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Skin Infections

Skin is the largest organ of the body and its function is to protect the body from infection. However, sometimes the skin may get infected owing to a break in the skin surface caused by a scratch or cut. Skin infections cause inflammation of the skin. Depending upon the type of causative organism skin infections is classified into four types.

  • Bacterial infection: Leprosy, Cellulitis, impetigo, staphylococcal infection
  • Viral infection: Shingles, warts, and herpes simplex
  • Fungal infection: Athlete’s foot and yeast infections
  • Parasitic infection: Scabies

People who have diabetes or decreased immune function due to infection or drugs are highly prone to acquire skin infection. People who wear sweaty and wet clothes are at a risk of getting fungal infections as fungi grow in moist and warm environment.

Signs and symptoms

Symptoms depend on the type and severity of infection. Common symptoms of skin infection include:

  1. Skin Rash
  2. Redness of the skin
  3. Itching
  4. Burning sensation
  5. Tenderness

 If the skin infection becomes severe, it may exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Pus
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Blisters
  • Skin sloughing, breakdown
  • Dark and thick skin or discolored and painful skin

Diagnosis

Most skin infections can be identified by the physician based on the appearance and location of the skin rashes. However, diagnostic tests are required to in order to confirm the causative organism.

  • Bacterial Culture: A sample of the infected skin is scraped out and cultured in a medium which allows growth of infection causing organism only. Gram stain may be used to allow better examination for bacterial growth. The culture reports are usually available within 24-48 hours.
  • Fungal culture: This is done when fungal infection is observed. Fungi are usually slow growing and culture reports can be obtained only after a few weeks.
  • (Acid Fast Bacilli) AFB culture: This test is done when tuberculous bacteria are suspected to have caused the skin lesion. This bacterium is slow growing, and it may take weeks for identifying the bacteria.
  • Blood culture: This test is done to find out if the infection has spread to the blood.
  • Antimicrobial sensitivity: This test is done to find out the antibiotics which would be most favorable to control the specific skin infection.
  • Wood light test: It is done when bacterial or fungal infections are suspected. In this test skin is illuminated with UV light. Certain bacteria and fungi (if present) glow in UV light.
  • Tzanck testing: It is done when viral infections caused by herpes simplex and herpes zoster are the suspected cause for skin infection. Infection caused by herpes simplex and herpes zoster cause blisters. In this test the blister is scraped to obtain the fluid. The blister fluid is stained and then examined under a microscope to detect the presence of microbes.
  • Potassium hydroxide test: It is a rapid test to determine fungal infection. Scraped skin from infected area is treated with potassium hydroxide and examined under a microscope.

Treatment

Depending upon the nature of causative organism antibacterial, antviral or anti-fungal drugs are used for treatment. Few viral infections get cured on their own after few weeks. Antibacterial drugs are usually given topically, orally and intravenously (if infection is severe). Antifungal medication are usually administered on the skin.

Home remedies: Certain measures can help in relieving the discomfort caused due to skin infection:

  • Loose clothing: Keep clothing off the skin surface prevents skin irritation.
  • Clean the wounded area: The wounded area should be cleaned regularly with a mild soap and water until it heals. Dry the area after cleaning.
  • Cold compress: It should be used to reduce itching and inflammation.
  • Tomatoes: A piece of tomato can be kept on infected area as it contains lycopene which is anti-inflammatory.
  • Aloe vera: Aloe vera has anti-inflammatory properties. Its gel can be applied on infected area for its soothing and cooling effect.
  • Apple cider vinegar: It reduces skin irritation. Soak the infected area in a mixture of water and apple cider vinegar to reduce skin irritation.

Prevention

The following measures are useful to prevent skin infection:

  • Clean the skin every day with a mild soap
  • Until the wounds heal, clean them regularly
  • Keep wounds and sores covered with a bandage or gauge
  • Don’t share personal accessories like razors and combs

Why Apollo Diagnostics?

We have the expertise of 34 + years in healthcare. Our labs are equipped with EQUAS (External Quality Assurance System) and loaded with full-automated machines to ensure error free reports, with a quick turnaround time, and at an affordable price. For your convenience, we offer free home collection of samples.

For appointments, please call 4444 2424.

 References

  1. Is your incision infected?. http://www.freemd.com/skin-infections/symptoms.htm. Accessed on 27-Oct-2017.
  2. Skin Infection: Types, Causes, and Treatment. https://www.healthline.com/health/skin-infection#overview1. Accessed on 27-Oct-2017.
  3. Skin infections. https://medlineplus.gov/skininfections.html. Accessed on 27-Oct-2017. Accessed on 27-Oct-2017.
  4. Diagnosis of skin infection. http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/skin-disorders/biology-of-the-skin/diagnosis-of-skin-disorders. Accessed on 27-Oct-2017.
  5. Diagnosis of skin disorders. http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/skin-disorders/biology-of-the-skin/diagnosis-of-skin-disorders. Accessed on 27-Oct-2017.
  6. Wound and skin infections. https://labtestsonline.org/understanding/conditions/wound-infections/start/3. Accessed on 27-Oct-2017.


Patient Testimonials

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“Excellent sense of timing! The technician arrived right on time. He was really well-trained, in terms of his skill and manner, as well. Apollo Diagnostics is doing a great job.”

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“Appreciate the quality of service that I’ve received from Apollo Diagnostics. Their competence, caring nature, sincerity, valuing customer’s time – all these together have shaped them as the most trusted diagnostic service provider in the country.
Keep up the good work!

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“My mother needed a blood test, but was unable to walk due to pain in her leg. A Phlebotomist from Apollo Diagnostics came home and collected the sample. I was informed, via SMS, that the report could be collected from any of the 3 centres in Dibrugarh, downloaded online or even delivered home for a nominal fee. Although the rates were reasonable, my mother also received a senior citizens discount too! This saved my time, money & energy. My aachhe din really seemed to have arrived! Thank you Apollo Diagnostics and hats off for displaying true professionalism.”

Mr. Alokk Kar Dowerah, Dibrugarh

“Whenever I need to have a blood sample collected from home, I ask for Vasu. He is punctual, courteous and so skilled I hardly feel any pain when he draws the sample. Plus, I truly appreciate how quickly the reports are delivered. Thanks Apollo!”

Mr. Sukumar, Film director, Sriram Nagar, Hyderabad

“Their accurate understanding of customer’s needs is one thing that set them apart and ahead of all others. As a result, it becomes easier for them to deliver the right service, that with their matchless efficiency and care to ensure less pain and easily accomplished sample collection. Apollo Diagnostics is simply doing an amazing job!”

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“The overall service standard of Apollo Diagnostics is admirably high. The technician was punctual and well-behaved, and has the genuine skill to collect the test sample without troubling the customer. These are probably some of the major reasons for them to be the best in India.”

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“The most crucial factor with Apollo Diagnostics is that they always train their Phlebotomists so well that the team consistently remains efficient and punctual and we receive a premium quality diagnostic service. Good job. Keep it up.”

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Service they deliver is no less than the promise they make. Be it quality, respect for customer’s time, or efficiency of their technicians…simply matchless. I confidently recommend Apollo Diagnostics to everyone.”

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