What is necrotizing fasciitis
Necrotizing fasciitis, also known as, “the flesh-eating bacteria” is a rare, but fetal infection. Due to its’ aggressive nature, it can spread quickly throughout the body and should be treated right away.
Necrotizing fasciitis affects roughly 600-700 people in the United States each year. Roughly 30% of these cases result in death.
How it Works / Causes
Necrotizing fasciitis is caused by group A streptococcus (GAS) bacteria. This bacteria is the same that causes strep throat. In addition to streptococcus, staphylococcus bacteria is also linked to necrotizing fasciitis. When the above bacteria infects the connective tissue below the skin, necrotizing fasciitis develops.
The way that this bacteria enters the body is through an incision in the skin. This can be either a cut, scrape, blister, or even surgical wound. The wound does not have to be big for any bacteria to enter, they say that even a needle prick or insect bite would be enough real estate for this bacteria to flurish.
Symptoms of necrotizing fasciitis usually appear right away (within the first 24 hours). Most symptoms combine with one another. Some significant symptoms include:
-Increasing and severe pain around or in the area of an abrasion, cut, etc
-Redness and warmth around the wound, or even in the body
-Flu like symptoms (weakness, nausea, fever, diarrhea, dizziness)
-Dehydration (resulting in intense thirst)
At Risk People
Those with a weak immune system are more likely to develop symptoms related to group A streptococcus. In addition, those who suffer from chronic heart/lung disease, use steroids, abuse drugs, or have skin lesions are at a greater risk.
Act quickly if you have any suspicion of necrotizing fasciitis. Necrotizing fasciitis acts fast and can be deadly if not treated right away. If you are dealing with a compromised immune system and are seeking help on how to get your health on track, consulting a medical professional is key. Dr. Elist is a male health expert based in Los Angeles with over 30 years of experience. Let him help you come up with the action plan to change your life.