Necrotizing skin infection treatment
Necrotizing skin infections are caused by many different types of bacteria. These infections begin at puncture wounds, lacerations, surgical incisions, or even on healthy skin.
The skin may look pale at first, but quickly becomes red or bronze in color, warm to the touch, and usually swells. Later, the skin turns violet and often develops large fluid-filled blisters.
Initially, the area is painful, but as the tissue death progresses, nerves are damaged and sensation is lost. Some types of bacteria produce gas bubbles which will accumulate underneath the skin and in the blisters, causing the skin to feel “crackly” when touched.
Treatment: This is a medical emergency that requires hospitalization and surgery by a highly qualified and experienced plastic surgeon. Surgical intervention may be necessary.
Necrotizing fasciitis (also called flesh-eating bacteria) is a rare infection in the deeper layers of the skin that spreads easily on the body. In the early stages, symptoms may not be apparent. However, if the bacteria is just beneath the top of the skin, redness and swelling will occur.
Skin color may turn violet, and blisters may form with subsequent death of skin and tissue. Patients with necrotizing fasciitis have a fever and appear very ill; the bacteria release a toxin that can lead to septic shock.
Treatment: This is a medical emergency that requires hospitalization and surgery by a highly qualified and experienced surgeon. Surgical intervention may be necessary.
Meet our physiciansElizabeth L. Dale, M.D.
Petra Warner, M.D., FACS