1. General Introduction Skin and soft tissue infections are among the most common infections of man. Infections can range in severity from cosmetic to life-threatening depending upon the level of tissue penetration and, most importantly, the organism involved. When attempting to ascertain the etiology of a skin or soft tissue infection, there are several important considerations: 1. the appearance of the lesion 2. epidemiologic factors that would put the patient in contact with particular etiologic agents 3. the competency of host immune defenses 1.1. Appearance of the lesion Specific types of skin infections, and sometimes even specific organisms, often have a typical characteristic appearance. The location, color, size and characteristics of lesion such as whether the lesion is singular or grouped, contiguous or separated over large distances, blanching or non-blanching can be important clues in determining the cause of an infection. An evaluation of the lesion for clues as to the depth of invasion (e.g.: presence of superficial bullous lesions, or
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