What Is Necrotizing Fasciitis?

By james
Reviewed: Dr. Gromatzky
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Flesh-eating bacteria is the stuff of nightmares, and if you believe the hype, it is a common occurrence for tropical vacationers worldwide. Fortunately, necrotizing fasciitis is a rare tissue infection, so most people can enjoy their time off in peace. However, for the 700 to 1,200 cases that occur annually, patients need to understand the necessity of receiving quick treatment.

While the infection is rare, it progresses rapidly, causing the inflammation and probable death of areas of the fascia. Without quick intervention, patients can lose limbs and their lives. It is necessary to understand the causes and symptoms of this condition to protect yourself against infection and delayed response.

1. What Causes Necrotizing Fasciitis?

Necrotizing fasciitis is a bacterial infection caused by Group A streptococcus, vibrio vulnificus and vibrio alginolyticus. The bacteria may exist in hot tubs, swimming pools, lakes and oceans. Vibrio is more common in brackish water or saltwater and is likely responsible for more recent seawater exposure.

Most cases of necrotizing fasciitis occur because of open wounds or breaks in the skin. The entry point needn’t be massive. Insect bites, scrapes, puncture wounds, surgical incisions and burns all leave vulnerable openings in the skin, which the bacteria can then enter through. However, blunt force trauma may also lead to an infection of necrotizing fasciitis.

Necrotizing Fasciitis

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