G presence of superficial bullous lesions or

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lesion for clues as to the depth of invasion (e.g.: presence of superficial bullous lesions, or crepitance—an indication of subcutaneous gas) may also be critical. 1.2. Epidemiologic factors Infectious diseases of the skin are, like most infections, diseases of opportunity. Skin infection occur when organisms are contacted in their “natural environments” and begin to grow in the tissue of a patient.The most common agents of skin infections are typically coloizers of humans (e.g. Staphyloccous aureus in human nares) resulting in many opportunites for contact. It is important to elicit information from patients that may have put them at risk for infections with organisms that they would not ordinarily have contact with. For example, a skin infection developing around the site of a cat bite could be caused not only by bacteria present on the skin surface but also by bacteria present in the mouth of a cat. While an understanding of epidemiological risk factors is important, one must not be overly reliant on epidemiology. Common infections remain common despite a patient’s history of exposure to an uncommon agent. Conversely, one may discount a particular disease etiology due to an incomplete understanding of the risk of infection with a particular agent (e.g.: the low risk of cutaneous anthrax in American postal workers was presumed prior to the discovery of its use in bioterrorism).
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