Contagious skin diseases are conditions that cause rashes and other symptoms that affect the skin. These diseases spread easily from person to person, which makes it crucial to have them treated promptly. Examples of contagious skin diseases include:
Some of the most common types of contagious skin diseases include head lice, athlete’s foot, herpes simplex, and common warts.
Head lice are small bugs found in the hair or on the scalp during infestations. These bugs, which feed on human blood, mainly affect children. Signs of head lice include itching, visible lice on the scalp, and lice eggs on hair shafts. Treatment options for head lice infestations include over-the-counter products and prescription medications that kill lice and destroy their eggs.
Athlete’s foot is an infection caused by fungus. This infection typically affects the skin between the toes and spreads to other parts of the foot. Signs of athlete’s foot include a red rash with a scaly appearance, itching, and blisters. Treatment options include over-the-counter products for mild infections and topical or oral prescription medications that kill the fungi that cause this condition.
Herpes simplex is a virus that causes cold sores or genital herpes, depending on which type of virus is present. The signs of cold sores include a tingling sensation around the lips, followed by blisters that sometimes break open. The symptoms of genital herpes include itching, pain, tiny red bumps, and ulcers in the genital area. Treatment options for cold sores and genital herpes include prescription antiviral medications to relieve symptoms and lower the risk of recurrence.
Common warts are hard growths that occur mainly on the hands or fingers. Symptoms of common warts include flesh-colored bumps that feel rough and have tiny black spots on them. Common warts usually disappear on their own, but there are treatments available for those that persist. These options include freezing therapy, laser treatment, and prescription wart medication that contains salicylic acid.
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