Bacterial infections of the skin may be pustules, boils, crusted areas or painful red patches, caused by culprit bacteria. Some patients with underlying skin conditions such as eczema can be more susceptible to bacterial skin infection. Common bacteria to infect the skin include staphylococcus, streptococcus, pseudomonas, and E.Coli. Unfortunately, there is a growing prevalence of bacteria resistant to many antibiotics. A common resistant bacteria is MRSA, which refers to Methicillin-Resistant-Staphylococcus-Aureus.
The key to treating bacterial infections is identifying that there is an infection, determining the organism, and choosing the appropriate antibiotic. Sometimes, the appropriate antibiotic can be chosen simply by the history and physical exam. More commonly, though, bacterial cultures are performed if the type of organism or its sensitivity to antibiotics is in question. For patients susceptible to chronic infection, sometimes the use of an antiseptic wash, such as chlorhexadine, can be helpful to reduce bacterial counts on the skin.