Staph infection is caused by bacteria known as staphylococcus and mainly the condition begins with a little cut which may be infected with bacteria. These bacteria can be found in mouth, anal area, genitals and nose. The foot may also pick the bacteria from floor and other surfaces. One example of staph infection of the skin is cellulitis and this invades the deeper part of the skin. Although in most cases, the staphylococcus bacteria may not cause problems or it may result to minor skin infection, at other times, it can turn deadly.
If staph bacteria invade deep parts of the body, they can enter the bloodstream, bones, lungs, joints and heart causing serious health problems. Life-threatening staph infections are today witnessed in otherwise healthy people unlike the past when they were experienced by people who occupied hospitals for a long time or had chronic illness and weak immune function. There is also a challenge in treatment of the staph infection since these bacteria do not respond to common antibiotics.
Although many people carry the staph bacteria on their nose, mouth and other parts, they may never develop the infection. If the infection occurs, it is mostly likely that it stemmed from bacteria that have been around your body for some time. You may also get these bacteria by coming in contact with a person who hosts them. The bacteria can live in objects like towels pillowcases and this means that they can easily be transferred from one person to another or from the object to a person. The staph bacteria can readily survive in high levels of salt, extremes of temperatures and drying environments.
The infection begins in a small area that becomes tender, swells and turns red. It can also begin in an exposed or open sore. In other times, the bacteria may also cause infection even when there is no broken or cut skin leaving confusion as to how the infection could have invaded the body. There are different signs and symptoms associated with staph infection and they include warmth, redness, pain and swelling of the affected area.
A person may also develop fever as the infection spreads. Chills and sweats are also common to people infected with this bacteria. The staph infection may manifest in different forms ranging from minor skin problems to life-threatening infections like endocarditis, which affect the heart valve lining. Moreover, the signs and symptoms also vary depending on the extent of infection.
Staph bacteria can cause different skin infections such as boils, which form a pocket of pus in hair follicle or oil gland. The skin over the boil may swell and redden and if the boil breaks, it drains pus and blood. The boils may occur mostly in groin, buttocks and arms. Another condition caused by the bacteria is impetigo, which is contagious and forms painful rashes.
The impetigo caused by staph bacteria features large blisters. These blisters may ooze fluid and form honey colored crust surface. Cellulitis infection may also be caused by staph bacteria and affects deeper parts of the skin. Cellulitis causes redness and swelling on skin. Sores and oozing discharge may also form
Another form of infection caused by staph bacteria is staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome. This occurs mainly due to the toxins released when a staph infection manifests. It affects mainly newborns. This scalded skin syndrome is characterized by fever, rash and at times blisters. When the blisters break, they may leave a raw surface that resembles a burn.
The treatment of staph infection may include use of antibiotics, which help fight bacteria. In addition, wound drainage may be administered if the skin infection has caused soreness. A doctor makes an incision on the sore to extract the fluid that has accumulated on the skin. Some devices like prosthesis may contribute to the infection and in this case, the devices are removed. This may require a surgical procedure.
Because of the adaptability of staph bacterial, many strains have become resistant to some antibiotics. This means that stronger antibiotics may be needed to treat infections caused by the drug resistant strains of staphylococcus bacteria such as the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus- MRSA bacteria strains.
If the infection penetrates deep into the muscles or fibers, it may need surgical procedure to treat it. In addition, doctors can use more potent antibiotics to treat the bacteria strains that are resistant to common drugs. However, doctors need to know when to use the high potent antibiotics. These antibiotics have high toxicity and it means that they may have side effects on patients.
There are common sense precautions, which can help people minimize the risks of developing staph infections, and they include washing hands, keeping wounds covered and keeping personal items personal (not sharing). People also need to reduce tampon risks by ensuring that they change the tampon frequently. This ensures that chances of getting toxic shock syndrome are reduced.
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