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Bacterial Infections of the Skin

Advanced Medicine and Personal Care

The skin is the body's first barrier against bacteria that cause infections. Even though many bacteria live on the surface of our skin, healthy skin can usually protect us from infection. However, bacterial skin infections can affect a small spot or may spread, affecting a large area. They can range from a treatable infection to a life-threatening skin condition.

Any one who has a break in the skin is at risk for infection. However, certain conditions or diseases can put a person at greater risk for infection, including the following:

  • diabetes (which causes poor blood flow to the skin)
  • acquired immune deficiency syndrome, or AIDS (because of a depressed immune system that is unable to fight the infection
  • skin damaged by sunburn or scratching

There are many types of bacterial skin infections that require clinical care by a physician or other healthcare professional. Listed in the directory to the left are some, for which we have provided a brief overview.