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A Patient's Guide to Recurrent Skin Infections (Boils, Pimples, Abscesses)

Written by
Dr. Davie Wong
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.

Published on Feb 16, 2019   -  1 min read


If you have recurrent skin infections caused by bacteria, here are some strategies to help minimize the risk.

A Patient's Guide to Recurrent Skin Infections (Boils, Pimples, Abscesses)

1) Hygiene:

The bacteria that cause skin infections are transmitted by skin contact. Wash your hands diligently and frequently to minimize the spread of bacteria to other parts of your body, to other people, and to objects you touch.

2) Decontaminate Yourself:

Bleach baths are an effective way to reduce the amounts of bacteria living on your skin (see instructions below). If you are unable to do bleach baths, you may use antiseptic wipes (Chlorhexidine) to wash your body daily. Your doctor will give you a prescription for Chlorhexidine if required.

3) Antibiotics:

Not all skin infections require oral or IV antibiotics, as many of them are self-limiting. Antibiotics should be reserved for more severe infections. Your doctor may prescribe a topical antibiotic to apply inside your nose to reduce the amount of the skin infection-causing bacteria.

4) Decontaminate Your Environment:

The bacteria that causes skin infections also live in your environment. You should routinely decontaminate high contact surfaces, like tabletops, countertops, doorknobs or handles, chairs, handheld devices, etc., with antiseptic solutions. Do not reuse the same towels before they have been thoroughly washed. Clean your linens frequently. Avoid sharing personal items such as razor blades, nail clippers, towels, clothing, etc.

5) Cover Open Wounds:

If you have an open wound on your skin, it is essential to keep it covered to prevent the spread of bacteria. Do not participate in activities requiring skin-to-skin contact with others until wounds are fully healed. Do not share personal items that come in contact with the wound.

Bleach Baths:

Add ¼ - ½ cup of common 5 % household bleach to a bathtub full of water (40 gallons). Soak your entire body, keeping your head above water, for about 10 to 15 minutes. Limit diluted bleach baths to no more than twice a week. Do not submerge your head and be very careful to avoid getting the diluted bleach into the eyes. Rinse off with fresh water and apply moisturizer.

Last reviewed at:
16 Feb 2019  -  1 min read




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