Skin Infections Overview
What are skin infections?
A person with a skin infection has inflammation of the skin, usually caused by bacteria. Fungi, viruses and parasites may also cause skin infections. The skin acts as a barrier that protects the body from infection. If the surface of the skin is injured, organisms may enter the skin and start to grow. Common skin infections include cellulitis, lymphangitis, and skin abscess.
What are the symptoms of skin infections?
Symptoms of skin infections include skin redness, pain, swelling, tenderness and warmth. Additional symptoms of skin infections may include fever, pus draining from the skin, or swollen glands.
How does the doctor treat skin infections?
Treatment for skin infections may include rest, elevation of the infected area, warm compresses, antibiotics, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain and fever. Surgery may be required to remove infected tissue or a skin foreign body.
Continue to Skin Infections Risk Factors
- Hedrick J. Acute bacterial skin infections in pediatric medicine: current issues in presentation and treatment. Paediatric Drugs. 2003;5 Suppl 1:35-46. 
- Hepburn MJ, Dooley DP, Skidmore PJ, Ellis MW, Starnes WF, Hasewinkle WC. Comparison of short-course (5 days) and standard (10 days) treatment for uncomplicated cellulitis. Arch Intern Med. 2004 Aug 9-23;164(15):1669-74. 
- Laube S, Farrell AM. Bacterial skin infections in the elderly: diagnosis and treatment. Drugs Aging. 2002;19(5):331-42. 
- Murthi GV, Okoye BO, Spicer RD, Cusick EL, Noblett HR. Perianal abscess in childhood. Pediatr Surg Int. 2002 Dec;18(8):689-91. 
- Starkey CR, Steele RW. Medical management of orbital cellulitis. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2001 Oct;20(10):1002-5.