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Is Actinomycosis Contagious? How Can It Be Treated?

Written and reviewed by
MBBS, Diploma In Dermatology And Venerology And Leprosy (DDVL), MD - Dermatology , Venereology & Leprosy
Dermatologist, Bangalore  •  17 years experience
Is Actinomycosis Contagious? How Can It Be Treated?

Actinomycosis is a condition which is caused due to a bacteria called actinomycetaceae bacteria.

One interesting thing to know about actinomycosis is that the sort of bacteria which are responsible for it are almost always present in the human body. As a matter of fact, the bacteria are present and live in the linings of the mouth, the throat and the digestive system. In the case of women, it is also present in their vagina. Men fall prey to actinomycosis more than women. Also this disease is more common among adults.

There is nothing wrong or threatening at all when it comes to being a host to these bacteria, unless there is a cut in the body and they are given the ripe opportunity to enter the body to a deeper level. The condition of actinomycosis often lasts for a long time. But since it is not contagious, there is little need to worry about a transfer of actinomycosis from one person to another. This is due to the fact that the bacteria cannot survive outside the body as it is of the anaerobic type.

Symptoms

When a person has actinomycosis, some of the prominent symptoms include draining sores on the skin, coughing as well as chest pain. In addition to these, you may also notice lumps beginning to appear on the face of the affected person, a sudden weight loss, fatigue and fever. Sometime you may also see a few abscesses or scar tissues as symptoms to the disease.

Treatment

Some of the preventive measures which one may take includes reduction in alcohol consumption, following healthy practises which also means following a regular diet routine, and avoiding any dental problems.

But even after all such precautionary steps, if you’re diagnosed with actinomycosis, antibiotics may become your best bet. Some of the popular ones which doctors prescribe to their patients are tetracycline and erythromycin. There are side effects to consuming these medicines as a person can have a rash or diarrhoea when these medicines are consumed.

Also the time required to treat actinomycosis is long. In fact, a person can expect it to be up to a year until he or she is completely cured. Depending on how bad the situation is, the lumps which are caused due to actinomycosis may also need to be removed through a surgery. However, before you decide to go for a treatment to cure actinomycosis, consult a qualified doctor and follow his / her advice.

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