On May 31st, Necrotizing Fasciitis Awareness Day shines a light on this rare disease, which affects the soft tissues of the skin, and if not appropriately treated, can spread quickly.
The observance offers more than information to help prevent the infection. It encourages support and provides resources to those who have been affected by the disease. Necrotizing Fasciitis Awareness Day has been observed on May 31st since 2017.
Necrotizing fasciitis (NF), also known as flesh-eating disease, is an infection that results in the death of parts of the body’s soft tissue. It is a severe disease of sudden onset that spreads rapidly. Symptoms usually include red or purple skin in the affected area, severe pain, fever, and vomiting.
It’s important to note that necrotizing fasciitis is rare and rare still in healthy people. However, even a small cut can become infected with these bacteria. It is most commonly believed to be caused by group A Streptococcus, and recognizing the symptoms and quickly getting treatment can mean the difference between life and death.
The bacteria can enter the body through other wounds, too. Burns, bites, punctures, and even surgical incisions may be areas of entry for the bacteria.
Like many skin infections, necrotizing fasciitis may start off the seeming minor. The skin might be warm to the touch near the injury. It might even be tender. The rest of your body may ache with symptoms similar to the flu, including a fever.
However, minor symptoms can develop and change quickly. Fatigue, changes in the color of your skin, dizziness, and oozing from the infected area are just a few of the symptoms to watch for.
It’s important to contact your physician any time you have a concerning injury. Follow your doctor’s instructions after surgery, too. They provide contact information for follow-up care, including any risk of infection.