Surgery may be the best option for some rare skin diseases.
While most individuals have had a wound infection that needed a second opinion, there are some skin diseases that may stump even the most seasoned clinician. Here are two skin diseases that you may not have come across, but should be aware of:
This infection is a fungal disease that prompts large clusters of growths on the top, sides and bottoms of your feet, as well as on the toenails, and can extend to the bones of the foot if not treated. In many patients, the fungus looks like a large colony of multicolored warts. Also called Mycetoma foot, the disease is spread when open sores, wounds or cuts come in contact with certain fungi present in soils, and is commonly contracted by agricultural workers.
Thought to have originated in India, the disease today is common in tropical and subtropical environments, including the area in the southern United States.
Clinicians should note that although this illness is most commonly seen on the foot, it can be found on the back, hands and shoulders, depending on the source and point of infection. Treatment for the disease often involves debridement, since most patients do not seek treatment until their Madura is in its advanced stage. Antifungal topical treatments are prescribed along with surgery or removal options.
This disease is quite serious, and can pose a particularly large risk for individuals with reduced immune system support, such as diabetics, HIV-positive individuals and those with kidney or liver diseases. Individuals who recently suffered a viral infection, such as chickenpox or molluscum contagiosum are also more susceptible to the disease. Necrotizing fasciitis spreads quickly, and literally is a condition caused by flesh-eating bacteria.
Patients will exhibit skin that is red or swollen and usually hot, and the actual bacteria can eat through several layers of tissue and muscles in as little as 24 to 36 hours. The disease can be spread through human contact, as well as through insect or shellfish that have the bacteria present. Clinicians should note that the infection can be passed to another person even if no skin is broken – even a bruise can provide the right environment for the disease to spread.
Treatment largely depends on the severity of the fasciitis. Surgery is almost always needed, and in some cases, amputation of the affected area is a must. Antibiotics complement the treatment and help to kill off any bacteria still present in the body. According to WebMD, patients may also be prescribed hyperbaric oxygen therapy, which helps increase circulation to the affected area, helping to speed up the healing process in the wound. Due to the rate with which the condition takes on the body, many patients are also prescribed medications for shock.
Roommates, family members and other individuals who are in close contact with someone infected with necrotizing fasciitis may also need to take antibiotics to prevent the spread of infection.