Necrotizing Fasciitis Awareness Day
Every year on May 31st, we raise awareness for the treatment, symptoms, and causes of this rare infection which affects the soft skin tissues. This disease spreads rapidly across your body if not treated on time. If not treated rapidly, it could lead to surgery, amputation of the limbs, and even cause death. We aim to provide information about this rare disease and raise awareness on this day of what it is, how to treat it, and how to prevent it.
What is Necrotizing Fasciitis?
Necrotizing Fasciitis is a rare bacterial infection that enters the body through a skin injury and can spread rapidly. Especially when the person’s immune system is low, they are more likely to develop this disease.
Necrotizing Fasciitis is a severe infection that affects the body’s soft tissues and causes necrosis of the fascia. The most common way for this bacteria to enter the skin is through:
The most common symptoms are blistering, fever, chills, fatigue, and pain that is more severe than expected based on the appearance of the wound.
The infected area tends to change skin color, swells, and has pus.
Many wounds have these symptoms, but the most significant distinction from a typical infection is that it hurts way more than it should. It also causes kidney failure and fatigue.
Stages of a healing wound
It is also essential to address that a wound (depending on the length and depth) should recover in a few days. A small wound should be fully healed in 3-5 days.
In any case, all wounds have a healing curve. The first phase is the blood clotting of the injury to stop the bleeding. The second phase is the inflammatory stage. The affected area will swell. It depends on the size of the wound, but it shouldn’t be anything alarming. If the swelling gets more significant than expected, contact your doctor immediately.
In the third stage, the swelling will disappear, and the wound will look smaller. Finally, the fourth phase is the maturation stage. The new skin gains strength and flexibility, fully recovering the injury.
Of course, this process can be delayed by other factors. Scratching the wound or using the incorrect topical solutions could delay and even infect the area but nothing serious.
Consult your doctor immediately if a minor wound is not going through the process above and is too painful.
Why does Necrotizing Fasciitis require urgent hospital care?
Necrotizing Fasciitis can be deadly if not treated quickly. It can also require amputation in case of not treated on time. Antibiotics and surgery are usually the first lines of defense when a doctor suspects their patient has this condition.
Necrotizing Fasciitis can spread rapidly due to antibiotics not reaching all areas infected by the bacteria because there is already too much dead tissue, and blood flow has been reduced. When this happens, doctors must remove the dead tissue with surgery, and it may even take several surgeries to remove all the dead tissue.
Many infections resemble Necrotizing Fasciitis in its early stage, making diagnosis difficult. Hence, it is essential to see a doctor immediately and let the doctor decide what to do.
Experts believe that group A Streptococcus, or streptococcus, is the most common cause of Necrotizing Fasciitis. Group A streptococci are bacteria usually present in the throat and skin.
In short, necrotizing fasciitis can cause sepsis, shock, and organ failure, so act fast if you’ve noticed any of the symptoms mentioned in this article.
Who is more prone to Necrotizing Fasciitis?
Everyone can get this infection, but some people are more prone than others. People with cancer, especially diabetes, have a higher rate of contracting necrotizing fasciitis.
People with diabetes have a hard time stopping the blood from any wound because of the sugar in the blood. The wound can reopen several times and then get infected. If this happens for several days, it is wise to attend to a doctor.
People with cancer are also prone because of its effect on their immune systems. Red and white cells are compromised – which means they are not at their optimum level, and infections could worsen.
How to prevent Necrotizing Fasciitis?
Hygiene is the most important thing to keep in mind to keep your skin away from infections. If you get cut, then:
Wash your hands
Rinse the wound with clean water
Use an Antibiotic Cream or Ointment
If required, change the bandage daily (depending on the injury)
Most wounds will heal by themselves. In many cases, you don’t need an antibiotic.
If you have the following symptoms, please call your doctor:
Increased redness or swelling (too much)
Pain that gets worse
The skin around the wound feels hot
Unpleasant odor when cleaning the wound
Unusual or increased drainage
Fever or chills
Necrotizing Fasciitis is a hazardous bacterial infection. As we have explained, it can extend quickly to other body areas and even cause death. However, necrotizing fasciitis is preventable by maintaining proper hygiene and seeing a doctor if unusual symptoms occur.
Although this infection is rare, please take precautions. When you get a wound, no matter how small it is, try to maintain it as clean as possible to prevent skin infections. Remember the cicatrization process and be aware of the pain and other symptoms.
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