All About Bacteria

Did you know there are millions upon millions of tiny, undetectable bacteria hitching free rides on our skin every day? Studies of the skin microbiome is an incredibly active field, with new discoveries regularly being uncovered. Scientists have discovered that the bacteria we mainly thought thrives on our skin only makes up 5% of that microbiome. There are now thought to be over 1,000 unique bacteria species thriving on our skin.

These microscopic creatures might seem like freeloaders, but they actually help to provide a protective layer that prevents harmful bacteria from colonizing the skin’s surface. Unfortunately, they can also cause a number of skin issues and might enter the bloodstream through cuts or abrasions, which could spur a life-threatening illness.

What skin issues can bacteria cause?

Some of the skin diseases and complications that are linked to bacteria include:

  • Acne – This skin condition that afflicts nearly everyone is caused by a colonization of Propionibacterium acnes. Pimples, whiteheads, and blackheads often pop up in this situation.
  • Atopic dermatitis – This condition crops up on kids and comes with a red, itchy, scaly rash. It’s caused by the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria and is typically treated with antibiotics, corticosteroids, and removing and avoiding soaps, allergen, or other irritants.
  • Cellulitis – A staph or strep bacteria strain can cause this deep bacterial infection of the skin. You’ll experience redness, swelling, pain, heat, and occasionally blisters in the skin. Advanced cases will also come with fevers, chills, and headaches.
  • Impetigo – Children are very susceptible to this fast-spreading infection, which is also caused by a staph or strep bacteria. Once infected, children will experience red, itchy, painful blisters that often ooze pus and form scabs. Keep the area clean, dry, and covered to prevent the infection from continuing to spread.

If you have skin issues that sound like any of the above, you might have a bacterial skin infection. It’s important that you visit your dermatologist as soon as possible for proper treatment and diagnosis. If you’re dealing with a bacterial infection, or if you have any other skin, nail, or hair issues, it’s time to give us a call! Here at Old Bridge Dermatology, our dermatologist, Dr. Juan Vaillant, can help you address any other skin, nail, or hair problem that you are experiencing. To schedule an appointment at our convenient Old Bridge, NJ office, call us today at 732-679-0222.