Redness, tenderness, or new growths like boils or warts can indicate you have a skin infection. The board-certified dermatologists at Dermatology Associates, with two offices in Phoenix, Arizona, evaluate bacterial, viral, fungal, and parasitic skin infections before treating them with evidence-based care. If you believe you have a skin infection, call either Dermatology Associates office or schedule an appointment online today.
Skin infections come from germs that get into your skin, usually through a wound or small crack. One of the main roles of your skin is keeping these germs out of your body, but sometimes they get deep enough into the skin to cause infection.
The Dermatology Associates team examines your skin infection to determine the type:
Some of the most common bacterial infections are cellulitis and staph infections. They happen when harmful bacteria get into the skin or underlying tissue to cause redness, itching, abscesses, and other symptoms.
Viral infections come from viruses, such as shingles or human papillomavirus (HPV). Some spread through direct skin-to-skin contact. Others are viral infections affecting your whole body that cause skin symptoms among others.
Fungi cause athlete’s foot and yeast infections, which are two common infections of the skin.
A boil is a specific type of bacterial skin infection that appears when the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus leads to a round, pus-filled bump. Many boils in a cluster are called carbuncles.
A boil appears when a staph infection infects a hair follicle in your skin. The follicle quickly fills with pus and becomes large, red, and tender. Boils can have yellow or white centers and may weep fluid or crust over.
Although boils may look like they could burst on their own at any second, you shouldn’t attempt to pop or prick them on your own as this can spread the infection. Instead, contact Dermatology Associates for professional drainage if the boil doesn’t disappear on its own over time.
Bacterial infections like boils and cellulitis usually require antibiotic medications to eliminate the bacteria from your skin. For an antibiotic to be effective, you must complete your prescribed round of antibiotics according to your dermatologist’s specific instructions. If you have an abscess or boil, the team might need to drain it in the office.
Other treatments for skin infections or their symptoms are:
Be sure to contact Dermatology Associates right away if you develop a fever when you have a skin infection. Call Dermatology Associates or schedule an appointment online if you have symptoms of a possible skin infection right away.