Skin infections can be caused by both fungi and bacteria.
Everyday fungal organisms live on the skin without causing an infection. Fungi can penetrate skin to cause infection when they find favorable conditions such as:
An impaired immune system
A break in the skin due to a tear, cut, friction, wear, or injury
Abnormal skin bacterial flora (sometimes due to taking antibiotics)
Moist areas in skin folds
Skin infections start out being acute but, left untreated, they can become chronic or systemic if the microorganisms gain access to the lymphatic or vascular systems.
Types of Fungal Infections
Roughly 25% of people are afflicted with fungal infections, which comprise the majority of skin, nail, and hair follicle infections. Common types of fungal infections include:
A fungal infection of the hair, skin, or nails. On the skin, tinea usually begins as a small red area the size of a pea. As it grows, it spreads out in a circle or ring. Tinea is often called ?ringworm? because it may look like tiny worms are under the skin (although they are not).
A fungal infection also known as ?athlete?s foot? that usually appears between the toes, but can also affect the bottom or sides of the feet.
A fungal infection also known as ?jock itch? that affects the groin and upper thighs it usually occurs in boys or men.
A chronic asymptomatic scaling dermatosis associated with the overgrowth of Pityrosporum ovale characterized by well-defined patches with variable pigmentation, occurring mostly on the trunk.
A fungal infection of the hand that usually appears between the fingers and on the surface of the palm it almost always accompanies tinea pedis.
A common inflammatory disease of the skin characterized by scaly lesions usually on the scalp, but it can also affect eyebrows, forehead, face, folds around the nose and ears, the chest, armpits, and groin. The fungus Pityrosporum ovale is a possible causative factor.
A superficial skin disorder involving any area of the body where opposing skin surfaces may touch and rub, such as the creases of the neck or the skin folds of the groin, armpits, and breasts. These moist areas can harbor fungal infections.
A fungal yeast infection most often affecting the skin around the nails or the soft, moist areas around body openings. Candida albicans, the modern name for Monilia albicans, is one of the most prevalent types of yeast that cause skin infections.
Inflammation and radiating fissures at the corners of the mouth most often linked to candidiasis also known as perl?che.
The primary treatment for a fungal infection is an antifungal agent, either a topical cream, gel, ointment, or lotion applied directly at the site or a pill taken orally that works systemically. Your physician will help decide which therapy is most suited to your condition.
Skin infections often are accompanied by inflammation. Most of the time that there is an infection or breach of the skin, it sets off an immune response, which can cause a variety of immune cells to rush to the site. This response often leads to redness (erythema), swelling (edema), and pain at the site.
The skin acts as the body?s barrier to bacteria. Healthy skin, in conjunction with resident flora, fights off bacterial invasions. Bacterial infections can occur in a wide variety of circumstances, most commonly:
Localized superficial bacterial infections (eg, impetigo)
Secondarily infected dermatitis or eczema
In moist areas of skin folds
Wound infections in minor wounds, injuries, or abrasions or following minor surgical or cosmetic procedures
Some common localized bacterial infections include:
Characterized by honey-brown scabs on the skin, usually on the face or extremities this infection can be transmitted by contact. Cases of impetigo occur more frequently in mild climates.
Boils and Folliculitis
Infections of hair follicles, typically caused by friction from clothing, blockage of the follicle, or shaving. The hair follicles are often subsequently infected with Staphylococcus (staph) bacteria.
When the skin is affected by inflammatory conditions such as dermatitis and eczema or by hemorrhoids, the damaged skin provides a medium for bacterial or fungal invasion and proliferation. Sometimes yellow crusting will be seen, as with impetigo, but more frequently, the skin only shows erosions.
Warning & Precautions.:
Alcortin A should be used with the following warnings and precautions in mind: Alcortin A is contraindicated for patients with hypersensitivity to iodoquinol or hydrocortisone acetate. Alcortin A is for external use only.