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What are the Complications of Bacterial Infections?

Wednesday 19 May 2021
4 minute(s) read

Table of Contents

I. What is a Bacterial Infection?

II. Urological Complications

III. Sexual Complications

IV. Skin Infection Complications

V. Make Sure to Use Your Medications

What is a Bacterial Infection?

Bacterial infections are incredibly common medical conditions that can range from mild to severe. These infections occur when “bad” bacteria make their way into the body and begin to replicate. Bacteria constantly surround us, but some can cause severe infections in the body. Once the bacteria make a home for itself, you may suffer long-term complications if it is not treated quickly.

These infections can occur anywhere on or in the body but most commonly affect the urinary system, sexual organs, and the skin. You may be experiencing a bacterial infection if you have the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Stomach problems (diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, or vomiting)

These are general symptoms of infection, but you may experience slightly different symptoms depending on the affected area. Antibiotics like amoxicillin, Keflex (cephalexin), Levaquin (levofloxacin), or retapamulin cream may be used to treat these conditions. Read on to learn more about possible complications of bacterial infections. [1]

a man holding his stomach

Urological Complications

Bacterial infections of the urinary system can affect the kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra. Most of the time, the bladder and urethra are the most affected by bacterial overgrowth. Women are more likely to experience urinary tract infections because a woman’s urethra is shorter than a man’s, making it easier for bacteria to get into the bladder and cause painful symptoms.

Urinary infections are typically hard to ignore due to the painful and unpleasant symptoms that go along with them. But if you do not get it treated, you may become prone to recurrent UTIs.

Serious complications occur when the bacteria spread from the lower urinary tract and travels upward. This can lead to kidney infection and possible long-term kidney damage. An extreme bodily reaction to an infection (sepsis) may also occur if the infection reaches the kidney. Sepsis can be deadly if treatment is not sought right away. [2]

Sexual Complications

Because most sexually transmitted infections (STIs) occur through sexual contact, it is essential to get regularly tested to make sure you are not unknowingly carrying harmful bacteria. Unlike some urological infections, some people may have STIs for a long time before realizing what is going on. This can be especially dangerous because many people will not seek medical help until complications occur or their partner is diagnosed. Possible complications may include:

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID): Some women may experience pelvic inflammatory disease as a complication of chlamydia or gonorrhea. Pain and bleeding are two common symptoms of this complication. A pelvic exam is the best way to diagnose PID. [3]

a girl sitting next to a closed toilet

Infertility: Along with PID, untreated STIs can also affect a woman’s reproductive organs. Chlamydia can also cause infections in the fallopian tubes and lead to infertility. Many women may not even know they have an infection. An annual STI screening is the best way to avoid this complication. [4]

Skin Infection Complications

Skin infections are some of the most common bacterial infections because the skin is the largest organ. It is exposed to the outside world and is vulnerable to cuts and scrapes that allow bacteria to enter the body. Puncture wounds, surgery, burns, sunburns, and insect bites are common transmission methods for bacteria. Skin infections may also be passed from person to person through contaminated clothes or footwear.

In some cases, the top layer of the skin is affected by the bacteria, but it may spread to the soft tissues underneath. [5] Complications of bacterial skin infections can include the following:

Skin scarring: If you suffer from a skin infection on the surface of the skin, you should keep an eye on it to make sure it does not get worse. If an infection persists, it can grow deeper into the skin and cause permanent scarring. Scars occur when the dermis (the deep layer of the skin) is damaged.

Spreading of the infection: Because the skin is such a large area, skin infections can easily spread to other parts of the body. This is especially true in the case of infections like athlete’s foot or jock itch. If you scratch the itchy, infected skin and then touch another body area, the bacteria may create an infection in that new location. In this case, your fingernails and hand may develop similar symptoms. These body areas are notoriously hard to treat, so make sure to wash your hands or any items that come in contact with your infection. [6]

a man itching his eye

Make Sure to Use Your Medications

There are several antibiotics on the market that combat bacterial infections. There is no cure-all antibiotic, and your doctor will prescribe the one most appropriate for your condition.

Antibiotics like amoxicillin, Levaquin (levofloxacin), or retapamulin cream may be used for many skin infections. These drugs work by targeting harmful bacteria and preventing any future growth. Keflex (cephalexin) is useful in the treatment of urinary tract infections and other urological problems.

It is essential to use your antibiotic as long as your doctor prescribes it. If you notice it working, do not stop using it. The bacteria may not be fully dead and could come back. If you overuse an antibiotic, you could develop antibiotic resistance, so always follow your doctor’s instructions. Visit Canada Med Pharmacy for discount antibiotics today.

The content in this article is intended for informational purposes only. This website does not provide medical advice. In all circumstances, you should always seek the advice of your physician and/or other qualified health professionals(s) for drug, medical condition, or treatment advice. The content provided on this website is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.