Staph Skin Infections Pictures

Staph Skin Infection Pictures

Staph (pronounced staff) skin infection may appear as :

Drainage of pus from lesions is common.

What Causes Staph Skin Infections?

Staph infections are mainly caused by bacterium Staphylococcus aureus, and rarely by S. epidermidis, or S. saprophyticus. In staph carriers, S. aureus lives in the nose and on the skin, less commonly in the mouth, mammary glands, urinary, intestinal and upper respiratory tract (1). Staphylococcal infections usually remain localized at the site of entry. What is Staphylococcus aureus?

Who Is at Risk for Staph Infections?

People at greatest risk of contracting a staph infection are :

  • Staph carriers (many individuals who carry S. aureus in the nose, throat or skin; 20-30% of people are colonized persistently, especially health care workers, patients with diabetes and those on dialysis)
  • Newborn infants
  • Breastfeeding women
  • Obese persons
  • People living in crowded communities or hot climates
  • Those with skin injuries or surgical wounds
  • Persons with piercings and fresh tattoos
  • Persons with skin diseases, like atopic dermatitis or seborrhea
  • Persons with weak immune system, diabetes, cancer, vascular, blood or lung disease
  • Patients receiving oral steroids or chemotherapy

Are Staph Skin Infections Contagious?

Staph skin infections are fairly contagious. It can spread by :

  • Skin to skin contact with an infected person
  • Sharing razors, towels, clothes, bed linens, sport equipment (athletes!), toys
  • Walking barefoot or sitting around swimming pools
  • Contact with infected pets
  • Auto-infection by nose picking and skin scratching
  • Sneezing – when droplets from the nose of infected person (or staph carrier) fall on an injured skin of another person.

Read more on staph epidemiology.

Folliculitis

Staphylococcal folliculitis affects hair follicles on the face, scalp, neck, trunk or limbs but not the hands, soles and mucous membranes where there are no hair follicles. Folliculitis usually appears as a group of red bumps, which may develop into pus-filled blisters (Picture 1). Itch or pain are main symptoms; follicles may open and drain pus. Low grade fever may be present. Folliculitis barbae is a folliculitis of the beard in men. A stye or hordeolum is folliculitis affecting one or more hair follicles on the edge of the upper or lower eyelid.

Staph skin infections-folliculitis

Picture 1. Folliculitis
(source: Samuel Freire da Silva, M.D., Atlasdermatologico)

More Folliculitis Pictures.

Boil – Skin Abscess

A boil or skin abscess is a collection of pus in the skin from various causes. Boils may appear as red colored nodules which are tender, itchy or painful. A boil often opens at some point of growth and drains pus.

A furuncle develops from an infected hair follicle, when the adjacent skin tissue is involved. It most commonly appears on the neck (Picture 2), arms or legs as a red nodule up to 1 cm in size, and usually after some time opens and drains pus. Furuncles may be itchy and painful and low grade fever may be present. It usually heals on its own. When several furuncles coalesce, it forms a carbuncle. Carbuncles most often appear on the nape of the neck in persons with lowered immunity, friction of clothes or bad hygiene (9).

Skin staph infections-furuncle

Picture 2. Furuncle on the neck
(source: Samuel Freire da Silva, M.D., Atlasdermatologico)

Cystic acne is a large collection lesions caused by oil and dead skin cells trapped in the sebaceous glands, mostly occurring on the face of teenagers.

Hidradenitis suppurativa are boils appearing in armpits, groin, anal area or under the breasts and inner thighs – areas which are often rubbed and are rich in the sweat and oil glands. The condition usually appears in puberty, it worsens with time and may persist for years. Sebaceous glands produce excessive oil due to increased hormonal activity. Sweat glands may be clogged due to excessive sweating and shed skin cells.

Hair follicles may then be infected by staphylococci. When all these disorders merge, it results in a group of tender red nodules, under-skin lumps filled with pus and black-heads. Hormone changes, stress, obesity and excessive sweating may aggravate symptoms. Antibiotics and isotretinoin may help in some cases, but surgical removal of nodules is often required (8).

A pilonidal cyst arises from irritated and infected hair follicles in the area between the buttocks, often due to prolonged sitting (during trips). Surgery is often required to remove the cyst completely.

Cellulitis – Deep Skin Infection

Cellulitis is an infection of the underlying skin tissue, appearing as a red, swollen, warm, tender skin patch of various size (Picture 3). An infection usually starts when Staphylococcus aureus (or group A streptococci, or rarely other bacteria) enter through the skin wound and spreads under the skin. The legs and arms are most commonly affected. Fever is usually present and the local lymph nodes may be swollen (2). Cellulitis always needs to be treated – oral antibiotics are usually prescribed.

Staph skin infections-cellulitis

Picture 3. Cellulitis on a shoulder in a child (source: phil.cdc.gov)

A superficial skin infection called erysipelas is usually caused by streptococci or, rarely, by staphylococci (2).

Impetigo

Impetigo is a crust-forming staph infection of the skin, mainly occurring in pre-school children. In adults it may follow other skin disorders like atopic dermatitis. It is highly contagious and easily spreads to other parts of the skin. Fever is not common, but the local lymph nodes may be affected. Infection usually heals on its own in 2-3 weeks (3). It most often occurs in summer and autumn.

Impetigo contagiosa starts like red bumps which rupture, ooze fluid or pus, and form honey colored crusts. It mostly appears around the child’s nose and mouth (Picture 4).

Skin staph infections -impetigo

Picture 4. Impetigo
(source: Samuel Freire da Silva, M.D., atlasdermatologico)

Bullous impetigo mostly appears in infants in the form of vesicles of various size on the trunk or limbs. Ecthyma is a severe form of impetigo with thick crusts. It affects deeper layers of the skin, it is painful, it may develop into an ulcer and leave scars.

Complications of impetigo are rare and include scars, permanent hypo- or hyper-pigmented skin patches and cellulitis.

Paronychia

Paronychia is an infection of the skin folds of the nails (Picture 5). Acute paronychia is usually caused by staphylococci, other bacteria or herpes virus; chronic paronychia is usually caused by fungi. It may follow nail biting, finger sucking, wearing artificial nails, ingrown toenail, or may appear in people who constantly have wet hands (like bartenders or dentists). It appears as a painful, red swelling around the nail or as red bumps or blisters.

The nail may change its color or become detached. Soaking an affected finger in warm water few times a day may help to relieve pain. Paronychia heals on its own; if not, a skin cut and pus drainage are needed. Sometimes a part of the nail has to be removed (4). Rarely, infection spreads toward the tendons and bones, or bacteria invade into the bloodstream.

Staph_Skin_Infections-Paronychia

Picture 5. Acute paronychia
source: Wikipedia

Wound Staph Infection

Staph is the most common external cause of wound infections. In surgical wounds, bacteria E.coli and enterococci are often involved.

Symptoms and Signs of Wound Infection

A wound infection may develop from 48 hours to 30 days after an injury or surgery.

Mild wound infection symptoms and signs may include (5):

  • Skin around the wound becomes increasingly red (cellulitis), swollen, warm and painful
  • Pus or cloudy fluid is draining from the wound
  • A crust may form on the wound edges, or an existing crust is increasing in size

Symptoms and signs of severe wound infection:

  • red streak (from inflamed lymphatic vessel) is spreading from the wound toward the local lymph nodes (usually in the armpits or groin), which may be swollen and tender.
  • Body temperature over 100°F (37.8°C).
  • Poor wound healing.
  • Foul odor from the wound.
  • A bluish or black gangrenous tissue around the wound.

Treatment of Infected Wounds

Open infected wounds should be cleaned with a suitable antimicrobial solution and preferably dressed by a medical professional. Oral antibiotics will usually be prescribed. With treatment, the symptoms should start to ease within 2 to 3 days, and completely resolve within 7 to 10 days. To relieve pain acetaminophen or ibuprofen can be used, if temperature especially if the temperature exceeds 102F° (39°C).

Treatment of Infected Burns

In mild burns topical antibacterial ointments, like mupirocin, can be used to prevent infection. In severe burns, systemic antibiotics and surgical treatment are needed.

Staphylococcal Scalded Skin Syndrome (SSSS)

Staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome (SSSS) is an extensive red rash, like scald, caused by toxins released by Staphylococcus aureus. It mostly appears in children under 5 years of age who do not have enough antibodies to fight staph toxins. Staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome in newborns is sometimes called pemphigus neonatorum. Connections between skin cells are cleaved by staph toxins, resulting in scalding.

A disease may start as a common staph skin infection, like impetigo, from which toxins are released. Fever, irritability and skin redness may follow in a couple of days, and then red blisters, paper-like skin wrinkling and scalding appear in one or more skin areas.

Diagnosis is by a skin biopsy. Treatment by intravenous and later by oral antibiotics usually results in complete healing in 5-7 days without consequences (7). The most dangerous complications are dehydration and sepsis. Staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome in adults with lowered immunity may be followed by life threatening pneumonia and sepsis.

Staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome is highly contagious and it often outbreaks as epidemic in kindergartens; in this case, children should stay at home.

Pictures of SSSS

Treatment of Staph Skin Infections

Mild staphylococcal folliculitis or furuncle may disappear in a few days or couple of weeks with good hygiene, showering and wearing fresh airy clothes.

In persistent skin infection, like carbuncles, oral antibiotics, like dicloxacillin or cephalosporin, are effective. If MRSA is diagnosed, clindamycin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, levofloxacin, minocycline or linezolid may be used (2). Boils with an opening (cap) may need to be incised and drained of pus. The area is appropriately dressed. The dressing has to be changed and underlying skin cleaned every day until the boil heals completely. A large abscess may require a surgical drainage.

In infected wounds, stitches or foreign bodies have to be removed. Any dead tissue (necrotic) has to be surgically removed.

Extensive skin infections, like in staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome (SSSS), require intravenous antibiotics. Antibiotics should be chosen on the basis of antibiotic susceptibility test.

Remedies in Staph Skin Infections

Topical antibacterial treatment. Fusidic acid (Fucidin®) and mupirocin (Bactroban®) are available as ointments. Triple-antibiotic (neomycin, polymyxin and bacitracin) mixtures can be found in pharmacies. Treatment should last up to 10 days, and administered 2 to 3 times a day. Longer use should be avoided to prevent bacterial resistance. Some ointments may  cause dry skin, burning or rash.

To prevent spread of an infection to other skin areas, antibacterial soaps, bath additives, and creams containing chlorhexidine, triclosan and povidone-iodine can be used.

To reduce itch, especially in children, emollients may be used.

To treat nasal staph carriage, nasal mupirocin ointment or oral rifampin may be used (4,2). Nasal swabs should be taken from the patient and his/her family members to identify staph carriers.

Laser hair removal helps in recurrent folliculitis.

How to Prevent Staph Skin Infections?

People prone to get recurrent staph skin infections should:

  • Regularly wash their hands, avoid nose picking, nails biting and skin scratching.
  • Use electric razor instead of blades or shave less frequently.
  • Wear fresh, comfortable, airy clothes.
  • Clean athletic equipment and seats beside pools before using.
  • Do not share razors, towels, clothes, bed lining with others.
  • Treat any underlying diseases, like diabetes or dermatitis.

References:

  1. Staph carriers (merck.com)
  2. Cellulitis and erysipelas (skininfection.com)
  3. Impetigo (mayoclinic.com)
  4. Paronychia (nlm.nih.gov)
  5. Wound infection (med.umich.edu)
  6. Infection of surgical wounds (emedicine.com)
  7. SSSS (dermnetnz.org)
  8. Hydradenitis suppurativa (mayoclinic.com)
  9. Carbuncle (nlm.nih.gov)
About Jan Modric (249 Articles)
Health writer
  • Jan Modric

    ambery,

    in general, oral antibiotics are more effective than topical medications, but the two can be combined. I don’t know if they did this when they tested the sample of pus from the bumps, but a microbiological investigation can reveal the exact subtype of staph bacteria, and an antibiotic sensitivity test doing after that can narrow down the list of antibiotics that would likely effectively treat your infection. It means that specific antibiotics need to be chosen to treat the subtype of staph bacteria you have, since not just every antibiotic would do the job.

    The next question is why you are getting these infections so frequently. It’s possible you are a staph carrier, meaning you have staph bacteria on your skin or in the nose most of the time without causing any harm, but when your scalp is slightly injured (like scratched) bacteria enter the skin and cause infection. Such a carrier state may be treated with more or less long lasting effect…A lower immunity would also result in frequent infections. An infectologist or immunologist can say, which (blood) tests would reveal your immune status.

  • kboogs

    Hey,

    I was wondering about this infection. I was in close contact with someone who, at this point, likely has staph and about four days after hanging out with this person I developed a pimple on my left arm no visible pus in it- it looked more like a bite and was a bit itchy. I squeezed it and it blew up in a matter of hours. This was on Thursday and now three days later the bump remains… looks like cystic acne. The skin surrounding it is swollen and red but, the bump has not come to a head and swelling has not reduced. No fever. Is it possible that I might have contracted staph? Does this mean that I will always be susceptible to staph? Should I go to the doctor? The bump itches and hurts by the way. I’ve been putting tea tree oil on it and now natural tooth paste to see if it will reduce the swelling but nothing is happening. Any thoughts on this are welcome.

  • Jan Modric

    kboogs,

    yes, a bump looking like a cystic acne appearing few days after contact with an infected person can be a staph infection. If it doesn’t heal on its own, you may ask a doctor to give you a diagnosis and appropriate antibiotics, if necessary. OTC ointments might not penetrate deep enough to treat the infection. We are probably all susceptible for staph infections, and many people would likely get infected after a close contact with a person with an infected skin. You are probably no more susceptible for staph than before this infection, but try to prevent the spread of the infection to other body parts by avoiding touching it.

  • BRG

    To update my previous comment, I went to the dr and was prescribed Doxycyline three days ago. Is it possible at all to know if it’s being effective. The spot on my leg has decreased in it’s swelling, but now it looks like a very dark bruise. Other than fever and vomiting, is there anything else to signal there is something not going right with the treatment?

  • Jan Modric

    BRG,

    The dark bruise may be a small bleeding – hematoma, which could be a part of normal healing; in this case the color should change from bluish to greenish/yellowish in few days and then slowly go away in x? days. If not, and if pain increases, you should see a doctor. Fever persisting during antibiotic treatment would mean antibiotics are not effective. Reducing of swelling is a good sign, but all other symptoms should ease continuously.

  • jen2010

    i have 2 questions. i got cellulitis after i fell 10 days ago. im halfway through my oral antibiotics, keep it cleaned and wrapped. swelling went down thank god and it looks better but i work in healthcare. my patient has no immunity, recovered from a staph infection about a year ago. should i wait until my wound completely heals before i go back to work?

  • Jan Modric

    jen2010,

    this is a kind of official question for your employer. If the wound is oozing or its surface is not yet completely healed, there could theoretically still be a risk of infection, especially if you touch the wound with your hands. Localized staph infection on the leg, when the wound is wrapped, does not likely spread by sneezing or coughing or other “air” ways. Dealing with a patient with “no immunity” requires special care, so I can’t give you a direct answer on this.

  • helziebelle

    An itchy rash on my neck and lower face flared up a few months ago, which also resulted in very dry skin. My doctor prescribed me strong antihistamines for the itching, plus a steroid cream and aqueous cream for the dryness.

    While it is a lot better now, I still have itchiness around the jawline and very dry and itchy skin around my mouth and on my eyelids.

    I cannot work this out as I have not used any new products on my skin or hair. My normal moisturiser is very mild and yet it stings on the really dry areas of my face when I apply it.

    When I saw the doctor she said it was seborrhoeic eczema, but is this caused by an allergy or stress? I do have a stressful job but my skin has never reacted in this way. I’m still taking antihistamines every day to keep the itching to a minimum.

  • Jan Modric

    helziebelle,

    stress can trigger seborrheic dermatitis – in this case the skin is usually flaky and oily, though. A dermatologist can give you a diagnosis.

  • jeanny

    hi i my dermatoligist told me i have a staph infection ive had it for awhile now, i have a few questions, its never been boils or blisters types its always just been a rash little pimples, does that make me a carrier? and if a friend gets it from me and notices a rash how does he get rid of it? or does he have it for good now like me? (if its just on the skin not entered the body or through a cut) does good hiegine just take it away from a person that gets it from me or do they need a cream to take it away , and would it be a cream i use or a different one? i heard lots of creams the infection can get resistant too is this true? and are there any creams or soaps or liquids that it cant build a resistant too? like i heard bleach it cant get resistant too, is this true? how about alchol soaps ..resisatnt too? is alcohol base better than anti- bacterial soaps? vinegar? its very frustarating and i want the best advice and soaps to use as the ones im using arent really working and im scared theyll become resistant to them, does the staph become resitant quickly( like within 30 -60 days) to soaps and creams? and if ive had the rash for so long why hasnt it formed to boils or blisters that im always hearing with staph…is that later stages? had id for 9 years now

  • Jan Modric

    jeanny,

    having a rash for 9 years constantly does not speak for a staphylococcal infection (unless it comes and goes). Staphylococcal infection can be in the form of folliculitis (infection of the hair follicles that look like acne: small red bumps with or without white heads). Boils appear in more severe form of infection, I mean, they don’t occur in just every staph infection. Infection is contracted by skin-to-skin contact or by sharing towels, clothes, gym equipment or sch with an infected person. Over-the-counter antibiotic cream containing mupirocin is available in pharmacies, and oral antibiotics can be prescribed by a doctor. God hygiene, alcohol, antibacterial soups, vinegar and various general antiseptics are not effective. Don’t use bleach! The secure way to get treated would be to ask a dermatologist to make a bacterial culture from the eventual excretions – then, according to test results, the dermatologist can prescribe you appropriate oral antibiotic.

    It is a constant use of antibacterial soap that can result in partial resistance to some bacteria, but a cream used only to treat the actual infection less likely does so. A person that gets infected from you can use the same treatment as you, but first you have to get an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment for you.

  • jeanny

    so it sounds to you tthat it is most likey follictis…cause its just been pimple looking for 9 years…nevr been sores with oozing pus or anything like that, but also its not in where the hair comes out its just on my back and other spots but NOT where hairs coming out of pore like ive been seeing how follicis is?? so if someone does get it from me, they have to get a prescribed cream to get rid of? just showering wont take it away? or can take it away…do most pepole live their whole lives out with theses kind of diseases, ive heard they can be fatal, but in most cases do you live your whole life?

  • Jan Modric

    jeanny,

    folliculitis is an inflammation of hair follicles – these are pores from which the hair comes out. These pores are also on the back and all other parts of the skin except on palms of the hands ad soles of the feet. Staphylococcal folliculitis is only one form of folliculitis. Red bumps with or without white heads are characteristic (like in pictures – link is in my previous post). Staphylococcal folliculitis can heal on its own in few weeks and then you can infected again and again, but the infection would not likely be constantly present; at least you would notice how the rash is changing and moving location. I don’t know, if you had red bumps *constantly*, I mean all the time, in all 9 years, or just occasionally, so I can’t say if you have staphylococcal folliculitis or not. There are several other forms of folliculitis, not caused by an infection, and some of these forms would persist for longer time than staphylococcal folliculitis.

    Anyway, if you are sure someone has gotten red rash after skin contact with you, it’s more likely staph folliculitis. Showering would do nothing. A special antibacterial cream, containing antibiotic mupirocin could help (but not just any other anti-itch cream). Staphylococcal folliculitis is not likely a life-long infection. Some strains of staph bacteria, called MRSA can be dangerous, though.

    If red bumps are not placed around the pores, it’s not folliculitis. It’s not possible for me to recommend you appropriate treatment without being sure what is your exact diagnosis, but a dermatologist can help you.

  • kristin swafford

    My boyfriends mother has staph infection on her leg and it leaks.. can my boyfriend get it? His name is Chris. They live in a one bedroom apartment and he will either sleep on the couch or bed, but she will also will sleep on them. They can’t afford to go to the doctor to get it treated so will the salt water and soaking apply here? Will that work even without the antibiotics? Email me please if you can help.
    Thanks.

  • Jan Modric

    kristin swafford,

    regular showering with a soap can somewhat help in prevention of staph infection. I do not recommend salt water, which can irritate the skin, or antibacterial soaps, which can increase staph resistance to antibiotics. Everyone should use its own bed lining and towels. OTC antibacterial ointment containing mupirocin available in pharmacies, may treat a mild staph infection. I strongly recommend her mother to get her infection treated with prescribed oral antibiotics (by a doctor choice), since it can result in potentially dangerous complications.

  • lara

    I have had a staph infection, a carbuncle, on the lower buttocks just beside the labia. It came about from a period of several days, that while moving residences (and under a lot of stress), I wore jeans without underwear and had less frequent showers than I was accustomed to during about four days. Also, I had previously shaved the area. It started as a small red painful lump and I thought it was an ingrown hair. It soon had a white spot on the top, however, and then several other smaller lumps appeared nearby. This is when I realized it was staph. I began treating it by cleaning the entire area of my bottom with alcohol-covered cotton pads, applying very warm water-soaked wash clothes for five minutes, and then applying Mercurochrome to the bumps, and then applying Prid (OTC black drawing salve) to a cotton pad and covering the sites (there were three) with it. I did this for several days and it drew out the pus. I also began adding triple antibiotic cream to the pad. I used a thin menstrual pad in my underwear so it could be changed with each dressing change. I did this procedure many times a day (every time I used the bathroom–about 6 or 7 times a day). After each procedure, I wiped the toilet down with alcohol, and then washed my hands with antibacterial soap, & applied antibacterial lotion to my hands. In addition, I take supplements three times a day: Echinacaea, magnezium & zinc, garlic, Vitamin C. I also forgo alcohol, and I drink lots of green tea and water, in order to boost my immune system. I think the bumps are clearing up, and it has been two weeks. I am having a puzzling symptom however: Pain on the outermost layer of skin. That is, not as deep as muscles, but seeming to be skin pain. It was first my legs for several days, very painful to simply touch them. Then, my legs felt better, but it was my back and shoulders when I wore a top that was semi-tight at the shoulder/arm-hole, –this was for two days. And now, not my back or shoulder, but my anterior torso–very painful for even a shirt to touch the skin of my stomach. I should mention, too, that I have also had a inguinal lymph node near the carbuncle site which is was enlarged and hard(to about 1cm), with pain surrounding that immediate site. I did some lymphatic massage to the area, and it is subsiding. Would the ‘skin pain’ be linked to lymph and the fact that I am healing from the staph infection? I am also taking my temperature regularly and it shows no temp. My fear is sepsis (which I have had in the past with kidney infections), or the infection of an organ (i have mitral valve prolapse). I take ibuprofen for pain/inflammation and it seems to help. I have no insurance, and cannot afford doctors. So, would the achy skin be related to my body processing the toxins of the staph because I am getting better? Thanks!

  • Barb

    I have this condition that the dr’s are perplexed about..they think maybe impetigo, herpes or staph infection. It starts in my nose usually with a thin running of the nose, the nose swells and gets red and pus begins to run and the skin comes off of the nose and it gets scaly around the mouth and scaly inside the nose. I have battled for a few months taking anitbotics, creams and was just perscribed a 800mg cream which I pray works. It (this thing) has been coming back shortly after finishing up the med’s and looking for work is challening if your nose is going to be messed up. Please advise. Thanks.

  • Jan Modric

    lara,

    I don’t dare to guess from what exact cause your skin is so sensitive. Having an enlarged lymph node and skin infection in combination with a mitral prolapse requires professional treatment by an infectologist, since, even if you don’t have sepsis, you may have bacteremia (bacteria in the blood) and this may increase the risk of infection of the heart valves. I strongly recommend you to get this resolved by an infectologist.

    It is good to maintain clean skin and hands, but plain water and regular soap is good enough to prevent transmission of a staph infection by hands. Regular use of antibacterial soap may result in bacterial resistance.

  • amanda

    I had two abcesses lanced near my rectum the doctor didnt tell me anything about home care other than to remove the packing in three days. I was wanting to know what im suppose to do now that im at home.

  • amanda

    btw they tested me for MRSA but i havent got the results back yet. also I could really use some helpfull tips on how to deal with the pain.Thanks.

  • Jan Modric

    amanda,

    OTC painkillers may be used for pain. I do not recommend you applying ointments or anything (except the prescribed packing) on the affected area. It sounds like your doctor thinks that after the procedure the infected area should heal on its own. If tests for MRSA will be positive, you may expect to get antibiotics prescribed.

  • Randy32

    Hi I have had a staph infection on my right leg for over a year now it had healed up for a while and now it has started to blister and bust open again and now i have a yellowish ooze coming out. yes i do have mrsa. what should i do?

  • Jan Modric

    Randy32,

    when a new staph (including MRSA) infection occurs, a test to find out the exact type of bacteria and antibiotic sensitivity test is recommended (an infectologist can take a sample of excretions).

  • Randy32

    thank you they do the test last year i know it is resistant to penicillin and amoxicillin

  • jeanny

    i hope you can help me out with this question. ive bben under survellance for my disease in the past when i didnt know how to take care of it…i phoned the disease control center to order the paperwork on that…they said i should contact my doctor??? under the freedom of information shouldnt i just be able to order it? ive ordered my phych reports and health files ect before…do you think your allowed t order the survellance information? i appreciate your help if you know thx

  • Jan Modric

    Randy32,

    an infectologist can say, if he/she can prescribe you appropriate antibiotics on the basis of the test from the last year or not. If you got infected with a slightly different subtype of MRSA bacteria, different antibiotics might be needed, but the new test would be needed to find out this.

  • Jan Modric

    jeanny,

    all important information about your disease should be included in your personal medical documentation, which is probably stored in your primary doctor’s office. You can ask for this documentation at any time and look through it, and your doctor can help you to explain the meaning of certain terms and results.

  • jeanny

    thanx , but wouldnt that just be on that doctors information? i would like all the survellance in all districts that ive lived, from every doctor..so that most like would be at the disease control center, no? and would the doctors and nurses family members ect.. be blocked out for their privacy? or would i be able to get all that information? it goes back like 9 years all together….do u know what its called id be asking for? just my health care info…survellance info? thanx alot for helping

  • Jan Modric

    jeanny,

    the whole medical information about you from your birth till now; all tests, diagnoses, therapies from all doctors and all hospitals should be collected together at one place – your primary doctor should tell you where and when you can see it. If you tell a doctor you want to see your “complete personal medical documentation” he/she should know what do you want. Nobody except you and the doctor who treats you at a given moment has right to read your medical documentation.

  • ghost

    Thanks so much for your previous answer. The staph was shown to be resistant to certain antibiotics and not Cipro. However I took some drug that was a combination of Ciprofloxacin and Tinidazole (cos I couldn’t get normal Cipro tabs to finish the dose) and amazingly the little pimple like boils dissappeared and the sores/ulcers on my tongue dissappeared. However a few weeks later it all returned. Ulcers on tongue, boils on groin, itchy blisters around groin area (but never on penis itself). Hope I don’t have herpes.
    Ghost.

  • Jan Modric

    ghost,

    in a single staph infection, sometimes more than one subtype of staph bacteria are involved, and while certain antibiotic can kill most of bacteria of one subtype, some bacteria from other subtype could be resistant to antibiotic you’ve used, so they could survive and, after they would multiplicate enough, they could cause a new infection outbreak. I guess a new test to detect the exact subtypes of bacteria and new antibiotic sensitivity test might be needed, but a doctor should decide. You should also tell the doctor which exact antibiotic you have used.

  • Naga Jolokia

    I have staph on my labia. I also have no money, no insurance, and don’t qualify for Medicaid or any other financial help for medical care. There’s also no “free clinic” or county hospital in our area to help poor working folks… I lost my good job in a huge layoff/plant closing 2 years ago and just recently got a very low-paying gig that pays minimum wage ($7.25/hr versus the $22.50 I was making). I do have some Augmentin– enough for 10 days, a nearly full tube of mupirocin, Hibiclens (chlorhex scrub), Epsom salts, and some hot packs. I’m going to try a course of Augmentin (wish I had Bactrim!); soaking in Epsom soaks to draw up the infection and then washing with Hibiclens; and applying warm packs to help the lesions to vent; and applying mupirocin 3-4 times a day. Problem is, the pain is going up into the inguinal lymph node on that side. No fever, just pain. Remember, I have NO insurance, NO MONEY for a doctor and I cannot find one who will accept a payment plan– and there are NO county hospitals or clinics here to offer low-cost or community care. I also have NO ONE that will loan me any money for a doctor visit. What else can I do at home to treat this infection?

  • Jan Modric

    Naga Jolokia,

    you will hardly find any responsible person online who would try to help to treat you a potentially dangerous staph infection that has possibly spread to the lymph nodes at home. Augmentin and mupirocin are effective against certain subtypes of staph bacteria, but not against others (like MRSA). The only way to find out which subtype you are infected with is a bacterial culture, and the only way to find out which antibiotics are effective, is an antibiotic sensitivity test.

  • Naga Jolokia

    Thanks, Jan– but what if I can’t afford a doctor and testing because there are no low-cost clinics here, and I haven’t found a doctor who will work out a payment plan? I’m not necessarily looking for “free”, just something that I can afford on my minimum wage income since I don’t qualify for Medicaid or anything else. But there isn’t anything in my county and neighboring counties won’t treat our residents on their community hospital plans. What will happen if I just wait this out and let it heal on its own? Or– should I just hope for the best and get myself to an ER if the symptoms continue to worsen? I just hate going to an ER for a “skin infection” or non-life-threatening infection like this is (so far). That’s not what ER’s are for, and these are the sorts of minor problems that detract resources from more serious cases. I wish I knew of another option, though. What would happen if I just wait this out, and when would it be appropriate to go to the ER? I really just don’t have the money to go to a regular MD and have testing and all that! So far, no doctor will see me unless I have money up front. Being poor really bites…

  • Naga Jolokia

    BTW… “going commando” (sans underwear) and wearing either skirts or loose, light slacks seems to make the area at least ‘feel’ better.

  • Jan Modric

    Naga Jolokia,

    you can take a chance and go to ER, but don’t wait for symptoms to worsen. Staph infection that has possibly spread to the nearby lymph nodes is an emergency situation by itself. Also, please be aware that using antibiotics before getting tested may cause a false negative test result. It’s impossible for me to say what would happen if you leave the infection as it is, but it could be potentially dangerous.

  • speedway

    I have developed two dime size lumps on both of my inner thighs near the groin area. The first has been present for over a year and the second for about six months. They are painless and do not seem inflamed. They have a small opening where, if squeezed, they discharge a hard, chalky, substance which is almost rubbery in texture. These do not appear to be going away yet are also not growing or spreading. Please let me know if you have any ideas of what this could be and possible otc treatment. Thanks.

  • Jan Modric

    speedway,

    it could be a hydradenitis suppurativa (read above in the article). An infectologist can help you; I doubt this could be treated with home remedies.

  • ncowan

    I just discovered what I’m assuming is a staph infection on the side of my genitals. (female). Looks like an openings with yellowish puss,not coming out because I don’t want to mess with it. Also a “knot” there as well. Does this sound like staph? Just FYI, my husband had an absessed staph infec. on the back of his head a couple of months ago but it has been gone for quite some time. Thanks.

  • Jan Modric

    ncowan,

    yes, they could be boils caused by staph. The knot could be a boil or an enlarged lymph node. I strongly recommend you to visit an infectologist and get that treated. Can’t say how you’ve got infected, but either your husband or you or both of you could be staph carriers (having staph bacteria on the skin, in the nose or mouth all the time, even when being completely healthy). Such a carrier state can be tested, and treated with more or less permanent success…

  • Randy32

    ok here is my question on Jan 11 I am going in for a double umbilical hernia surgery the Dr Knows i have MRSA and i made it well known.i was wondering if i should be concerned when i go in,will i still go home the same day?

  • Dr. Chris

    Hi Randy32

    You should discuss this with your doctor as he/she is familiar with your case history and response to medication and can therefor advise you accordingly.

  • sharmela

    After my delivery, I got rashes on my upper thight, I use dettol powder and vaseline cream but seem like not helping.
    Kindly advise me what should I use to prevent this itchness cause redness in my upper thights

  • angie

    i had a boil on the lower lid of my eye i’m currently taking antibiotics but its bringing out pus what is wrong?

  • Dr. Chris

    Hi Sharmela

    You need to first see a dermatologist who can diagnose the skin condition and prescribe the appropriate treatment. There are many types of rashes and while they may all look similar to the untrained eye, a dermatologist will be able to identify the most appropriate skin disease. As you have posted this comment under staph skin infections, I assume that you were at some point diagnosed with this type of infection. It would have had to be treated with an antibacterial cream and/or antibiotics. If it is recurring then the underlying cause needs to be identified and attended to. Trying to manage this condition on your own with general skin care products is delaying treatment which could lead to complications like permanent darkening of the skin (hyperpigmentation).

  • sharmela

    Thank you Dr. Chris.

  • livyy

    hi for the past 2 weeks my cheeks have been extra dry and semi red.they are super flakey and when i exfolate them they get worst…it doesnt seem to be to terribly seroius but, its hard not to notice them.i am starting to use cortizone cream and that helped a little. i just want to know what it is.please help!

  • Dr. Chris

    Hi Livvy

    It is difficult to say what type of rash this may be without seeing it and knowing your medical history. You should be seeing a dermatologist for this and hopefully this cortisone cream was prescribed by a doctor. A medical assessment is important to diagnose the exact cause and prescribe the appropriate treatment. Self medicating can lead to a host of complications including permanent darkening of the skin.

  • raypierce

    I had a painful boil on the left side of my head just above the ear after 10 days it opened, I shaved my head and the next day a smaller boil surface just around the area but its 20 days now, the boil is still inflamed. With no pain and no sign of a head or pus. I have gone to my doctor and she gave me fucidic acid and cepadroxil 500mg. I have been on it for 2 days now with no improvement. Must this be a recurring staph. Please any help will be appreciated.