Infectious Diseases

While most skin rashes are not a major cause for concern, others are infectious and easily transmitted between people. They can be a result of germs entering the body either via a weakened immune system or an open wound. 

Infectious diseases of the skin can be caused by:

  • Viruses Shingles, warts, herpes (cold sores) and molluscum contagiosum are all examples of viral skin infections. 
  • Fungi Yeast infections of the skin (common in the armpit, groin and in-between digits), ringworm and athlete’s foot are examples of fungal infections. 
  • Bacteria Staph infections, impetigo, folliculitis and cellulitis are all caused by different strains of bacteria. 
  • Parasites Scabies and head and body lice are all parasites that can lead to skin pain or discomfort. 

Treating Skin Infections

Treatment options for skin infections depend on the type and severity. While some can be cleared up using topical products and medicated creams, others might require drugs or a course of antibiotics. 

When to See a Doctor

It’s common for infectious skin conditions to cause redness, tenderness, inflammation, burning and itching. Most of the time, this can be treated with over-the-counter products. 

In some cases, however, it is advised that you seek urgent attention from a medical professional. Pus, blisters, a breakdown of the skin or dramatic discoloration are common signs of a severe infection that should be inspected by a doctor to prevent it from spreading to the bloodstream.

A good way to prevent contracting an infectious skin disease is to wash your hands regularly to limit germs and bacteria from entering the body. 

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