Pyoderma is not a primary disease. It can be caused by a disorder of the immune system, by other primary diseases, by skin infections, but also by streptococci or staphylococci.


What is pyoderma?

Pyoderma is a burning and purulent inflammation of the skin that can affect different layers of the skin. Triggers in most cases are β-hemolytic streptococci and staphylococci known as pus bacteria. Three types are distinguished:

  • The surface pyoderma (surface pyodermia)

Only the upper layers of the epidermis are affected. There are four special forms: intertrigo (a skin fold dermatitis), pyotraumatic dermatitis (hot spot), bacterial overgrowth of the skin (bacterial overgrowth syndrome) and mucocutaneous pyoderma. See topbbacolleges for Definitions of NHL.

  • The superficial pyoderma

Deeper layers of the epidermis are also affected, especially in the area of ​​the hair follicles. However, the infection remains above the basal lamina. Three special forms are known here: impetigo (highly contagious), bullous impetigo and folliculitis (superficial and bacterial).

  • The deep pyoderma

Infection also occurs in the dermis or even the subcutis. One is possible: folliculitis (most common form), furunculosis (hair follicle is infected and can be destroyed), cellulitis (the subcutis is also infected)


Bacteria, which are also found on healthy skin, form the normal flora of the skin together with Malassezia (yeast fungi). If the body’s own defense system is healthy and therefore functional, the bacteria and yeasts cannot multiply pathologically. Penetration into deeper layers of the skin and infection do not occur.

However, if the skin is injured or damaged by an illness, the bacteria that cause the infection have an easy time of it. A formation of pus occurs, the pyoderma. A pyoderma is not only triggered by infection, but also by a malfunctioning immune system. Another trigger for pyoderma are different diseases.

A hormonal disease such as thyroid disease or an overactive kidney (cuching) can be responsible. In any case, the triggering factor must be found, since pyoderma is not a primary disease. Another cause can be allergic skin reactions.

For example a flea bite allergy, a food allergy or an atopy. If there is a previous skin disease, such as neurodermatitis, the risk of infection is many times higher and the course of the pyoderma is often more serious.

Symptoms, Ailments & Signs

The symptoms of pyoderma are very complex. Itching, flaking and redness as well as crust formation are just like skin discoloration to the typical symptoms. The stomach, the inside of the thighs and the flanks are particularly frequently affected. The head and legs (not the spaces between the toes) are less commonly affected.

Children, especially toddlers and kindergarten children, usually have impetigo contagiosa, which is an inflammation of the epidermis. Transmission by staphylococci or streptococci leads to skin blisters of different sizes with a reddened edge and purulent clouding.

The small bubbles burst very easily and quickly. As a result, honey-yellow crusts develop and the foci of infection spread. Transmission to other skin regions or other people occurs through the fingers that have come into contact with the infected areas.

Diagnosis & course of disease

As a rule, a clinical examination including laboratory analysis is carried out with or without a skin swab. If there is a deeper inflammation, a bacterial culture is created. This can be done with or without a skin biopsy. If the infection-causing bacteria penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin, it can lead to an impairment of the general condition and to nausea.

Not only the skin, but the entire organism is then affected. Transmission from other people can also be considered for diagnosis. It is not uncommon for toddlers and kindergarten children to develop staphylococci or streptococci that have been transmitted from the throat of another child through droplet infection. Complications are observed less frequently.

However, an infection by streptococci can trigger the secondary streptococcal diseases that also occur with scarlet fever . Staphylococcal infection increases the risk of Lyell’s syndrome (immune system response to staphylococcal infection in another area of ​​the skin).


As a rule, pyoderma is already a complication of another underlying disease. Those affected suffer from various complaints, which, however, always appear on the skin. This usually leads to severe itching and severe reddening of the skin. The skin itself is severely dried out and irritated.

In many cases, patients are ashamed of the symptoms of pyoderma and therefore also suffer from inferiority complexes and reduced self-esteem. Depression or other mental upsets can also occur as a result of the disease. Blisters can also form on the skin. The blisters themselves are painful and can easily burst. Likewise, pyoderma can spread to other regions of the skin.

Due to the relatively high risk of infection, contact with other people should also be avoided. Furthermore, pyoderma often leads to nausea or a general feeling of illness in those affected. Treatment of pyoderma is carried out without complications with the help of antibiotics. The life expectancy of the patient is not affected by the pyoderma.

When should you go to the doctor?

Pyoderma should always be treated by a doctor. Proper treatment is the only way to prevent further complications and symptoms. Early diagnosis and treatment of pyoderma always have a positive effect on the further course. A doctor should be consulted if the person concerned suffers from various skin complaints that do not go away on their own and usually occur without any particular reason. This mainly leads to severe itching and redness in the affected areas.

The entire body can be affected by the symptoms of pyoderma. Likewise, blisters on the skin can indicate pyoderma and should be examined by a doctor. Since the disease can also be transmitted to other people through skin contact, skin contact should be avoided for the time being. Pyoderma can be treated by a general practitioner or a dermatologist. As a rule, there are no particular complications, and the life expectancy of the person affected is not reduced.

Treatment & Therapy

Since, as already mentioned, pyoderma is not a primary disease, it is essential to clarify the triggering disease. If this can be successfully treated, a recurrence of the skin infection can usually be prevented. Pyoderma considered by itself is treated with antibiotics.

It is important to take antibiotics for at least a week after healing. When this stage is reached is again determined in the laboratory. In most cases, the duration of treatment is three to four weeks. After the first half of the treatment period, a check-up should be carried out.

This enables an individual determination of the intake of an antibiotic. There is also the use of sprays and rinses. They can not only reduce the smell, but also accelerate healing. Particularly vulnerable areas can also be treated in a targeted manner.

The therapeutically used shampoos are highly antibacterial and must be massaged in for at least ten minutes. This is the only way to ensure that the contact time with the skin is sufficient to kill the bacteria. Thorough rinsing is also very important.


It is important to use age-appropriate skin care that does not attack the skin’s natural protective acid layer and protects the skin’s natural moisture content and, if necessary, restores and maintains it. Ph-neutral urea-containing ointments or lotions are considered very beneficial. The gel from the aloe vera plant also supports the natural protective mechanism and thus also keeps the skin healthy.

Surfactants should not be used as they damage the skin’s natural healthy function. In addition, the body’s own fat is pulled out. The skin dries out. If you have naturally dry skin, you should only shower briefly and not so hot.


After the successful treatment of a pyoderma, the most important thing is to avoid the recurrence of a pyoderma. Regular and intensive personal hygiene is very important for this. In addition, it is advisable to prevent the occurrence of serious, sometimes fatal secondary diseases (especially sepsis and acne inversa). Intensive personal hygiene is also necessary for this.

In addition to washing with soap and disinfecting your hands, especially after using public toilets, you should take a shower every day. In addition, intensive skin care is beneficial to prevent the recurrence of pyoderma. This should consist of regular rinsing of the skin with pH-neutral cleaning agents and a diet rich in vitamin A that is healthy for the skin.

In addition, the inflammatory values ​​in the blood should be checked regularly by the responsible general practitioner or specialist in order to detect the recurrence of pyoderma and the occurrence of secondary diseases at an early stage. In addition, long-term therapy with antibiotics can also be indicated after successful therapy of pyoderma.

This is particularly the case if secondary diseases have already occurred. Blood levels should also be checked regularly. Acne inversa may also require skin surgery to remove the inflamed tissue.