Necrotizing Fasciitis – a Flesh-eating disease: Can it be treated?
The skin has the infinite potential abnormalities and is considered as the largest organ of human body. There are almost 1500 skin diseases discovered with their numerous variants that are affecting people daily. Relatively, science is consequently ignorant about many of them, although knowledge is rapidly thriving in the field of medical science and genetics. After a thorough research and requests from our readers, we have come up with another skin disease, “Necrotizing Fasciitis” – a flesh-eating disease that has to lead to serious skin disorders all around the world. The aim of this post is to answer some viral questions people tend to ask what is Necrotizing Fasciitis and can it be treated? What are its signs and symptoms? What are its causes? And doesn’t get the right factual answer, follow us through this post, and we might be able to answer each possible query regarding this skin disease.
What is Necrotizing Fasciitis?
Necrotizing Fasciitis is one of the major skin diseases that require immediate medical assistance to avoid life-threatening effects and consequences. Doctors call this disease as a “flesh-eating bacteria,” that is a rare yet serious bacterial infection thriving all around the world. Necrotizing Fasciitis tends to spread rapidly, destroys fat, skin, and organs and requires immediate medical assistance. Often referred to as the flesh-eating disease, this bacterial infection can be caused by multiple bacteria which include Klebsiella, E. coli, A Streptococcus (group A strep), Clostridium, and Aeromonas hydrophila, from a number of other elements. However, Group A is said to be the most common cause of this flesh-eating disease.
This disease causes the skin tissues and cells to die rapidly that can result in serious complications like amputation, illness, and even death. It is very rare that necrotizing fasciitis spreads among people, and having a healthy lifestyle, strong immune system, good hygiene, and diet reduce the chances of getting this life-threatening disease.
Causes of Necrotizing Fasciitis
The most common cause of getting necrotizing fasciitis is by bacteria; however, fungi can also lead to this disease. As described above, a number of Group A elements can also lead to this flesh-eating disease i.e. Klebsiella, E. coli, A Streptococcus (group A strep), Clostridium, and Aeromonas hydrophila.
In many cases, there has been noticed a previous history of trauma like an insect bite, cut, scrape, burn, or needle puncture wound. The effects may seem minor or trivial in the start. Also, people with weak immune system or underlying health issues increase the risk of getting necrotizing fasciitis. Here is the list of underlying medical conditions that can lead to this condition:
- Renal Failure
- HIV Infection
- Liver Disease
- Peripheral Vascular Disease
Other than this, alcoholics and drug abusers are also at great risk of developing this flesh-eating disease. Certain necrotizing fasciitis conditions also occur in people with no health issues or predisposing factors.
Signs and Symptoms
Signs and symptoms of this life-threatening disease vary with its intensity and progression. Necrotizing fasciitis commonly affects the genital area or the extremities, though any body part may be involved. In the start, patients may not experience any serious underlying infections or visible signs. Some individuals may complain the following:
- Discomfort near injured areas of body
- Worse pain that may seem unusual for the type of injury
- Hot, swollen, or red skin and tissue
- Symptoms like vomiting, flu, chills, muscle pain, fever, dehydration, diarrhea, and weakness
Necrotizing fasciitis often appears as an area of swelling, warmth, redness, and pain; resembled a superficial skin infection. In many cases, people experience pain that is out of proportion to the visible findings or injury sign. However, as the condition worsens, patients may experience:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Low blood pressure
- Worsening of early issues
- Blood rashes that look like a sunburn problems
- Low urination and dehydration
- Blisters, ulcers, and black spots all over the body
- Toxic shock that may be a life-threatening reaction
In case of toxic shock, organs stop working and death may occur.
Can it be treated?
Treatment for necrotizing fasciitis varies depending upon its intensity and other factors, such as the type f bacteria that caused the disease to develop in the first place and parts of the body infected. In this case, a tissue culture is conducted to diagnose the type of bacteria that caused this flesh-eating disease. Blood tests are also taken to check the signs of inflammation and infection.
A CT scan, X-ray, or MRI may be conducted to diagnose the area of infection. In this case, you may consume a contrast liquid that helps the pictures to develop precisely. In case you had an allergic reaction to the contrast liquid, tell your healthcare assistant. Here is the list of common treatment steps that may include curing this disease:
- Diagnosing tests i.e. X-rays, CT scan, or MRI as described above
- Amputation to reduce disease spread
- Special antibiotic medicines to combat the disease
- Intravenous antibiotics
- Treatment options to combat problems like organ failure, respiratory disease, toxic shock etc.
- Oxygen therapy
- Induced ventilation and sedation
- Removal of damaged, dead, or infected tissues
- Skin grafts
- Vacuum-assisted closure that is the foundation of drawing wound edges at place, removing infectious materials, and promote tissue growth in body
After the treatment, your healthcare assistant may also recommend you prosthesis, physical rehabilitation, or psychological and social support.
In the end, we would like to suggest people if you experience any of the symptoms listed above, contact your healthcare assistant and have a thorough medical checkup. If left on its own, necrotizing fasciitis can lead to severe health conditions, organ failure, and even death. In case of any further suggestions or questions, feel free to comment down below.
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