Cellulitis is an infection of the skin and underlying tissue, most often from the strep bacteria. The affected skin will be red and painful, and you may have fever with swollen glands.


Impetigo is caused by staph or strep bacteria, and is seen most often in children age two to six. It starts with itchy, red skin and pimple-like spots, usually on the face, arms and legs. After filling with pus, they break open and form a crust. Scratching the itchy sores can spread them.

Staph Infections

Staph infections are caused by one of the 30 types of staphylococcus bacteria. Staph infections on the skin can look like red pimples or boils. Untreated, they can turn into impetigo, cellulitis, or serious internal infections that pose dangerous health risks.



Warts are caused by the human papilloma virus. They are not dangerous or cancerous, but can spread to other areas of the skin and cause embarrassment. They’re often treated with topical medicines, freezing, laser therapy or removal, depending on the area affected. Visit the web page dedicated to warts here.


Shingles appears anywhere on the body as an area of painful blisters, usually in a small section at once. Symptoms may include pain, burning, numbness or tingling, itching and sensitivity to touch. Once you’ve had chickenpox, the virus lies dormant and may reactivate in later years as shingles. Singles is highly contagious to those who are not immune to chickenpox.

Cold Sores and Fever Blisters

Cold sores and fever blisters are caused by an infection of the Herpes simplex virus, which can affect any area of the skin and genitals. After an initial infection, the virus goes dormant beneath the skin. It reappears periodically in the same area with a cluster of tiny blisters which break, leaving a sore that heals in about one week. New medications greatly speed healing or, if taken regularly, can prevent a reoccurrence.


Athlete’s foot

Athlete’s foot is a common fungal infection that usually affects the areas between the toes with itching, burning and cracked skin, sometimes with blisters. The fungi that cause athlete’s foot are most often found in warm, damp areas, like swimming pools, locker rooms and showers. It can spread, so prompt treatment is recommended.


Ringworm is caused by the same type of fungal infection that causes athlete’s foot, but is seen on other parts of the body. It appears as a circular red rash with clearer skin in the center. The name comes from its appearance; no worms are involved. Ringworm can spread by direct skin contact from an infected person or animal, or from objects recently touched by them, such as clothing and combs. Antifungal medications can help control an outbreak of ringworm.

Yeast Infections

Yeast infections on the skin can occur if you are sick or taking antibiotics. The yeast normally present in your body can multiply, causing an itchy rash. Antifungal medications take care of the infection for most people.



Lice are tiny parasites which can infect the skin or scalp. They are commonly spread through physical contact with someone who has lice, or from sharing clothing, bed linens, etc. Intense itching is the most noticeable symptom. At-home treatments are available, and thorough cleansing in hot water of all affected belongings is also necessary. If you have trouble controlling lice it is best to see your ADCS provider for assistance.


Scabies is caused by a tiny, burrowing mite that produces a rash and intense itching, usually in body folds, such as under the arms. It’s easily and quickly spread by physical contact and shared clothes, towels and bed linens. Scabies is diagnosed through your Advanced Dermatology provider’s visual exam, and can be treated with medications to kill the mites and their eggs. As with lice, thorough cleansing in hot water of all affected belongings is needed.

Nail disorders

Nail Disorders

Nail disorders can be caused by many things, including infections. With proper treatment, most nails will re-grow in a healthy state. Both fingernails and toenails can develop infections, often from fungi. Much more information about nail disorders and infections is available here.

How are skin infections diagnosed and treated?

How are Skin Infections Diagnosed and Treated?

Often your ADCS dermatologist or other health provider can diagnose skin infections by looking at them. If needed, a culture can be done to determine exactly what kind of infection you have. Treatment depends on the infection and the area affected, but prompt attention can result in quicker healing.

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