What microorganism causes jaundice

Dangerous infections: staphylococci, mycosis, jaundice, HIV. Can you avoid it?

Today, our knowledge of how to protect ourselves from infection is much greater than it has been in the recent past. However, there are still many infections. It is not uncommon for people to become infected with dangerous viruses and bacteria in places such as beauty salons, aesthetic medicine clinics, tattoo parlors, and hair salons. How can we avoid such infections?

How can infections be avoided?

Most of us are not even aware of the dangers that can lurk in places like a beauty salon, beauty salon, aesthetic medicine clinic, hair salon, or tattoo parlor. Even simple procedures like nail modeling, hair removal, beard styling and facials can be dangerous to our health.

Infections: Where can we possibly get infected with dangerous viruses and bacteria?

The most common types of infections that appear in the above salons are the following:

1. Hepatitis B virus

The HBV virus causes hepatitis B. It is the most common viral liver disease. According to the WHO (World Health Organization), 2 billion people currently have HBV infection and in 2015 257 million suffered from chronic hepatitis B. Approximately 600,000 people die each year from acute HBV infection or its complications. This virus is 100 times more infectious than HIV - simple contact with even a microscopic amount of blood can lead to infection. One can become infected with this virus through a simple scratch in the skin and through contact with blood, secretions and excretions of the infected person. The infection can therefore occur during cosmetic or dental interventions or through sexual contact.

2. Hepatitis C virus

3% of the world's population are infected with the HCV virus, which causes hepatitis C. The virus, discovered in 1989, is known as the "silent killer". It works in secret, and the infection itself can be asymptomatic. The HCV virus is transmitted through the blood - the infection can occur with any damage to the skin or mucous membranes, no matter how small, for example when visiting a beauty salon. Anyone can be a carrier - and it can even be that one does not even know it. It is estimated that around 300,000 people in Germany suffer from hepatitis C. In Germany, the detection value of the infection is well above the global average of 20%, but it is still not optimal, and it is assumed that only a minority have been diagnosed so far.

3. Human papillomavirus HPV

The human papillomavirus, or HPV virus for short, causes a number of different diseases, including cancer. HPV is a dangerous carcinogen that can cause cervical cancer as well as head and neck cancer. HPV infection can occur through sexual intercourse and through direct contact with the infected person's skin. This virus mainly affects the skin and the urogenital area. The infection does not always lead to specific symptoms. On the contrary, most HPV infections are asymptomatic and clear up within weeks or months, but the carrier can still infect other people.

4. The HIV virus

The HIV virus, or human immunodeficiency virus, damages the human immune system. As a result, as the disease progresses, the organism can no longer cope with potentially harmless infections. HIV was first isolated in the United States in 1983. In Germany, HIV / AIDS is not a reportable disease. However, the data will be passed on anonymously to the Robert Koch Institute. It is estimated that around 35 million people are infected worldwide. HIV infection is transmitted through the blood (needlestick injuries, use of objects contaminated with the blood of infected people) or through sexual contact. It can also be transmitted from mother to child during pregnancy. The risk of contracting this virus is lower than that of the HBV and HCV viruses because it takes much more blood to become infected. The early stages of infection are often asymptomatic or there are signs of a cold or flu. If the patient does not start specialist treatment early enough, AIDS - the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome - can develop in his body over time.

5. Staphylococcal and streptococcal infections

Infections with bacteria such as streptococci and staphylococci are also a serious risk. Staphylococcus aureus is one of the most dangerous microorganisms. Many carriers have this bacterium on their skin. In sensitive people, however, it can cause many serious conditions such as skin abscesses, endocarditis, inflammation of the bones, lungs, and joints, and even sepsis, which sometimes leads to death. In addition, many strains of this bacterium are resistant to commonly used antibiotics - in which case treatment of the disease is a serious problem. Another dangerous and widespread bacterium is Staphylococcus epidermidis, which is part of the skin's physiological flora, but under certain circumstances Cause inflammation. Group A streptococcus Streptococcus pyogenes also causes many types of respiratory infections, dermatitis, periorbital infections, urinary tract infections, and many more. Streptococci are mainly transmitted through the air - it is enough for one sick person to cough or sneeze and the bacteria are transmitted to another person. Staph and strep infections are most common in the area of ​​the treated skin.

Staph skin infections are mainly:

  • Folliculitis,
  • Sycosis or chronic purulent folliculitis,
  • Boils or acute purulent folliculitis.

Streptococcal Infections:

  • Erysipelas - inflammation of the connective tissue and superficial blood vessels, which manifests itself, among other things, in a painful, red swelling of the skin
  • Fungal infections - Pityrosporum ovale, Candida sp., Epidermophyton sp.

6. Fungal infections

The most common fungi are Candida and Pityrosporum yeasts, fungi of the genus Trichophyton, and fungi that can cause serious general infections such as Aspergillus and Rhizopus. Mushrooms produce highly toxic substances called mycotoxins; they can cause severe poisoning and skin diseases. Candida albicans is a fungus that occurs naturally in the human organism and occurs on the skin, in the digestive tract and in the female genitals. Candidiasis (mycosis) occurs when these fungi multiply significantly. This situation can be caused by many factors, e.g. after prolonged use of antibiotics, with hormonal disorders or during the course of diabetes. Pityrosporum ovale infection causes seborrheic dandruff and can also worsen symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis. Trichophyton infection is the most common cause of tinea pedis.

7. Parasitic infections - Sacroptes scabiel, Demodex folliculorum

Sacroptes scabiel, or the scabies mite, is a parasite that causes scabies. It is a very contagious skin disease. These parasites prefer warm areas, which is why they are usually found between the fingers (intertoe fungus), in the groin, in the genital area and under the breasts. One can become infected with scabies, usually through direct contact with infected skin. The main symptom is an itchy rash, which is particularly bothersome at night. Demodex folliculorum causes a disease called demodicosis, or red mange. It is transmitted with the dust, through contact with a sick person or, for example, through the use of the same personal things. Symptoms of the infection include mild itching of the skin, inflammation of the glands and hair follicles.

What can infections lead to?

1. AIDS

Untreated HIV infection leads to the development of AIDS, an acquired immune deficiency syndrome. AIDS breaks out in about a dozen years (8-10 years on average) in people who are unaware that they are carrying the virus. According to the WHO, around 36 million people have died of AIDS between the beginning of the epidemic and the end of 2013. The first phase of HIV infection is known as "acute retroviral disease". It lasts for up to several months and leads to symptoms such as headache, muscle pain and lymphadenopathy. The next phase is the latent phase, which lasts about 10 years. During this time, the immune system is constantly weakened. AIDS is the terminal stage of HIV infection. The destroyed organism ceases to deal with seemingly harmless diseases. So-called indicator diseases appear, which allow AIDS to be diagnosed without additional tests. The most common causes of death for people with AIDS are infections and the associated cancers.

2. Tinea

Tinea is the most common skin disease. It's hard to cure. It is most common on the feet, between the toes, on the nails, and in the groin. The foot tinea is mainly caused by the Trichophyton fungus. The course of the disease is protracted and often recurs. Symptoms are peeling of the epidermis and itching. The nail fungus is the main problem in beauty salons. The nail plate becomes dull, often thicker, yellow and more brittle. A longitudinal furrow can also appear. The fungus can easily be passed on to other people.

3. jaundice

Jaundice of the skin and whitening of the eyes are symptoms of liver disease that can result from HCV and HBV infection. It is caused by the build-up of excess bilirubin, a product of the breakdown of hemoglobin, in tissues. It can be accompanied by itching of the skin, darkening of the urine, and discoloration of the stool. HBV and HCV viruses not only lead to jaundice, but also to inflammation and cirrhosis of the liver, as well as liver cancer, which can even lead to death.

Can you avoid infection?

Fortunately, awareness of infections that can potentially occur while performing even potentially harmless and simple cosmetic treatments is growing among both salon owners and their clients. Maintaining the basic principles of hygiene, regular disinfection and subsequent sterilization of reusable instruments are currently indispensable processes. A device for sterilizing reusable instruments - an autoclave - should be available in every salon in which skin tears can occur during treatment, e.g. in beauty salons, cosmetic studios, dental practices, tattoo studios or hairdressing salons. This is the only way to ensure the safety of customers and employees and minimize the risk of infection.

Where should the autoclave be set up?

There should be an autoclave in:

  • Beauty salons,
  • Aesthetic medicine clinics,
  • Hairdressing salons,
  • Tattoo studios,
  • Medical and dental practices.

Therefore, if we are going through even a simple procedure such as nail styling or hyaluronic acid injections, we should ask whether an autoclave is used in this salon and reusable instruments are regularly subjected to the sterilization process.

Infections in Germany and other countries

1. Hepatitis B

After the two databases had been linked and compared, a total of 6386 cases were reported for Germany in 2019. This means that the number has increased by around a third compared to the previous year. In 2018 the number was 4503.

2. Hepatitis C

According to estimates, around 400,000 or even 500,000 people in Germany suffer from chronic hepatitis C. Intravenous drug consumption is still the most common risk factor for hepatitis C infection in Germany. Hepatitis C is more common in men than women because men are more likely to inject drugs. Hepatitis C is more common in certain parts of the world, including North Africa, the Middle East, and Central and East Asia, and it is believed that this is due to the use of common needles for vaccinations or medical treatments. There are 325 million people worldwide with hepatitis B and C.

3. HIV

It is estimated that around 87,900 people in Germany were living with HIV at the end of 2018.