The type of treatment your will receive for your bacterial skin infection depends on the type of condition you have and the severity of it. For instance, a minor infection may only require a simple topical application of an antibiotic cream at home, or if the treatment is more severe and contagious, medical treatment may be required.

Cellulitis

Mild infections of cellulitis are normally treated with antiobiotic creams or pills at home. In these cases plenty of rest and elevating the infected area will help speed up the recovery process. For severe infections, patients may have to visit a hospital to receive antibiotics delivered through an IV. Severe cases should be treated immediately as the infection can spread to other areas of the body, including the brain.

Erysipelas

This form of cellulitis affects the upper layers of the dermis and is often treated using penicillin. Those who are allergic to penicillin will be given erythromycin.

Folliculitis

Mild folliculitis infections usually run their natural course and clear up in a few weeks. To relieve uncomfortable symptoms that are associated with folliculitis such as itching, applying a warm compress to the area is recommended. However, if the infection does not improve after a few days or becomes worse, a skin care specialist should be consulted. The specialist will normally prescribe a topical antibiotic such as Bacitracin or Mupirocin cream.

Furuncles

Using a warm, wet compress on a furuncle (boil) will help bring the pustule to the surface, causing it to eventually burst. Do not touch the boil with your hands or try to pop it yourself because you can spread the infection or make it worse. For larger boils, a skin care specialist may be needed to drain the pus surgically. The specialist may also prescribe oral antibiotics such as erythromycin for severe cases.

Impetigo

Since impetigo affects the surface of the skin it is very contagious and therefore, should be treated right away by a skin specialist. Mild impetigo is usually treated at home with topical antibiotics such as mupirocin cream. For more severe infections oral antibiotics such as Cloxacillin or Cephalexin are used. Before trying any at-home treatments for your bacterial skin infection it is recommended to consult with a skin care professional first, to have your condition properly assessed and diagnosed. The skin care professional will be able to provide the best course of treatment for you and help reduce the chances of spreading the infection.