Red, itchy and inflamed skin is a well-known symptom of what’s generally called eczema. While there are a variety of conditions described in this way, the most common type of eczema is atopic dermatitis. Occasionally, complications develop and the skin becomes infected. When this happens, there are a number of treatment options available. Consult your doctor or medical practitioner if you have any questions regarding your eczema treatment plan, but in the meantime, here are some things you’ll want to know about the condition.
What causes an eczema skin infection?
According to the National Eczema Society, bacteria, fungus and virus can all cause infection in eczema. Unfortunately, infection can make the eczema worse and lead to more difficult treatment. Medical News Today explains that there are different sources for these three types of infections:
- Staphylococcus aureus is a type of bacteria present on the skin of virtually all people with eczema. Weeping or broken skin is particularly susceptible to staph bacteria, and once the infection takes hold the eczema can spread more rapidly.
- Fungal infections like ringworm can also be found on various parts of the body, usually seen as isolated patches. When it occurs between the toes, it’s known as athlete’s foot. The National Eczema Society says that candida or thrush, another type, is a yeast infection that thrives in warm, moist skin folds.
- Viruses, the third source, can include herpes simplex, the cold sore virus, which causes a severe form of infection, eczema herpeticum, due to a lower resistance to the virus.
How do you know if eczema is infected?
Signs that the eczema has become infected include burning sensations, severe itchiness, new blistered skin, fluid drainage and white or yellow pus.
If a staph infection is present, you’ll see increased redness, raised skin that looks like boils, clear to yellow-colored drainage, increased itchiness and pain at the site of infection.
In more severe cases, you may also have flu-like symptoms, including fever, aches, reduced energy and fatigue, chills, and swollen glands in the armpit, neck and groin. If you experience any of these, you’ll want to seek immediate medical intervention.
What’s the usual infected eczema treatment?
The treatment depends on the type of infection.
- If it’s viral, the doctor may prescribe an antiviral medication.
- If it’s bacterial, you’ll be given an oral or topical antibiotic. Physicians usually recommend creams for mild cases and oral antibiotics for more advanced cases. Also, a steroid cream is sometimes used to reduce swelling and redness.
- And, for fungal infections, antifungal creams or medications are prescribed. As with bacterial eczema infections, a steroid cream may also help in cases of rash. Some antifungal creams are available over the counter.
If you need additional wound care supplies to treat your eczema infection, talk to your doctor about smartPAC by Advanced Tissue to get your prescribed products delivered straight to your front door.