Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Risk Factors Symptoms Evaluation Treatment specialist Warning Signs Complications Underlying Cause

Flesh Eating Bacteria Underlying Cause

Bacteria are normally present on the surface of the skin. Usually, the bacteria are harmless because the surface of the skin acts as a protective barrier. When this barrier is broken, bacteria can spread beneath the surface and start to grow. Cellulitis is caused by a bacterial infection of the skin. Necrotizing fasciitis is caused by a bacterial infection of the tissue beneath the skin.

Bacteria that cause necrotizing fasciitis include:

  • Group A streptococcus
  • Clostridium perfringens
  • Clostridium septicum
  • Staphylococcus aureus

Causes of skin infection that may lead to necrotizing fasciitis include:

Last Updated: Dec 21, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Flesh Eating Bacteria References
  1. Fritzsche SD. Soft-tissue infection: necrotizing fasciitis. Plast Surg Nurs. 2003 Winter;23(4):155-9. [14976707]
  2. Jallali N, Withey S, Butler PE. Hyperbaric oxygen as adjuvant therapy in the management of necrotizing fasciitis. Am J Surg. 2005 Apr;189(4):462-6. [15820462]
  3. Taviloglu K, Cabioglu N, Cagatay A, Yanar H, Ertekin C, Baspinar I, Ozsut H, Guloglu R. Idiopathic necrotizing fasciitis: risk factors and strategies for management. Am Surg. 2005 Apr;71(4):315-20. [15943405]
  4. Wong CH, Wang YS. The diagnosis of necrotizing fasciitis. Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2005 Apr;18(2):101-6. [15735411]
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