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HealthInfo Canterbury

Overview of skin infections

Ngā Whakapokenga Kiri

Skin infections are common in people of all ages. They can be caused by viruses or bacteria (germs).

There are many types of skin infection. Many of them are mild and easily managed but some can be severe. Some of the more common types of skin infection are cellulitis, impetigo, scabies, Staphylococcus and MRSA.

A skin infection often starts when the skin is broken. Common causes of broken skin include a minor bite, graze, sting or burn. Skin conditions such as psoriasis, atopic eczema and dermatitis can also lead to broken skin.

If not treated, a skin infection can lead to more serious health problems, sometimes needing time in hospital.

How can I reduce the risk of getting a skin infection?

You can reduce the risk of a skin infection by taking simple steps.

When and where should I seek help?

See your GP if you have a fever or if you notice a sore or area of redness that:

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed June 2018.

Page reference: 49791

Review key: HISNI-49791