Necrotizing fasciitis is a bacterial skin infection that can destroy skin, tissues and muscles in short time. People with weak immune system are at higher risk of developing Necrotizing fasciitis. If left untreated, Necrotizing fasciitis can spread to other body parts which may lead to death. Necrotizing fasciitis can occur in almost any area of the body. Necrotizing fasciitis affects the tissue that surround nerves, muscles, and blood vessels. Necrotizing fasciitis is a rare skin infection but can be life-threatening if not treated properly. The bacteria streptococcus also known as flesh eating bacteria is one of the prime causes of necrotizing fasciitis. Basic hygiene measures such as washing hands before eating and after going bathroom, using anti-bacterial soap for cleansing, and keeping the wounds clean and dry can help reduce the risk of developing Necrotizing fasciitis.
Causes of Necrotizing fasciitis
Several types of bacteria can cause necrotizing fasciitis. However, some common bacteria such as streptococcus, klebsilla, clostridium, aeromonas hydrophilia, and echerichia oil can cause Necrotizing fasciitis. These bacteria enter your body through the broken skin. Injury, surgical incisions, or any kind of cut can break the skin creating passage for the bacteria. People who have chronic heart or lung disease or have skin lesions are at greater risk of developing Necrotizing fasciitis. Excessive consumption of alcohol or injecting illegal drugs and steroids can also increase the chance of getting Necrotizing fasciitis.
The symptoms of necrotizing fasciitis depend on the severity of the condition. Necrotizing fasciitis spreads very spontaneously and the signs and symptoms become evident. Consult a dermatologist immediately if you experience any of these symptoms. Common symptoms of necrotizing fasciitis include:
Diagnosis of Necrotizing fasciitis
A dermatologist will start the diagnosis of Necrotizing fasciitis by performing a physical exam and asking about your medical history. After this, he may order a diagnostic test to get detailed information about the condition. Diagnostic tests
for Necrotizing fasciitis may include:
- Complete Blood Count (CBC) to measure the amount of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets in the body.
- X-rays to check for gas in the soft tissue
- Computer Tomography (CT) scan and Magnetic Resource Imaging (MRI) to identify the areas with fluid accumulations.
- Tissue biopsy means taking the sample of the affected tissue and observing it under the microscope.
The treatment of Necrotizing fasciitis starts with the dosage of antibiotics, which may be given orally or intravenously. Antibiotics slow down the growth of infection and prevent the decaying of skin tissue. In case the infection is severe and antibiotics are not providing any relief from the symptoms, then a dermatologist may remove the dead tissues surgically. Sometimes one or more limbs are removed to stop the infection from spreading to other body parts.