A skin infection is an infection of the skin. Your skin is a vital barrier against abrasion, chemicals, and pathogens. Proper skin hygiene is the best way to keep your skin healthy. Removing dead cells, dirt and microbes on the skin surface is key to good hygiene.

 Skin infections can be broadly classified according to the cause as bacterial, fungal and viral.

Why skin needs to be healthy?

Skin needs both moisture (hydration) and lipids (fats and oils) to maintain the stratum corneum layer and its protective barrier function.

Skin also needs a healthy mix of resident microbes to protect it from attack by disease-causing pathogens. Overly harsh and frequent skin cleansing can strip the resident microbes and allow disease-causing pathogens to multiply.

Reducing your stress levels, eating a balanced healthy diet and minimizing environmental damage (dry weather and UV radiation) can also help maintain skin health.

How should I clean my skin?

Remove daily dirt and grime by washing with mild soaps and cleansers. For effective hand washing, be sure to wash for at least 10-15 seconds. Avoid harsh scrubbing actions.

Choose skin cleansers that contain moisturizers and emollients with mild-surface active agents and are not overly acidic or alkaline cleanser. Avoid harsh soaps and detergents because they can remove skin oils and fats, and strip protective layers.

Use lukewarm water to wash your hands. Using hot water can over-dry and damage skin.

Be sure to rinse your skin well after washing.

Dry your hands and skin thoroughly. Pat skin dry, and don’t rub.

Select skin care products carefully. Many over-the-counter lotions and creams have fragrances or preservatives that can irritate your skin or worsen your allergy symptoms.

How can I keep my skin moist and clean?

Skin cleansers with moisturizers

Alcohol rubs

Use skin lotions and creams  to moisturize your skin and improve its appearance and softness. Sunscreens can also be helpful in preventing skin damage from UV radiation.