Skin Infections (Bacterial, Fungal, Viral) in Boston, MA

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What Are Skin Infections?

Dermatologist Dr. Vladyslava Doktor and her team at Skin Center Boston diagnose and treat a variety of bacterial, fungal, and viral skin infections. Common skin infections treated at our Boston, MA office include tinea versicolor, ringworm, impetigo, and HPV (human papillomavirus). Tinea versicolor is an infection causing light and/or dark spots on the skin. Ringworm causes red, raised, scaly patches on the skin that itch and could blister and ooze. Impetigo is a contagious skin infection mostly seen in infants and children where red sores appear on the face near the nose and mouth and also on the hands and feet. The sores can burst, causing a honey-colored crust to develop. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease. Symptoms can include warts on the genitals and surrounding areas.

What Causes Skin Infections?

Skin infections can spread in a variety of ways, depending on what infection is present. Dermatologist Dr. Vladyslava is skilled in diagnosing skin infections, which leads to proper treatment.

Tinea versicolor is caused by a type of yeast that while naturally lives on the skin can grow out of control and cause the rash. It's typically seen in those that have oily skin, live in a hot climate, sweat a lot, are experiencing hormonal changes, or even have a weakened immune system. This is not contagious and is seen mostly in teens and young adults.

Ringworm is caused when a person comes in contact with soil that is hosting ringworm fungi. It can be spread through contact with infected animals or humans, or by sharing items that have the fungus on it. There are a variety of types of ringworm, including ringworm of the scalp, ringworm of the body, jock itch, and athlete's foot.

Impetigo is caused by strains of staph or strep bacteria that get into the body through a cut, insect bite, rash, or something of the like. The infection can be transferred if a person touches the sore of another person, or touches something, like a ball, clothing, or sheet, that the person has used.

HPV (human papillomavirus) is transmitted through skin-to-skin contact, often through sexual intercourse. It can also be spread to a baby during delivery. There are over 100 different varieties of HPV. Dr. Doktor can help determine which variety it is, then determine the cause and treatment from there.

Clear Up Skin Infections

If you're noticing abnormal spots or rashes on your skin, contact dermatologist Dr. Vladyslava Doktor, as you may have a skin infection. Skin Center Boston in Boston, MA treats men, women, and children in Boston, Natick, Chestnut Hill, and surrounding areas. Call us today to schedule an appointment to get your infection checked out as soon as possible.

What are the Symptoms of Skin Infections?

Signs and symptoms of skin infections will vary from person to person, depending on the type of infection. It's important to have a skilled dermatologist, like Dr. Vladyslava, diagnose a skin infection so it can be properly treated.

Tinea versicolor can occur on people of all backgrounds but is most common in teens and young adults. Those with this skin infection may notice patches of skin that are lighter or darker in color, itchy, scaly, or even turn a pink or red color. Tinea versicolor can appear on the arms, chest, neck or back, and is prone to disappear in cooler, less humid weather.

Ringworm typically shows up as red, itchy patches on the skin that develop blisters. A common sign of ringworm is a redder ring on the outside of the infection. Ringworm is typically raised, although symptoms can vary, depending on where a person is infected. Most people who have ringworm see symptoms on their scalp, feet, nails, groin, beard, or other areas. It can also spread to other areas of the body.

Signs of impetigo include a reddish sore on the skin, often presented in clusters around the nose or lips. The sores grow into blisters rather quickly and often burst and form a yellowish crust on the skin. The sores tend to itch and can often hurt. Once the sores crust, they cause a red mark that usually fades without leaving a scar. A fever can also be present with impetigo.

HPV often doesn't have any noticeable symptoms. Those with symptoms will often find bumps or lesions in their genital areas. Some strains of HPV can cause cervical cancer so it's vital a woman who suspects she may have HPV get checked out as soon as possible.

How Are Skin Infections Treated?

Skin infections do not impact any two people in the same way, which is why it's important to get a trusted diagnosis from a skilled dermatologist, like Dr. Doktor. At Skin Center Boston, we can diagnose you and get you started with treatment right away to help clear up your skin infection.

Tinea versicolor can be treated in a variety of ways. In some cases, the infection can be treated at home with an over-the-counter antifungal cream or shampoo suggested by our dermatologist. In more severe cases, we may prescribe prescription medication, such as a topical cream or pill.

For patients with ringworm, a variety of treatment options are available. We may suggest an over-the-counter antifungal cream, or in stronger cases, we may suggest a prescription-strength medication. A large component to treatment, however, will be lifestyle changes, including washing bedding and clothing daily, drying areas of the skin thoroughly after bathing, and wearing loose-fitting clothing.

In those with impetigo, an antibiotic will typically be prescribed. In those with a small area impacted, a topical cream may be preferred. With treatment, impetigo usually clears up within a week to 10 days.

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