Staph infections result from a type of bacteria called Staphylococcus. Basically, a large number of people tend to carry these bacteria on their anal, genital, nose, or mouth areas without developing any symptom. The infection usually starts with a small cut that gets the bacterial infection. Gradually, honey-colored crusting develops on your skin. Such infections can be antibiotic-resistant, flesh-eating, or mild in nature. So, use your Bajaj Finserv Health Card to find suitable treatment for the condition right away.
Staph cellulitis generally starts as a particularly small area of redness, swelling, and tenderness. At times, it starts with an open sore. However, most of the time, there are no obvious breaks in your skin.
Some of the common signs of staph cellulitis are the same as any kind of inflammation, i.e., pain, swelling, warmth, and redness. All kinds of skin sores or ulcers that have such signs might be getting cellulitis. When the infection starts spreading, you might get a high fever, accompanied by sweats and chills, along with localized swelling.
Some of the other types of staph infections on your skin include:
- Staphylococcal scalded skin disorder in young kids and babies that lead to fever, blisters, and rashes
- Impetigo that causes painful rashes and boils, which are extremely contagious
There are people who carry the bacteria and never get an infection in their life. But if you get a staph infection, there are high chances that it developed from a type of bacteria that you have had in you for quite some time. The bacteria can go from one person to another.
As staph bacteria are so resistant, they manage to stay on things like towels and pillowcases long enough to latch on to the next individual who touches those objects. In fact, staph bacteria can easily survive:
- Stomach acid
- Extreme hot and cold
- Drying conditions
When it comes to staph infections, you need to see a doctor when you notice:
- Pus-laden blisters
- An area full of painful, irritated, or red skin
It is also important to talk to a specialist when:
- Skin infections get passed on from a family member to another
- Two or more members of your family get skin infections simultaneously
In order to diagnose your staph infection, a doctor will:
Carry out a complete physical examination – At the time of the examination, the doctor will keep a close eye on the skin lesions that you might have
Collect the sample to test out in a lab – In most cases, doctors tend to diagnose the infection by taking a look at nasal secretions or a tissue sample for any sign of the staph bacteria.
Miscellaneous tests – When you are diagnosed with staph infections, the doctor might ask you to go for an imaging test known as echocardiogram for making sure that the infection hasn’t reached your heart. They might ask you to get other types of imaging tests based on your exam results and symptoms.
There are three common treatment options available for staph infections, and they are:
Your doctor might perform certain tests for identifying the bacteria causing your infection, and thus, help in selecting the antibiotic suitable for your condition. Common antibiotics that are prescribed for treating staph infections involve specific cephalosporins like Zyvox (linezolid), Vibativ (telavancin), Cubicin (daptomycin), vancomycin, oxacillin or nafcillin, and cefazolin.
Also, vancomycin is being increasingly used for the treatment of severe staph infections as multiple strains of this bacteria have turned resistant against other types of conventional medicines. However, vancomycin and several other types of antibiotics need to be administered intravenously.
In case you are prescribed oral antibiotics, make sure to follow the directions of your doctor in taking it, and complete the course of the medicine as per instructions. Also, do not forget to ask the specialist about the symptoms and signs you need to check out to know if the infection is getting worse.
Draining a wound:
If you get a skin infection, the doctor will probably make a small incision in that sore for draining out the fluid collected there.
Removal of a device:
In case the infection comes from a prosthetic or device, your doctor will order an immediate removal of that device. In some cases, the patients need surgery to remove the device.
These bacteria are extremely adaptable, and several varieties have developed resistance to particular antibiotics. For instance, penicillin can cure not more than five percent of the staph infections today.
The growth of MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) strains, also called antibiotic-resistant staph bacterial strains, have led to an increase in the utilization of IV antibiotics, like daptomycin or vancomycin, which can lead to more side-effects than usual.
There have been multiple instances of staph breakout among members of the same team or families. There are steps you can take to prevent the infection. Whenever you get a skin breakdown or cut, clean it with water and soap, and apply over-the-counter chlorhexadine. Also, keep it covered, dry, and clean. You can consider getting diluted bleach wash twice every week to prevent the development of skin infections.
Staph infections are contagious when the wound keeps draining or weeping, and the people share things that are already contaminated. You can wear foot coverings when entering locker rooms and other such areas to prevent staph contamination.
When a sore gets unusually red or painful, visit a doctor immediately. The red lines are a sign that your infection is spreading and you need prompt medical attention.
Staph infections can go from bad to worse before you know it. So, if you notice any signs of it on your skin, get in touch with a doctor without further delay.