What to do when you have a secondary bacterial infection..
When the skin barrier is broken, this allows other micro-organisms such as bacteria (Staph. auerus), fungi (Candida Albicans) and viruses ( Herpes or Molluscum) to invade the body and cause an infection. It is crucial that topical steroids are never applied on open, broken or infected skin, as this increases absorption and also increases the risk of other microbial infections. Side -effects of topical steroids also include delayed wound healing, masking and aggravating fungal infections and aggravating existing bacterial infections.
Here are some tips and recommendations when dealing with a bacterial skin infection on top of an eczema flare-up:
- Wash towels and clothes that are in contact with the skin daily as they may have traces of the bacteria on it and promote the spread of the infection.
- You can use mild anti-septics such as Chlorhexidine liquid as a wash (dilute it if it'a baby) or diluted bleach baths.
- We have a natural Liquid Soap & Shampoo which is a gentle, healing soap-alternative. It is pH balanced, and contains healing oils such as Manuka Oil, Lavender and Lemon-scented Eucalyptus.
- Reduce the amount of scratching as this breaks the skin, and bacteria can spread as it gets on the finger tips and under finger nails. Trim nails (or get acrylic nails) or put cotton gloves on for children.
- Wash hands frequently with a gentle-soap alternative such as our Liquid Soap & Shampoo or a Chlorhexidine wash to minimise the spread.
- Using products that help with skin healing and soothing the redness and inflammation as well as preventing minor infections can help with managing the symptoms of eczema and secondary bacterial infection.
- If the skin is infected, you need to treat the infection or the Staph infection will keep spreading. Please consult your Dr if you are uncertain if it is a bacteria, fungal or atopic rash, or if symptoms do not improve
For more information on skin infection and eczema, visit Eczema.org.au.