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Preventive Measures
  • First, let it be said that there is no sure prevention. Necrotizing fasciitis has been known to be spontaneous. A bruise or abrasion are all the "opening" in the skin necessary for bacteria to enter. However, there are some things you can do decrease risk.

  • The single biggest preventative measure is keeping the skin intact!

  • Next is cleanliness. Always wash even the smallest opening in the skin and apply an antibiotic ointment. Buy tubes of antibiotic ointment and keep one in your car, your desk, your exercise bag, and at home.

  • Take care with your children, impressing upon them the importance of cleanliness.

  • Be respectful to protect others from infection if you suspect that you may have a Strep infection, such as Strep throat, or have been exposed to someone with a known Strep infection. Symptoms do not have to be present for a person to be carrying the bacteria and infect others. One case of infection that comes to mind is a health care worker with two children at home with Strep throat. She had no symptoms, but innocently infected three people, one of whom died.

These simple measures are the most protection one can give oneself against any infection.

It just can't be stressed enough, however, that a pin prick (one woman became infected at the point of entry from a blood draw) can be the opening it takes.

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March 21, 2003