Facts for Fighting Skin Infection

Viral and Parasitic Skin Infections

Cold sores are small blisters around the mouth that are caused by herpes simplex virus. Herpes simplex is not curable. Hot sun, a cold wind, or coming down with a cold may bring on an outbreak of herpes simplex virus.

Infection Fighting Ideas

Viral infections of the skin include cold sores, herpes zoster (shingles) and warts. Parasitic infections of the skin include creeping eruption, lice and scabies.

Viral Skin Infections:

There are three main groups of viral skin infections they are papillomavirus, herpes simplex virus and poxvirus.

Cold sores are small blisters around the mouth that are caused by herpes simplex virus. Herpes simplex is not curable. Hot sun, a cold wind, or coming down with a cold may bring on an outbreak of herpes simplex virus. You may feel a tingling of the lips before seeing the cold sore or may feel an itching or irritation of the lips or mouth.

Shingles is also known as Herpes Zoster and is a common infection involving blisters on the skin anywhere on the body. The pain from this infection can last for months. This infection is common in persons with depressed immune systems and in those who are over 50 years of age. The symptoms of shingles include skin sensitivity or pain in the area where the rash appeared, the rash lasts longer than five days and you may have blisters that turn yellow and then dry leaving small, pitted scars. You may have early symptoms of headache, fever, and gastrointestinal upset.

Warts are caused by a virus and are noncancerous skin growths. Children often get warts. Warts can spread by skin-to-skin contact. There are different types of warts, common, foot, flat, genital and filiform.

Cat Skin Infections

Those at a higher risk include those with diabetes, those who have AIDS and those who have damaged skin from sunburn or scratching. Cellulitis is one type of bacterial skin infection. It can spread from the upper layer of skin to the dermis and is characterized by swelling and tenderness at the site of the infection. Skin Yeast Infections

Parasitic Skin Infections:

Small insects and worms burrow into the skin where they live and lay their eggs. Creeping eruption is caused by hookworms. The parasite is spread to humans by contact with the feces of cats and dogs who have hookworms. If you have this infection you may have severe itching of the feet, legs, back or buttock regions. You may see a winding rash caused by the hookworm burrowing into a tract. The treatment for creeping eruptions is liquid thiabendazole and other various topical ointments.

Lice are tiny insects that can infest the skin anywhere on the body. You can have them on your head, body or in the pubic area. Lice are highly contagious and can be spread from one person to another when there is close body contact, sharing of clothes or other personal items like hairbrushes, hats and combs. Head lice are common in school aged kids, and in childcare settings. The eggs of lice are called nits and are difficult to remove. Body lice are seen most often on individuals who have poor personal hygiene. Pubic lice is very contagious and can be transmitted by sexual contact with an infected person, by using towels or clothing of someone who has public lice. Medicated cream rinse and shampoo are used to treat head and pubic lice. Nits need to be combed out. Body lice does not need medication they will disappear with improved personal hygiene. Bed sheets and blankets need to be washed to prevent re-infestation.

Scabies are caused by mites (tiny insects). This infection can be spread from one person to another, usually from sleeping together and when having close personal contact. Symptoms may take up to six weeks to appear after contact. Young kids can get hem on the head, neck, palms and the soles of the feet. Older kids and adults can have them on the hands, between fingers, along the belt line, around the belly button, in the groin area and around breasts and in the armpits. The symptoms include itching, rash with small pimples or red bumps. The advanced symptoms include scaly or crusty skin. Scabies is treatable. All members of the family must be treated to prevent re-infestation. Treatment is with prescription creams and lotions and oral medication (antihistamine) to relieve the itching. Topical ointments may be recommended also. All bedding and clothes must be washed in hot water and dried in a hot dryer. Also any pillows or stuffed animals must also be washed. If they cannot be washed they should be put into a plastic bag for at least one week. The itching may last for an entire week after treatment has begun.


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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