Bacterial infections occur when a break in the skin such as a cut, scratch, or abrasion allows bacteria that normally lives on the surface of the skin to enter the body. This bacteria can damage the nerves, blood vessels, and tissues and lead to life threatening conditions.

In most cases, bacterial infections start off as small bumps and gradually increase in size over time. Let’s take a closer look at the most common types of bacterial infections of the skin, the symptoms they cause, and how they can be treated and prevented.

Common Types of Bacterial Infections

At Blue Ridge Dermatology, the most common types of bacterial infections we see include:

  • Cellulitis: Cellulitis is typically caused by strep bacteria or staph and leads to redness, swelling, and pain. It can also bring about headaches, chills, and blisters.
  • Folliculitis: Folliculitis occurs when hair follicles become infected and form pockets of pus underneath the skin. They resemble pimples, damaged hair, and inflamed follicles.
  • Impetigo: Impetigo is also caused by strep bacteria or staph and leads to painful blisters with pus that are itchy and often scab or oozes. This bacterial infection is very contagious and common in children.
  • Boils: Boils are deep skin infections that begin in hair follicles. They are firm, tender, and red bumps that progress until pus accumulates under the skin.

Diagnosing Bacterial Infections

If you believe you have a bacterial infection, you should visit our office as soon as possible. In addition, refrain from scratching or picking, sharing towels or other personal items, shaving the affected area, and having sex. Once you visit us, we’ll review your medical history, conduct a thorough examination, and may take some blood or antibacterial sensitivity tests.  

Treating Bacterial Infections

The goal of treating bacterial infections is to alleviate pain and discomfort while preventing serious health complications from arising. Fortunately, the majority of bacterial infections can be treated with antibiotics. If you have a bacterial infection, we may prescribe an antibiotic pill, cream, ointment, gel, or shampoo. Drainage may also be a viable treatment option.

Preventing Bacterial Infections

There are several ways you can reduce your risk of developing a bacterial infection. Washing your hands on a regular basis, keeping wounds clean and dry, and not sharing personal items can all help.

Contact Blue Ridge Dermatology Today

We encourage you to contact Blue Ridge Dermatology today if you are experiencing any symptoms of a bacterial infection. With our expertise, you’ll find the relief you deserve.