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Skin Infections

Abscesses & Folliculitis

What they are? Put simply, Abcesses and Folliculitis are bacterial infections of hair follicles most often caused by staph or strep. They appear as a pus-filled pocket at the base of a hair and can occur when bacteria enters the skin via the follicle or a tiny wound. These may be isolated and only on the surface, or they may go deeper within the skin.

Impetigo:

Impetigo is a superficial bacterial skin infection caused by staph or strep. It frequently affects children and usually occurs on the face, legs, and arms. It appears as blisters or sores with scabby yellow crust. It is highly contagious, both on the person and from person to person.

MRSA:

Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) is a strain of bacteria that is resistant to many antibiotics. MRSA can be acquired in a hospital setting, but the frequency of community-acquired MRSA is growing. This is caused by sharing equipment and personal items (as in a locker-room or bathroom).

Hives:

Hives are welts on the skin that often itch. These welts can appear on any part of the skin. Hives vary in size from as small as a pen tip to as large as a dinner plate.  A hive often goes away in 24 hours or less. New hives may appear as old ones fade, so hives may last for a few days or longer. A bout of hives usually lasts less than 6 weeks. These hives are called acute hives. If hives last more than 6 weeks, they are called chronic hives. Acute hives often result from an allergy, but they can have many other causes. Watch the video below for more information.

Shingles:

Anyone who has had chickenpox can get shingles. After the chickenpox clears, the Herpes Zoster virus stays in the body. If the virus reactivates (wakes up), the result is shingles, a painful, blistering rash. Shingles is most common in older adults. A vaccine, which can prevent shingles, is available to people ages 50 and older. Watch the video below for more information.

Fever Blisters:

Fever Blisters are caused by a common virus called Herpes Simplex. Watch the video below for more information.

What We Do

Bacterial Infections are treated with topical antibiotics, and if a large area is involved, oral antibiotics may be prescribed. Abscesses require incision and drainage in our office.  A bacterial culture may be taken to determine the best course of antibiotics. Viral infections can be treated with an anti-viral medicine, which can make symptoms milder and shorter. Anti-viral medicine is most effective when started within 3 days of an outbreak.