Skin infections – Chronic and recurrent

Red flags

Consider urgent referral for patients with the following:

  • Spreading cellulitis
  • Large abscess/carbuncle
  • Extensive superficial infection

Skin infections (chronic and recurrent) covers the following conditions:

  • Recurrent boils
  • Recurrent cellulitis
  • Hiradenitis suppurativa
  • Erysipelas
  • Infected ulcers

Other important information for referring practitioners

Lifestyle changes

  • Use of antiseptic body wash (pHisohex)
  • Avoid skin dryness with use of effective moisturiser
  • Avoid picking skin, scratching, squeezing pimples
  • Avoid overuse of antiperspirants
  • Avoid insect bites

Medical management

  • Advise on staphylococcus eradication program
    • Swab nose, groin, axillae
  • Identify infectious source if appropriate
    • Consider swabbing close relatives to uncover asymptomatic carriers
  • Treat underlying chronic skin conditions
  • Treat any associated scabies

Referral requirements

A referral may be rejected without the following information.

  • Reason for referral
  • Presence of any red flags
  • Timeline of symptoms
    • Duration
    • How was infection acquired (hospital/community)
    • Site of infection
  • Treatments trialled, duration of treatment and reasons for failure
  • Any other significant conditions
    • Diabetes
    • Associated eczema/chronic skin disease
    • Autoimmune disease
  • Evidence of impaired host immunity
    • Cancer
    • Immunosuppressive medication
    • HIV/AIDS
  • Current medication list and allergies
  • Social factors
    • Nutrition
    • Drug/alcohol abuse
    • Homelessness
  • Relevant examination findings
    • Vascular insufficiency
    • Dependent oedema
    • Lymphoedema
  • Investigations
    • FBC, E/LFT
    • Microscopy and culture of infected area

Additional referral information (useful for processing the referral)

  • Skin scraping and fungal culture findings
  • Skin biopsy

Out of catchment

Metro North Health is responsible for providing public health services to the people who reside within its boundaries. Special consideration is made for patients requiring tertiary care or services that are not provided by their local Hospital and Health Service. If your patient lives outside the Metro North Health area and you wish to refer them to one of our services, inclusion of information regarding their particular medical and social factors will assist with the triaging of your referral.

  • Impact on employment
  • Impact on education
  • Impact on home
  • Impact on activities of daily living
  • Impact on ability to care for others
  • Impact on personal frailty or safety
  • Identifies as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
  • To establish a diagnosis
  • For treatment or intervention
  • For advice and management
  • For specialist to take over management
  • Reassurance for GP/second opinion
  • For a specified test/investigation the GP can’t order, or the patient can’t afford or access
  • Reassurance for the patient/family
  • For other reason (e.g. rapidly accelerating disease progression)
  • Clinical judgement indicates a referral for specialist review is necessary
  • Presenting symptoms (evolution and duration)
  • Physical findings
  • Details of previous treatment (including systemic and topical medications prescribed) including the course and outcome of the treatment
  • Body mass index (BMI)
  • Details of any associated medical conditions which may affect the condition or its treatment (e.g. diabetes), noting these must be stable and controlled prior to referral
  • Current medications and dosages
  • Drug allergies
  • Alcohol, tobacco and other drugs use
  • Full name (including aliases)
  • Date of birth
  • Residential and postal address
  • Telephone contact number/s – home, mobile and alternative
  • Medicare number (where eligible)
  • Name of the parent or caregiver (if appropriate)
  • Preferred language and interpreter requirements
  • Identifies as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
  • Full name
  • Full address
  • Contact details – telephone, fax, email
  • Provider number
  • Date of referral
  • Signature
  • Willingness to have surgery (where surgery is a likely intervention)
  • Choice to be treated as a public or private patient
  • Compensable status (e.g. DVA, Work Cover, Motor Vehicle Insurance, etc.)

Send referral

Hotline: 1300 364 938

Medical Objects ID: MQ40290004P
HealthLink EDI: qldmnhhs

Metro North Central Patient Intake
Aspley Community Centre
776  Zillmere Road

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