What Are Skin Infections?

Affecting millions worldwide, skin infections are conditions caused by a variety of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites. They can range from mild to severe and can affect just the surface of the skin or extend into deeper tissues. Common types of skin infections include cellulitis, impetigo, warts, ringworm, and herpes simplex. Some skin infections, like cellulitis, can spread rapidly and become serious if not treated promptly.

Skin Infection Symptoms

  • Redness and inflammation: Skin infections often result in areas of redness and swelling, which are indicators of the body’s immune response to the invading pathogens.
  • Itching and discomfort: Affected skin may become itchy and uncomfortable, prompting individuals to scratch, which can further exacerbate the condition.
  • Pus-filled blisters: Some skin infections can cause the formation of blisters filled with pus, a thick fluid containing dead tissue, bacteria, and white blood cells.
  • Flaking skin: Infections that affect the top layers of the skin can lead to flaking or peeling, as the body sheds damaged cells.
  • Systemic symptoms: In more severe cases, skin infections may be accompanied by fever, fatigue, and swollen lymph nodes, indicating a broader impact on the body.

Diagnosing Skin Infection

Dermatologists employ various diagnostic tools to identify the root cause of a skin infection. These may include physical examination, skin swabs, or biopsies, alongside laboratory tests to analyze tissue samples for the presence of specific microorganisms.

Types Of Skin Infections


  • This is a superficial bacterial infection of the skin, most commonly caused by Staphylococcus aureus.
  • highly contagious; spread by skin-to-skin contact or touching contaminated surfaces (e.g. towels, clothes)
  • common in young children but can affect people of all age groups



  • These are bacterial infections affecting the deeper layers of skin and causes symptoms such as redness, swelling, and pain.
  • These are often caused by Streptococcus or Staphylococcus bacteria entering the skin through a wound.


Folliculitis and Boils/Abscesses

  • Bacterial infection that affects the hair follicles, resulting in small, red bumps or white-headed pimples. It can be caused by various types of bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus.
  • When the bacterial infection affects the deeper part of the hair follicle within the skin, it may develop into a much bigger red lump or “boil”/ “abscess” which can be very painful.

Tinea/ “Ringworm”

  • appears as a circular, red, scaly and itchy rashes
  • Despite its name, it’s not caused by a worm but by a type of fungus called dermatophytes.
  • It can occur on various parts of the body, such as the scalp (tinea capitis), body (tinea corporis) and feet (tinea pedis or “athlete’s foot”)


Yeast infections

  • may be caused by Malassezia or Candida
  • more likely to occur in warm, moist areas of the body
  • generally treated with antifungal medications (topical or oral), and prevention involves good hygiene and keeping the skin dry and clean

  • Warts generally present as small, hard, benign growths on the skin. They are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) and can appear anywhere on the body.
  • Herpes Simplex is another viral skin infection, characterised by recurrent sores on the mouth or genitals. It’s caused by the herpes simplex virus and is often transmitted through close personal contact.
  • Shingles is a painful condition that causes a rash to develop on one side of the face or body. It’s caused by the varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. After a person recovers from chickenpox, the virus can lie dormant in the body and reactivate years later, causing shingles.


  • caused by a tiny burrowing mite called Sarcoptes scabiei
  • The mites burrow into the top layer of the skin to live and lay eggs, causing intense itching and generalized rashes.



  • These are tiny insects that infest the hair and scalp
  • There are three types of lice that live on humans: head lice, body lice, and pubic lice, all causing intense itching as a result of an allergic reaction to their bites.


Both scabies and lice are spread through close personal contact or the sharing of clothing, bedding, or towels.

Skin Infections Treatment Options

Treatment choices depend on the type of skin infection and severity of condition.

These can range from minor surgical procedures (e.g. incision and drainage for boils or abscesses) to topical, oral or even intravenous medication. It is important to seek early medical attention for prompt diagnosis and treatment to avoid the spread and worsening of the infection, especially in those with weakened immune systems (e.g. diabetics, elderly etc.).

If You Notice Any Symptoms, Consult Your Dermatologist

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

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Skin Infection Risk Factors

  • Weakened immune systems
  • Skin injuries or conditions
  • Poor hygiene
  • Exposure to contaminated environments
  • Chronic health conditions, such as diabetes

Why Choose Us

Modern & Patient-Centred Dermatological Care

We are dedicated to your skin health and well-being. Our results-oriented approach is suitable for a wide range of hair, skin and nail conditions. Consult our MOH-accredited dermatologist for a personalised treatment plan.


Personalised Treatment Plans


Results-Oriented Approach


Focused Aftercare For All


Honest & Ethical Practices

Billing & Insurance

Private and Corporate Insurance

You can use your Integrated Shield Plans to pay for certain procedures. Speak to us to learn more, and you’ll be surprised at how affordable private healthcare can be. 

Dr. Lee Hwee Chyen

Medical Director & Consultant Dermatologist

MBBS (S'pore) MRCP (UK) FAMS (Dermatology)

Special Interests In:
  • Paediatric Dermatology
  • Women’s Dermatology
  • Procedural Dermatology & Lasers

Dr. Lee Hwee Chyen is an accredited Adult & Paediatric dermatologist managing a wide range of skin, hair and nail conditions. The clinic provides services for medical, surgical, cosmetic, women’s and paediatric dermatology.

  • MBBS (National University of Singapore, Singapore)
  • MRCP (Royal College of Physicians, United Kingdom)
  • Specialist Accreditation Board, Dermatology (Singapore)
  • FAMS (Academy of Medicine of Singapore, Singapore)
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