Skin Infections


Article Index
Skin Infections
Bacterial Skin Infections
Viral infections
Fungal and Yeast Infections
All Pages

The human skin

Is a vast immunological organ system that encases the entire body. What most people don't realize is that it's comprised not only of the skin but the hair & scalp and nails. There are literally thousands of pathogens that can impact the human skin. One of the most import roles the skin plays in avoiding skin infections is to act as a barricade to these outside pathogens. These invaders can be in the form of bacteria, fungus or viruses.

The average person's skin weighs almost 9 lbs., and is comprised of three separate layers: the epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous tissue. There are two major kinds of human skin: glabrous skin, the non-hairy skin on the palms and soles, and hair-bearing skin. Within the last cited kind, the hairs are organized each with hair follicle, sebaceous gland, and an affiliated arrector pili muscle.

Common Skin Infections

Fungi can cause many kinds of skin infections. Fungal infections are persistent. The invading fungal spore prefers damp places on the human body, although they are fairly capable of infecting any part of the skin. Some typical skin infections caused by fungus are athlete's foot, jock itch, and yeast infections. Typical symptoms include persistent itching sensations, flaking of the skin, and eruptions on the skin. Without proper care they can become extremely hard to clear up.

Another very common fungal illness is ringworm. Ringworm usually infects the region of the groin where it is slightly wet, though it can infect almost all other places on the body.

Bacterial Skin infections

The skin is a natural host for thousands of bacterial species. These bacteria create colonies on the skin and for the most part are considered part of the regular, healthy skin flora. Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes are not frequent visitors to the skin's flora, but they can survive without necessarily causing an outbreak. Over exposing the skin to pollution, natural trauma, pre-existing skin illnesses, and poor hygiene can contribute to the weakening of healthy skin flora allowing offensive bacteria to proliferate - resulting in a major disruption. For the athlete, skin-to-skin contact (including hair) with an infected individual or surface can cause skin infections to occur as well.

Viral infections

Outbreaks of viral infections, Herpes simplex virus (HSV) being one of the most common, occur once the virus gains a direct foothold at mucosal coverings or on locations where the skin is abraded. After the main implantation, the virus then travels to the adjacent dorsal ganglia. There it stays dormant if not reactivated by psychological stress, bodily strain, or even sunlight.

Fungal and Yeast Infections

Skin Infections due to fungal organisms occur frequently especially in the form of jock itch and athletes foot because these organisms have a very high affinity for keratinized tissue. In other words, they like to thrive on the skin, in your fingernails, and on your hair.

The majority of fungal infections consist of three main categories of fungus—Trichophyton, Microsporum, and Epidermophyton. Most of these fungal colonies thrive in loamy soil, on animals, and on infected humans skin and hair.