Types of Skin Infections

Molluscum contagiosum

Molluscum contagiosum is a viral skin infection that appears as tiny brown bumps on any part of the body. The centre of the bump may have a depression filled with white material. This condition is more common in children. It is usually harmless, but your child may scratch or pick at the bumps, leading to bacterial infection. It is also contagious and can be transmitted to other areas of the body or to other children.

Treatment such as pricking, freezing with liquid nitrogen or applying a medicated cream to the surface may be offered by the dermatologist.

Scabies

Scabies is a skin rash that occurs due to skin infestation by the scabies mite. This mite is not visible to the naked eye and can only be seen under a microscope. The condition manifests as an intensely itchy red bumpy rash affecting mainly the hands, skin folds, groin and tummy area.

Treatment is in the form of a lotion applied to the whole body which contains a scabicide agent. It is important to treat this condition adequately, including treating all family members in the same household, as it is extremely contagious.

Fungal skin infections

Fungal skin infections are common. They usually occur in warm, moist environments such as the groin, feet and areas with skin folds such as the neck and armpits. In infants and young children, they commonly cause diaper rash. Fungal skin infections may appear as a red and scaly rash.

The dermatologist may perform a skin scrape to look for fungus and may then prescribe an antifungal cream to be used on the affected areas until the rash clears.

Risk Factors For Developing Skin Infections

Some factors can increase your risk of developing skin infections:

  • Skin injuries or damage
  • Skin conditions like eczema
  • Weakened immune system
  • Poor blood circulation
  • Diabetes
  • Malnutrition
  • Obesity

Is Your Skin Infection Affecting Your Quality Of Life?

Consult our MOH-accredited dermatologist for an accurate diagnosis and personalised treatment plan.

Diagnosis Of A Skin Infection

Your dermatologist may use one or a combination of the following methods to diagnose an ongoing skin infection.

  • Medical History

    Your doctor will take your medical history and ask about your symptoms and their timeline and possible risk factors.

  • Physical Examination

    Oftentimes, a good physical examination can already help the doctor identify the type of skin infection based on the appearance and location of the bumps, rashes, or lesions.

  • Skin Culture or Biopsy

    This is a test to identify what microorganism is causing your skin infection by swabbing or scraping your skin or wound to take a sample and looked into a microscope.

  • Blood Tests

    Blood tests such as a complete blood count can give a general picture of whether your skin infection is caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi.

Dr Noor Hanif Said

Medical Director & Consultant Dermatologist

Over 20 years of experience
in medical, Surgical & aesthetic Dermatology

  • Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS, Singapore)
  • Membership of the Royal College of Physicians (MRCP, United Kingdom)
  • Fellow Of The Academy of Medicine, Singapore (FAMS, Dermatology)

Prior to starting his private practice at Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre, Dr Hanif was a dermatologist at the National Skin Centre and a Visiting Consultant with the Khoo Teck Puat Hospital Dermatology Service.

Apart from his expertise in the management of general dermatological problems such as eczema, psoriasis, hair loss and acne, he has special interests in pigmentary disorders and aesthetic dermatology.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    How can I prevent skin infections?

    Practicing proper hygiene is one of the best ways to prevent skin infections:

    • Wash your hands with soap and water regularly and properly.
    • If soap and water are not available, you can use alcohol or hand sanitizers.
    • Wash scrapes, cuts, wounds, or bites with soap and water right away.
    • If you have a skin infection, avoid sharing personal items, such as clothes, towels, razors, bar soaps, and toys.
    • Avoid skin-to-skin contact with people who have skin infections.
    • Cover wounds or skin infections with a bandage after the skin is clean and dry.
    • Regularly clean and disinfect shared items and items that are frequently touched.
    • Use gloves and wash your hands before and after changing any bandages or dressings for the wounds.
    • Throw away the dressings or bandages and gloves properly in the trash can.