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Last Updated: Oct 18, 2021
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Skin Infections: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

About Types Symptoms Treatment Eligibility Ineligibility Side Effects Post-treatment Guidelines Recovery Price Results Alternatives

What is the treatment?

There are many different skin infections that can occur on the human body. These range from staph infections, pruritus, folliculitis, cellulitis, warts, ringworm, and even acne. They can occur because of bacteria, fungi, or even a virus, due to this, the list of infections that can occur on your skin is pretty diverse. As a result, so are the various treatment options that are available for a skin infection.

Depending on the cause of the infection, the treatment options that can be presented to you range from medications, antibiotics, creams, injections, and syrups. They can all be extremely effective though sometimes, if you have a particularly stubborn infection or a very severe one, it may take a combination of all these different medications to clear it up. Since the skin is the largest organ of the body and the only one to always be on display, it’s imperative that it look healthy and clean at all times. Infected skin can be very off putting and even if your condition is not contagious, people will always assume that it is. This is why you should seek treatment for your infection as soon as it starts to appear. Whether it is a minor infection or a major one, having it out of the way is always better than having your skin itch, burn, or look red all the time.

Do all Skin Infections need antibiotics?

As the treatment plan related to a Skin Infection mainly depends on the type and severity of the infection, it's not always the antibiotics that take the call. Antibiotics too have their limitations so cannot be used blindly in all cases. Such cases include eczema i.e red, itchy, and scaly skin, inflamed cysts, surgical wound, infection from superbugs, and lower leg redness and inflammation.

What is the most common Skin Infection?

Skin Infections mainly involve bacterial infections, which commonly occur are cellulitis, impetigo, folliculitis, erysipelas, carbuncles, and furuncles. Out of these, the most common Skin Infection is cellulitis, caused by the bacteria staphylococcus or streptococcus. It involves the dermal or subcutaneous infection of the skin characterized by edema, warmth as well as borders that are poorly demarcated.

What are the five signs of an infection?

An infection may be bacterial, viral, fungal or protozoan depending upon the type of invasive pathogen. Whatever be the infection type, it initiates with some common signs and symptoms. The most important signs which should not be ignored include fever, chills and sweats, increased urination, shortness of breath, and sore throat or new mouth sore.

How is the treatment done?

The first step to getting anything treated is to get the diagnosis. Without this, the treatment plan will always be a shot in the dark. Your doctor will begin by examining your skin thoroughly. If the answer is not apparent from sight, a culture of your skin cells or a biopsy of your skin will be needed to see what the problem is. Sometimes, a blood test can also be quite revealing as it can indicate all the bacteria or viruses you may have floating around your system.

After the diagnosis is made, your treatment plan can be created. If your infection is caused by a bacteria, you will most likely be prescribed antibiotic medications and creams to combat it. If your infection is caused by a fungus, you will most likely be prescribed anti-fungal creams to apply topically. If your infection is caused by a virus, then you will be given the appropriate medication to stabilize the symptoms.

Your doctor or dermatologist will let you know about the specific prescription and dosage that you will need for your problems. More often than not, the medications and creams that will be prescribed to you will be available over the counter and you can replenish your stock on your own if needed. However, very strong creams and ointments often require a prescription for you to buy them. It is important to note that there are certain skin infections like eczema that do not have a specific cure. In this case, the treatment course will focus mainly on managing the symptoms and keeping them in check rather than eradicating them completely. Though this may be disheartening, sometimes even controlling the symptoms can bring about a ton of relief.

Will a Skin Infection heal on its own?

The treatment and healing of Skin Infections usually depend upon the type of infection and its severity. A few infections get healed themselves while the other ones may need a consultation with a doctor. The treatment plan generally includes either topical application of any medicated cream, lotions, etc., or a course of antibiotics.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

Anyone who is diagnosed with any skin infection is eligible to get the treatment.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

If your skin infection is something that is referral by nature, meaning that it is mainly indicative of another underlying condition or disease, you will not be able to cure it with the help of medications meant for skin infections.

Are there any side effects?

As is the case with most medication, there are certain side effects that you should be vary of. If you have been prescribed antibiotics, you may develop a mild fever as a reaction to the medication. This is completely normal as antibiotics do tend to raise the temperature of the body a little bit. Furthermore, if you are allergic to specific ingredients that are used in medicine or as medicine, such as penicillin (which is quite common in most pain relief drugs), you should mention it to your doctor as you may end up developing an allergy.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

The post treatment guidelines normally depend on the infection that you have. In some cases, you may have to make certain changes in your diet or lifestyle to prevent the infection from coming back. In other cases, you may have to add an extra product or two to your daily hygiene or skin care regimen to continue to take care of it and make it look healthy.

How long does it take to recover?

Depending on the severity of the infection, it can take anywhere between 5-10 days for it to clear up completely.

How long do Skin Infections last?

The treatment duration of any Skin Infection depends upon the severity and type of infection, however, it takes 2 to 3 days for the initiation of signs of improvement. The full course of antibiotics, be it oral or topical, must be completed as prescribed by the doctor. Hence, considering this, the time period till which the infection lasts may be from 1 week to 2 weeks.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

Ointments range in prices from Rs 50 – Rs 200, depending on the brand of the cream and the type of cream that you are using. The price also depends on the size of the tubing and the strength of the dosage that has been prescribed to you. Oral medications also cost anywhere between Rs 50 – Rs 100 for a single leaf.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

The results of treating most skin infections are permanent. However, when it comes to infections that do not have a cure, such as eczema, there is no such thing as a permanent treatment or permanent results.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

For minor skin infections, there are certain home remedies or herbal remedies that one can use instead of using medications. For instance, if you have acne-prone skin, you can use a face mask made of turmeric and honey. Turmeric has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that help get rid of pimples while the honey lightens the scars they leave behind. Similarly, a scrub with oats, yoghurt, and honey also helps with the same problem. Using a cold compress to temporarily relieve yourself of any inflammation caused by an infection or extreme itching can also help. Certain types of essential oils that have anti-inflammatory properties can also be used to massage onto your skin to relieve yourself of the symptoms. Lavender oil, lemon oil, and clove oil are good options to consider.

Summary: Skin Infections mainly involve cellulitis, impetigo, folliculitis, erysipelas, carbuncles, and furuncles. Out of these, the most common is cellulitis, caused by the bacteria staphylococcus or streptococcus. It involves the dermal or subcutaneous infection of the skin characterized by edema, warmth as well as borders that are poorly demarcated. The treatment plan generally includes either topical application of any medicated cream, lotions, etc., or a course of antibiotics.

Popular Questions & Answers

I recently got my ear piercing done and after 3-4 weeks it has become infected like there is a ball that has formed behind my ear and pus also drains out. I have removed my earrings and have put neem sticks in it so that it doesn't closes and applying soframycin as well but its not helping even after applying for a week. Please suggest something so that the ball reduces and the infection gets clear.

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MD - Dermatology
Dermatologist, Rohtak
Hi lybrate-user. It sounds like there may be an infection that would need medicines to be had orally. Kindly visit a dermatologist so your problem could be personally addressed and doesn't worsen. Prescriptions cannot be advised on this public for...

Fungal infection on both hands. Blisters, cracks very bad itching, skin peeling. Diabetic and taking vildagliptin+metformin. Tried allopathic treatment. Steroid cream, moisturisers but no cure.

MD - Dermatology, MBBS, Senior Residency - Dermatosurgery & cosmeotologist
Dermatologist, Mangalore
Steroid should not be used without proper prescription. It may ght have made your fungal infection more resistant to other treatments. Consult online, will need to evaluate the lesion properly.

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