skin Infections

What are skin infections?

Skin infections occur when bacteria, virus, fungi or parasites infect the skin and sometimes the deep tissue beneath the skin. Cellulitis is a common type of skin infection that causes redness, swelling, and pain in the infected area of the skin (specially arms, feet, legs). Another type of skin infection is skin abscess, which is a collection of pus under the skin. Multi-resistant bacteria have the innate ability to find new ways to resist treatments and can transmit genetic material that allows other bacteria to become resistant. Skin infections can cause fever, malaise, lack of appetite and lymphadenopathy. Skin infections can spread to distant organs.


Normally, different types of bacteria, fungi live on the skin. Cellulitis or abscess can occur if there is a cut or a break in the skin that allows bacteria to enter and cause an infection. Fungi can cause superficial or deep skin infections. Viral infections such as monkeypox and herpes virus cause rash and blisters on the skin because the cell lysis.

Risk Factors

Some factors can increase the risk of skin infections, including:

  • Injury to the skin

  • Skin conditions, such as athlete’s foot or eczema

  • Chronic swelling of the legs or arms

  • Smoke, alcohol and drugs

  • Obesity

  • Diabetes

  • Immunosupression

  • Genetic disease


Symptoms of skin infections can come on gradually or suddenly and include:

  • Skin redness, flaking

  • Blisters, boils, indurated plaques

  • Pain, tenderness, or warmth

  • Swelling of the affected area


The doctor will determine if you have a skin infection by asking about symptoms and doing a physical examination. Antibiotics, pain killer and antinflammatories are needed to treat skin infections. If you have a skin abscess, the doctor may need to drain the pus from the abscess. The doctor will follow you if you develop any side effects while taking your antibiotic.

How to Feel Better Soon

If you are prescribed medicines for your skin infection:

  • Rest from work

  • Take the medicines exactly (dose and time) as the doctor tells you

  • Do not share your antibiotics with others


You can help prevent skin infections by doing the following:

  • Clean your hands

  • Wash skin with soap and water

  • Treat the chronic predisposing disease

  • Avoid dirty places

  • Avoid contact with infected humans or animals

Dott. Giovanni Biondo

Specialista in Dermatologia e Venereologia

Master di II livello in Chirurgia Plastica

Milano, Via Meravigli 16

Telefono: +39 02 3668 5103

WhatsApp: +39 329 7347765

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