Bacterial skin infections are quite common, and most of these infections are caused by two bacteria, Streptococcus and Staphylococcus. The symptoms of viral and bacterial infection are quite similar, but it is important to differentiate as viral infections cannot be treated by antibiotics. Localized redness, swelling and pain are the classic symptoms of bacterial infection. Pus producing infection is not always bacterial. Not all bacterial species cause disease, and some bacteria are very useful. Bacterial skin infections are caused by the growth of microorganisms that cause damage to the host tissue. Amount of toxins released and number of organisms present determine the extent of infection.
Cellulitis is a bacterial infection of skinâ€™s deeper layer, and is a very common skin infection. In most cases, cellulitis is curable and is easy to treat, but if the treatment is delayed, the bacteria can cause serious damage.
Erysipelas is another bacterial skin infection occurring on the top layers of skin. In erysipelas, the skin becomes very swollen and red, and is a painful condition. There is a clear marking between the normal and infected skin. Folliculitis is also a bacterial skin infection, and occurs in hair follicles. It looks like a group of small red bumps filled with pus.
Bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa causes the infection of hair follicles called hot tub folliculitis. This bacteria is commonly found in contaminated hot tubs, whirlpools, physiotherapy pools, water slides or loofah sponges. Children are more prone to get this bacterial skin infection as they stay in the water longer.
Furuncle is yet another infection of hair follicles, and is the infection of entire pilosebaceous unit. It must be treated in the early stages, else furuncle becomes an abscess, and needs to be drained. Collection of several infected hair follicles is called carbuncle, and is a serious infection.
Impetigo is the bacterial skin infection of the top layer, the epidermis. It is characterized by the honey-colored crust, and can be treated with the help of topical antibiotic. Erythrasma is the bacterial skin infection occurring in the parts where skin comes in contact with skin. Due to its color and location, erythrasma is usually confused with fungal infection. It can be easily treated using proper antibiotics.
Hidradenitis Suppurativa is the bacterial skin infection of sweat glands found in groin, armpits, scalp, buttocks and under the breast. This form of disease runs in the family, and people get it only after puberty.
Usually, mild bacterial skin infection goes away on its own, but it is important to see the doctor. For acute bacterial blood infection or skin infection, doctor prescribes antibiotic to kill the bacteria, or interrupt their ability to multiply. Antibiotics work only for bacteria, not for viruses.