Everything You Need To Know About Staph Infection

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Staph infection is caused by the outbreak of the staphylococcus bacteria. This a common germ present in most people’s nose, mouth or genitals. Usually, this bacteria is not harmful. But it does cause minor skin infection. And if the wound develops into a staph infection, it should be checked by a physician. If the bacteria go deeper and enter the bloodstream, it will damage the lungs, joints, and bones. This makes staph infection a life-threatening condition.

Symptoms of Staph Infections

There are different types of staph infection. A small cut is the common cause of infection. When the bacteria go deeper into the body, it could enter the bloodstream. Signs of wound infection includes swelling and honey-yellow crust on the skin. If the wound begins to ooze pus and it’s not healing, have it checked.

Staph infections could appear as a simple boil or a full blown flesh-eating infection. The difference between a mild and severe staph infection is the speed of bacterial growth. If it’s spreading to other parts of the body and deep wounds start to develop, you are dealing with severe staph infection.

One factor that affects the strength of the infection is the patient’s immune system. If the immune system is weak, infections spread easier. Diabetics are also prone to staph infections.

The most common type of staph infections affects the skin. This condition is called cellulitis. It affects the deeper layers of the skin. Other symptoms of cellulitis include inflammation, pain and tenderness. The sore or ulcer will also spread to other parts of the body. In severe cases of cellulitis, the patient will develop a fever, chills, and sweats.

In some cases, cellulitis will trigger impetigo. This is a highly contagious rash. Impetigo is common in young children and babies. It also causes blisters and high fever.

Treating Staph Infections of the Skin

Just like any type of infection, treating staph infections includes over the counter and prescription antibiotics. Unfortunately, some types of bacteria grew resistant to penicillin. These days, to treat staph infections, stronger doses of different antibiotics are used.

Unfortunately, resistance from different antibiotics is being observed by health experts. And this isn’t just happening in hospitals. Antibiotic resistant bacteria are also seen in the general community.

If say, the antibiotics no longer work and the infection went deeper into the muscles, the wound has to be cleaned surgically. This is very rare, but it does happen.

Preventing Staph Infections of the Skin

Prevention is always better than cure. This is true especially if it’s an infection. To prevent this condition, always clean any wound properly. Start by washing it with soap and water. Pat the wound dry and then use antiseptic ointment to prevent infection. The ointment will also promote faster healing. Dress the wound with sterile gauze and always keep it covered.

Staph infection is very contagious. If your wound is infected, do not share towels with your loved ones. Always wear foot coverings whenever you are in the home.  If you suspect that your wound is infected, get it checked immediately. If red lines develop, it means the infection is starting to spread to other parts of the body.

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