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February 25, 2008 at 1:48 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Treatment of Bacterial Skin Infections In Diabetics

By Smarty More Blogs by This Author

Diabetes and Skin Infections

Diabetes is a condition where the body is unable to effectively control blood glucose levels. Typically, these blood glucose levels are elevated. The consistent presence of elevated blood glucose levels is associated with many complications, including bacterial skin infections. Typically, skin infections on non-diabetic individuals are no cause for alarm as treatments are fairly simple and effective. Skin infections on diabetics must be properly treated in a timely manner as their increased blood sugar levels create environments more suitable for the growth and spread of the bacterial infection. Even minor bacterial skin infections, if proper treatment is not acquired, create the potential for serious complications and consequences for diabetic individuals.

Bacterial Infections

Bacterial infections vary based on the individual host and the type of bacteria. The most common bacterial skin infection is caused by the organism Staphylococcus bacteria, commonly known as "staph."  Infected skin tissues are typically identified through several factors including hot, red, swollen, painful, areas of the skin. There are several bacterial infections commonly associated with diabetic individuals including boils, carbuncles, styes, and cellulitis.


Bacterial infections associated with the inflammation localized near hair follicles are known as boils or furuncles. Signs and symptoms of boils include tenderness, warmth, and accumulation of painful dead tissue and pus filled sacs located near hair follicles. In severe cases of infection, symptoms of fever may be present and lymph nodes may swell. Boils are more common in diabetic individuals.


Carbuncles are similar to boils but are typically larger and develop from the presence of many boils within close vicinity. Carbuncles are also painful sacs of fluid comprised of dead tissue and pus. Carbuncles are not limited to the location of hair follicles as boils are.


Bacterial infections of glands associated with the eyelids are known as styes. Diabetics are known to have increased rates of this particular bacterial infection. The signs and symptoms of stye development include pain, tenderness, redness, swelling, itching, sensitivity to light, watery eyes, and general eye discomfort that is enhanced by blinking. Styes have an increased  development rate with stress and poor nutrition. Failing to treat this infection could potentially lead to other eye infections, including re-occurring styes.


Cellulitis is a bacterial infection of the underlying skin-connective tissue. The signs and symptoms associated with cellulitis include red, swollen, and inflamed areas of the skin, typically extremities (arms and legs). Nausea, fever, chills, and headache are common early symptoms of cellulitis. It's possible for the swelling to spread rapidly.

Infection: Reduction of Incidences and Prevention

Overall good skin care and proper hygiene practices are crucial for a reduction in rates of bacterial infections and may serve to prevent infections from occurring. Seeking appropriate treatment of any damages to the skin is essential. I's fortunate that most bacterial skin infections can be effectively treated with antibiotics, proper skin care, and regulation of blood glucose levels.


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