The basics of bacterial skin infections

  • Lynda Steyn Amayeza Information Services
Keywords: bacterial skin infections, impetigo, boils, carbuncles, folliculitis, cellulitis


The skin is the human body’s largest organ and the first line of defence against invading micro-organisms. Environmental factors such as sunlight, chemicals and pollution, as well as trauma through accidents, surgery or burns, compromise this skin barrier allowing micro-organisms to enter and possibly cause infection.

Bacterial skin infections are often first seen in the pharmacy setting. Recognising that infections can present differently depending on the age of the patient, the part of the body affected, as well as the type of bacteria causing the infection, will help in making the best recommendations for treatment.

This article focuses on the most common bacterial infections of the skin that may present in the pharmacy setting.

Bacterial skin infections may affect the skin and soft tissue (e.g. impetigo, boils, carbuncles and folliculitis) or the skin structure (e.g. cellulitis).

Author Biography

Lynda Steyn, Amayeza Information Services

BPharm, Amayeza Information Services

Skin Care