diploma in family medicine Malaysia

Skin infections: How many common types are there?

When it comes to skin infections, there are actually quite a few that you should know about. However, this should be common knowledge for any Malaysian student who is pursuing a medical degree or diploma such as a diploma in family medicine Malaysia, there are three common types of skin infections: bacterial, viral, and fungal. 

How many types of skin infections are there?

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Bacterial skin infections: occur when bacteria enter the body through cuts or other open wounds. Common bacterial skin infections include impetigo, cellulitis, and folliculitis. Impetigo is a very contagious infection characterised by blisters filled with fluid which can itch and ooze pus; this type of infection usually affects young children. Cellulitis is an infection of the deeper layers of the skin caused by certain types of bacteria; this type of infection can cause redness, swelling, fever and tenderness. Folliculitis is an infection of the hair follicles caused by bacteria; symptoms include red bumps that may itch and ooze pus.

Viral skin infections: are caused by viruses and can range from mild to severe. Common viral skin infections include chicken pox, shingles, warts, molluscum contagiosum and herpes simplex virus (HSV). Chickenpox is a common childhood illness characterised by red itchy spots that form blisters with fluid in them. Shingles is a painful rash caused by the same virus as chickenpox; it usually affects people over age 50 or those who have weakened immune systems. Warts are non-cancerous growths caused by various strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV). Molluscum contagiosum is caused by a poxvirus and is characterised by small round lesions on the skin. HSV causes cold sores or fever blisters around the mouth; it can also cause painful ulcers in other areas of the body.

Fungal skin infections: refer to any infection caused by fungi. These types of infections are usually more difficult to treat than bacterial or viral infections due to their hard nature. Common fungal skin infections include athlete’s foot, jock itch, ringworm, and yeast infections. An athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that typically affects the feet; it causes itching, burning and redness. Jock itch is a fungal infection that affects the groyne area and can cause intense itching. Ringworm is a fungal infection of the skin, scalp or nails; it is characterised by red, scaly patches on the skin. Yeast infections are caused by an overgrowth of yeast and can cause irritation and itching in the affected area. 

How could people prevent the risk of having them? 

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Skin infections are common and can range in severity. To prevent the risk of having skin infections, it is important to practise good hygiene regularly. This includes bathing or showering at least once a day and washing your hands often. Use a mild soap that does not contain any artificial fragrances or dyes, as these can be irritating to the skin. Avoiding sharing items such as razors, towels, and clothing with others can also help prevent the spread of common skin infections. Additionally, be sure to wear proper clothing when outdoors and cover any exposed areas if necessary. It is also important to get regular check-ups from a doctor so that any potential problems or changes in your skin can be monitored and treated. Taking these steps can help keep your skin healthy and reduce the risk of common skin infections. 

If you have any questions or concerns about common skin infections, don’t hesitate to reach out to a healthcare professional for advice. Keep in mind that taking good care of your skin is an important part of staying healthy and preventing common skin infections. With a few simple steps, you can help keep your skin infection-free! 

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