Facts for Fighting Skin Infection
 

The Difference Between Bacterial Skin Infections and Viral Skin Infections

Most bacteria can grow on surfaces that are nonliving, such as kitchen countertops, doorknobs and drawer handles or towels. Some bacteria is not harmful but helpful. We even have bacteria living on the surface of our skin and in our mouth that does not make us sick.

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The Difference Between Bacterial Skin Infections and Viral Skin Infections

The obvious difference between the two skin infections is that bacteria cause a bacterial skin infection and viruses cause the viral skin infections. Other than the obvious there are other more subtle differences.

Most bacteria can grow on surfaces that are nonliving, such as kitchen countertops, doorknobs and drawer handles or towels. Some bacteria is not harmful but helpful. We even have bacteria living on the surface of our skin and in our mouth that does not make us sick.

Not all bacterial infections are contagious.

Viruses are NOT living organisms. They are actually genetic material. They require "hosts" in order to survive. People, plants or animals become these "hosts". Some virus infections are contagious and some are not.

Medications that are affective against viral skin infections may not be affective at all against bacterial skin infections.

Bacterial skin infections are treated with antibacterial antibiotics and viral infections are treated with antiviral antibiotics.

Viruses are tinier than bacteria. The main mission of a virus is to reproduce.

Bacteria are self-sufficient and viruses are not, they need a host to survive.

Bacteria not only reproduce once inside your body, they produce toxins. It is the toxins that make us sick. The toxins can cause damage to skin cells.

Bacteria are self-sufficient which means they do not need a host to survive and reproduce like viruses do. Bacteria can live both outside and inside the human body. Viruses cannot live outside the human body.

Most bacteria are actually harmless and some are beneficial to humans. There is not much good you can say about a virus.

The length of time that you are sick with a virus is usually shorter than with a bacterial infection. The average viral infection lasts 10 days. A typical bacterial infection can last up to two weeks.

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Viral skin infections include: Cold Sores, Herpes Zoster (Shingles), Pityriasis Rosea, Warts, and Molluscum Contagiosum. Bacterial skin infections include: boils, carbuncles, furuncles, cellulitis, abscesses, impetigo scarlet fever, and erysipelas. Bacterial Skin Infection

Viral infections usually do not produce a fever though some can. Bacterial infections can cause a fever.

Antibiotics will not help a viral skin infection, where antibiotics need to be used as part of the treatment for a bacterial skin infection.

Viral skin infections include: Cold Sores, Herpes Zoster (Shingles), Pityriasis Rosea, Warts, and Molluscum Contagiosum.

Bacterial skin infections include: boils, carbuncles, furuncles, cellulitis, abscesses, impetigo scarlet fever, and erysipelas.

Knowing the difference between a viral skin infection and a bacterial skin infection is important for the doctor to know when designing a treatment plan. Knowing that cold sores and warts are viruses will put your mind at ease knowing that you do not need the expense of an antibiotic because antibiotics do not affect viruses.

You might say that an infection is an infection, but trying to prevent or treat a bacterial skin infection like you would a viral skin infection and you are likely to have a real serious problem on your hands. Correctly diagnosing the infection is key to proper treatment and faster relief. To help your doctor arrive at the correct diagnosis, it is important to give him/her an accurate medical history, and list of symptoms.

Stay informed and stay healthy. Knowledge is a powerful weapon against skin infection.

 



Better Your Health

Different Types of Skin Infections
Common Questions About Skin Infections
Skin Infection and Your Baby
Skin Yeast Infections
Staph Infection and You
Difference Between Bacterial Skin Infections and Viral Skin Infections
MRSA Skin Infection Scare
Understanding What Cellulitis Is
Understanding What Impetigo Is
Viral and Parasitic Skin Infections
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