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Skin Infections

 

Molluscum Contagiosum

Molluscum contagiosum is an infectious viral disease of the skin caused by the poxvirus. Infection is common in children, especially those with eczema. Transmission can occur via direct skin or mucous membrane contact.

Molluscum are smooth pink, or flesh-colored, dome-shaped, umbilicated papules. Most patients have many in common areas such as the underarm,  popliteal fossae, and groin. They often self resolve but occasionally can persist and spread.

Treatment options include cryosurgery, laser ablation, curettage,  cantharidin, topical creams.

 

Viral Warts

Warts are common and are due to the human papillomavirus (HPV).

The common wart is the most frequently seen as a hyperkeratotic, flesh-colored papule or plaque studded with small black dots. Other types of warts include flat warts and plantar warts.

Treatment options include cryosurgery, electrosurgery, laser ablation and topical lotions. Sexual partners of patients with genital warts will require examination with possible need for  the HPV vaccines. These vaccines ( Gardasil) aim to prevent further genital HPV infection and ultimately cervical cancer in women.

 

Herpes Simplex

Herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection is a painful, and often recurrent blistering infection. Common areas include the lips, the mucosa of the mouth and genital areas. Sometimes your doctor may take some of the blister fluid for testing.

Acyclovir and valacyclovir are effective. For recurrent infection (more than six episodes per year), suppressive treatment is warranted.

 

Herpes Zoster ( Shingles)

Shingles is an acute, painful blistering rash that affects up to 20% of adults. It begins with pain in a bandlike area on the skin, followed by redness and blisters a few days later.

It is due to the reactivation of the varicella virus and often occurs after  illness, stress, trauma, and surgery.

Treatment includes rest, painkillers and early antiviral therapy. There is a vaccine ( Zostavax) that is available to prevent the occurrence and severity of zoster outbreaks.

 

Tinea infections (Fungal)

Fungal infections of the skin are common in our hot and humid climate. It can affect any part of the body from the toenails to the scalp. They exist in various forms and often appear as flaky scaly patches which may be red or itchy.

Tinea pedis (athlete’s foot) is the most common fungal infection. Tinea cruris (jock itch) occurs in the groin and on the upper, inner thighs and buttocks. Tinea capitis, or fungal infection of the scalp, is most common in children. Tinea corporis (body), faciei (face), and manuum (hands) represent infections of different sites of the body. Tinea unguium (onychomycosis) is fungal nail disease, characterized by thickened yellow nails and subungual debris.

Tinea (Pityriasis) Versicolor

Usual areas include the back, chest, and neck. The rash appears and circular scaly pale or brown patches on the skin which may be itchy.

Treatment options include antifungal creams, shampoos and washes. If needed, oral anti-fungal tablets are recommended.

 

Bacterial infections

Impetigo is a skin infection usually caused by Staphylococcus aureus and occasionally by Streptococcus pyogenes. It appears a weepy areas of the skin, drying to a yellowish pink crust with occasional blisters.

Folliculitis is a infection of the hair follicles appearing as red painful or itchy firm bumps or pustules.

Erysipelas and cellulitis appear as red warm painful swollen areas of the skin, often on the fingers, hands, feet or legs, and requires early medical attent