A staph infection is a type of skin infection that occurs by bacteria penetrating the skin or nose and may eventually affect internal organs. It is caused by staphylococcus bacteria and can result in many diseases such as food poisoning, toxic shock syndrome, boils, impetigo, and cellulitis. If left untreated, a staph infection may develop into methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, which can become deadly as it is resistant to the antibiotic methicillin and other drugs in this category. Being aware of the causes, symptoms, and treatments of a staph infection may be helpful for the prevention of one.
A staph infection may be treated with antibiotics. A medical professional may want to drain the infection through a surgical procedure in which an incisor is inserted into the infection and drained of pus.
Staph bacteria are found all over the place, including on the human body in the nostrils and skin folds. A staph infection occurs when staph bacteria penetrate the skin or nose and become infected and inflamed. Research shows that up to forty percent of healthy people are carriers of staph bacteria and many of these people show no signs or symptoms of a disease. It is not until staph bacteria penetrate the skin that an infection or symptoms occur.
9. Staph Bacteria Are Contagious
Staph bacteria are contagious and can be transmitted through contact with the bacteria, such as touching an infected object like a pillow or towel, or through contact with an infected person. Sneezing, coughing, and playing sports can spread the bacteria. Eating contaminated food may occur when food is not properly stored or has been handled by a carrier of the bacteria. A staph infection also may arise in the form of toxic shock syndrome in menstruating women who use do not regularly change tampons.
8. Risk Factors
Although a staph infection may occur in anyone, some people are more likely to develop one than others. A lack of dietary iron may result in a staph infection as iron may cause dry and brittle skin that is more susceptible to cuts and wounds where bacteria can quickly enter the bloodstream. People with a weakened immune system and those who have stayed at a hospital are more prone to developing an infection. Alcoholism may result in malabsorption, which prevents the intestines from properly absorbing food. This results in a nutritional deficiency and depletes the skin of zinc and vitamins A, B1, B2, and B3, which are needed for healthy skin.
There are two types of staph infections: skin and invasive infections. Symptoms are associated with different diseases and depend on the kind of infection. They can start out slow or progress very quickly, while others suddenly become life-threatening. Symptoms of invasive staph infections occur when bacteria has entered internal organs. They can be deadly if left untreated. Complications of an invasive infection may include pneumonia, sepsis, and endocarditis; however, the risk of developing an invasive infection is much lower than a skin infection.
Boils are one of the most common symptoms of a staph infection. They occur when staph bacteria enter the skin by traveling down oil glands or hair follicles. When white blood cells begin to fight the infection, the area of the skin where the bacteria entered becomes blocked due to the overgrowth of pus, which is a mixture of protein, white blood cells, and bacteria, causing a boil to develop. Fever and tenderness may accompany it and the boil may also become swollen and red.
5. Cellulitis And Impetigo
Cellulitis is a condition that occurs when staph bacteria enter the skin through a crack and causes red patches that grow over time. Similar symptoms may include swelling, warmth, blisters, and tenderness of the skin. Impetigo occurs when small groups of blisters and yellow-colored crusty erosions called school sores develop on the hands and face. Impetigo occurs more frequently in young children but may also develop in adults with a weakened immune system.
Another symptom of a staph infection is folliculitis, which occurs when a hair follicle becomes inflamed. It may occur anywhere on the body where there is a large area of hair, such as on the scalp, chest, buttocks, arms or legs. Symptoms may include red, swollen spots with a hair in the center. These spots may become infected and develop pus that breaks open and drains, which can cause the infection to spread to other areas of the body.
3. Wound Infections
Wound infections are an indication of a staph infection. They occur when staph bacteria invade fresh wound and worsen conditions. Symptoms may include swelling, pus, and redness of the skin. Staphylococcal Scalded Skin Syndrome or SSSS may occur as a result of a staph infection. Skin irritability and fever characterize SSS. A rash that looks like a scald or burn may develop over time. Other symptoms include wrinkly or peeling skin followed by blistering.
Seek treatment at the first sign of a staph infection to prevent the development of MRSA, which is an infection that no longer responds to antibiotics and can be deadly. Because it is a bacterial infection, a staph infection may be treated with antibiotics. A medical professional may want to drain the infection through a surgical procedure in which an incisor is inserted into the infection and drained of pus. Other surgical procedures may include removal of the source of infection such as heart valves, pacemakers, artificial grafts, and intravenous lines.
1. Natural Remedies
Tea tree oil contains antiseptic, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties to kill staph bacteria. To use, apply a few drops of tea tree oil to a cotton ball and dab the infected area. Raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can be used to kill staph bacteria. Take two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar orally twice a day or mix with water. A study published in the Journal of Microbiological Methods found that basil essential oil is effective in treating antibiotic-resistant forms of staph infections. It can be dabbed directly on the infection and added to the diet.