Bacterial Skin Infections

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

Many types of bacterial skin infections require clinical care by a physician or other health care professional. Listed in the directory below are some, for which we have provided a brief overview.

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