Staph skin infection treatment is usually straightforward and, in some cases, an infection of this type can even clear up on its own. However, there are more severe instances of staph infections of the skin where you may need to consult a doctor and receive professional medical treatment. It is essential to be knowledgeable about the causes, the transmission, and how you can identify staph skin infections.
Staph Skin Infection: The Cause
According to WebMD, "A staph infection is caused by a staphylococcus ... bacteria". Individuals can often carry the bacteria without realizing it and without reacting. However, the bacteria itself can cause an infection in the skin, usually through a small cut or scrape.
There are several different kinds of skin-related staph infections, but most—including MRSA—are caused by the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus.
Staph Skin Infection: The Signs
Carriers of staph bacteria may not show any signs of infection, but once one occurs, inflammation, swelling, redness of the skin will arise. A person will likely exhibit at least one of these conditions as well:
• Boil: a pus-filled, red, and swollen pocket of skin
• Cellulitis: an area of redness and swelling from an infection that occurs under the surface of the skin
• Ulcer: a sore on the skin that oozes
• Impetigo: a painful and contagious rash with blisters that, according to the Mayo Clinic, ooze and "develop a honey-colored crust."
• Staphylococcal scaled skin: a raw surface of the skin that occurs when blisters break
If you notice the above signs on your skin or the skin of someone you know, a staph infection is probably to blame. Most of the time, these conditions stay isolated to the skin, but according to the National Library of Medicine, "the infection can spread deeper and affect the blood, bones, or joints." That is why it is important to take care of a staph infection when it is only affecting the skin.
Staph Skin Infection: The Transmission
Individuals can transmit staph in many ways. Because many people do not realize they are carriers, they can spread the bacteria to others through touch or sharing of personal items, like makeup and deodorant. The bacteria can also be transmitted through the use of workout equipment or in the shower. Someone who has a wound is more likely to contract a staph infection through that area, especially if they do not treat it, keep it dry, and keep it covered.
Those who play sports are more likely to transmit and contract staph infections of the skin. It is important to cover any wounds, cuts, or sores you may have and to keep your hands, any personal items, and all workout equipment clean to avoid passing bacteria from person to person.
Staph Skin Infection: The Treatment
After you visit a doctor to be sure that you have a staph infection, it is essential to administer the proper treatment. The area should be drained and cleaned, and often, this is the only treatment necessary. In some cases, however, antibiotics may be required, which you can receive from your doctor. MRSA is more resistant to the antibiotics that treat other conditions of this type, so your doctor may want to consider more aggressive treatments. In severe cases, such as a medical device inside your body gets infected, surgery may be necessary.
Remedying a Staph Skin Infection
It is generally not a complicated process to administer a staph skin infection treatment. To staph infections from occurring in the first place, it is best to be aware of how these conditions occur and how the bacteria itself is transmitted.