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When Should I Worry About an Infection?

~ As Appeared in the March 2017 Issue of North Shore News ~

It’s good practice to keep a close eye on all infections.

Some bacteria have become resistant to certain antibiotics, and identifying the infection quickly allows the physician to provide the right treatment.

As a rule of thumb, if the skin around the area is warm, swollen and red for more than a day, or
if something is draining from the area, see a doctor. If you develop fevers, chills or body aches, or if the area rapidly worsens including swelling, blisters or redness, see your doctor or go to the emergency room immediately. Resist the urge to stick anything into the swollen area—opening the skin allows, even more, bacteria to swarm in.
We live in a tropical environment—exactlythe warm and wet atmosphere bacteria love. Many types of bacteria can infect the skin. The most common are Staphylococcus (staph) and Streptococcus (strep). We see a considerable amount of impetigo, which is most common in children but can occur in adults.

It often starts out as pimple-like sores surrounded by red skin usually on the face, arms and legs. The sores fill with pus, break open after a few
days and form a honey-like crust as they spread. They itch and scratching is tempting, but that can spread the sores to other areas of the body.
Because impetigo is contagious and spreads through direct contact, avoid sharing things like towels. When you see signs of impetigo, call your
doctor for a treatment plan or drop by our Primary Care Clinic.