Infections of the skin may be grouped into three types: bacterial, fungal, and viral.

Common Bacterial Infections


  • Impetigo is a skin infection that is commonly seen on the face, particularly in the lower part of the face, but it can occur anywhere.
  • This disease is characterized by large, open, weeping lesions.
  • They look like large sores, similar to acne, except that impetigo lesions weep and appear damp.
  • The lesions can range in size.
  • Impetigo is frequently seen in children and is extremely contagious.
  • Impetigo is caused by staphylococcus
  • The disease is treated by the use of antibiotics.


  • Folliculitis is a bacterial infection of the hair follicle.
  • The infection results in irritation and is characterized by multiple pinpoint irritations around the pore openings.
  • Pseudofolliculitis is caused by irritation from shaving.
  • It also appears as irritated follicles but is not usually infected.
  • Ingrown hairs are the main cause of pseudofolliculitis, which is seen frequently in the beard area of male clients, especially the neck.
  • A more severe infection of the hair follicle is called a furuncle, also known as a boil.
  • Large boils often result in abscesses and are referred to as carbuncles.
  • Folliculitis, furuncles, and carbuncles are treated with antibiotics.
  • If a furuncle or carbuncle bursts on the inside of the lesion, the bacteria may enter the bloodstream, causing septicemia, also known as blood poisoning.
  • Septicemia is characterized by a red erythemic line running from the source of the primary infection is extremely serious and should be treated immediately by a physician.
  • Cellulitis is a deep infection of the dermis, caused by streptococcus.
  • A severe form of cellulitis is called erysipelas, also known as Anthony’s Fire.
  • Again, this condition is extremely serious and should be seen immediately by a physician.

Fungal Skin Infections

There are a number of fungal and yeast infections of the skin.

Fungal and yeast infections are called mycoses.

Tinea versicolor

  • Tinea versicolor is sometimes called sun fungus.
  • It is often seen on the backs and chests of persons who are tan.
  • Tinea versicolor inhibits the production of melanin in the skin, which results in its appearance as white patches.
  • It is not actually directly related to sun exposure but is often seen on tanned persons because the skin will not tan in the areas where tinea versicolor is active.
  • The disease is easily treated with the use of antifungal prescription medications.

Also, Tinea pedis

  • Tinea pedis, commonly known as athlete’s foot, is a fungal infection of the skin on the foot.
  • The disease is characterized by severe itching and scaling, particularly on the sole of the foot.
  • Again, tinea pedis is easily treated by the use of antifungal prescription medications.

Tinea corporis

  • Tinea corporis is better known by the public as ringworm.
  • It can occur in any area of the body and presents itself as a ring-like lesion.


  • Candidas are yeast infections.
  • They can cause a variety of skin infections, including perleche, also known as cheilitis, which appears as softened and sometimes reddened cracks in the corners of the mouth.
  • Oral thrush, seen often in infan ts and persons with suppressed immune systems, such as patients with AIDS and diabetes, is a yeast infection of the mouth characterized by white patches inside the mouth.

Viral Skin Infections


  • Herpes refers to a group of viruses.
  • Herpes simplex is the cause of common cold sores, which generally appear on or around the mouth and often appear as oozing red ulcers.
  • They are very contagious and should be treated by a physician.
  • Facial treatments should be avoided for clients with active lesions.
  • Certain facial treatments, such as chemical peels, have been known to cause a flare-up of the herpes virus.

Herpes zoster (shingles)

  • Herpes zoster, better known as shingles, is caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox.
  • Herpes zoster is harboured by the nervous system and generally follows a pattern along the nerves in the skin.
  • The lesions of herpes zoster look like multiple red blisters.
  • Subjective symptoms may include burning, tingling, or numbness, and severe cases can result in extreme pain.
  • Minor infections can be only a nuisance, and the disease subsides by itself.
  • However, the infection can reoccur and, in some cases, causes scarring and pain due to nerve inflammation.
  • There is no cure for herpes zoster, although some prescriptions are helpful in controlling it.
  • Herpes zoster is another infection that may be a problem in immunosuppressed individuals, such as patients with AIDS.

Molloscum contagiosum

  • Molloscum contagiosum is a viral infection frequently seen on the faces of children.
  • It appears as groups of small, flesh-coloured papules that often resemble milia but are in groups or clusters and are hard to the touch.
  • They must be treated by a physician.


  • The most frequent viral lesions seen are warts.
  • Warts are caused by a variety of viruses known as papillomaviruses or verrucae.
  • Wart treatment varies with the lesion, including topical acid therapy using salicylic acid or trichloroacetic acid.
  • Other dermatologic treatments include freezing the lesions with liquid nitrogen or cautery with an electric needle.
  • Warts are contagious, especially to the same individual, and they can be spread to another area of the body easily.
  • Warts may be seen by the aesthetician on the face, feet, and hands, especially the nails, and should be referred to a dermatologist for treatment.

Pityriasis rosea

  • Pityriasis rosea is a patchy, red, rash-like disorder.
  • It can occur anywhere on the body but is frequently seen on the trunk.
  • Groups of patches may develop.
  • Many outbreaks resemble the pattern of a Christmas tree on the trunk.
  • Its origin is unknown, and there is no real cure for pityriasis rosea, but it usually subsides after a few weeks.
  • Itching associated with infection can be treated with topical prescription steroid creams.


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