Microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses can infect any part of your body, including the skin. Skin infections are widespread in the population. It is highly likely that you have a family member or friend who has complained of skin infection at least once in their life.
The skin is essential in protecting you from infections. It has normal flora, which are natural bacteria on your body that help protect your body from infections. When the skin is infected, you may be susceptible to infections by other microorganisms.
Skin infections can be bacterial, viral, fungal, or parasitic. Impetigo and cellulitis are common bacterial infections, while fungal skin infections include yeast infections and athlete’s foot. Similarly, warts and herpes virus infections are the most common viral infections, while lice and scabies, the most common skin parasitic infections. Bacterial skin infections are the most prevalent compared to the rest. Each type of skin infection has symptoms characteristic to it. Some symptoms are mild and easily manageable at home using over the counter medications, while others may need a prescription from your doctor.
Many people believe that skin infections are usually contagious, implying that skin-to-skin contact with an infected person guarantees an infection. Skin-to-skin contact can be direct or indirect through the sharing of personal items like towels and clothes. Although this may apply to certain skin infections, it is not true to all infections. Skin infections, like acne and dermatitis, commonly known as eczema, are not contagious. However, infections like ringworms, molluscum contagiosum, and scabies are contagious. Therefore, you should take proper precautions when living with a person with such conditions to avoid the infection.