Staph Skin Infections Pictures

Staph Skin Infection Pictures

Staph (pronounced staf) 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.


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:

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


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 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.


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.


  1. Staph carriers (
  2. Cellulitis and erysipelas (
  3. Impetigo (
  4. Paronychia (
  5. Wound infection (
  6. Infection of surgical wounds (
  7. SSSS (
  8. Hydradenitis suppurativa (
  9. Carbuncle (
About Jan Modric (249 Articles)
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Please note that any information or feedback on this website is not intended to replace a consultation with a health care professional and will not constitute a medical diagnosis. By using this website and the comment service you agree to abide by the comment terms and conditions as outlined on this page

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  • belinda

    is staff contagious? someone was at our house his hand had staff had been to dr. not mers the girl had on her hand also and the little boy had something on his private as what they told us. i was wondering as if they used our toliet and say if we have an open area on our genitle area can we get staff?

  • Jan Modric

    @ belinda

    You don’t catch staph with only touching someone who has staf infection. A cut in the skin, but even small cut like from scratching is needed to allow staph entering the skin and causing infection. Many people have constantly staph bacteria on their skin (staf carriers) and never get infection.

    Washing hands and cleaning toilet sits is usually enough to prevent staph infections in situations like you described it.

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  • Cinde Bryant

    I’m not sure I was properly diagnosed…ER said abcess but I wonder about cellulitis. Are the same antibiotics used for both?

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  • Jan Modric

    To Cinde Bryant

    Antibiotic is chosen on the basis of expected bacteria in the lesion.

    Both boils and cellulitis are usually caused by staphylococci.

    If infection doesn’t heal in few days, you should visit the doctor again.

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  • CMA GV

    My daughter was MRSA positive with Cellulitis last year.
    Recently she was admitted to the ER for another erythema on her leg. I’m very concerned about her. She is taking Bactrim, but I’ve been told that the bacteria may be in her nose.
    What should I do?

  • Jan Modric

    CMA VG,

    Try to figure out how she got erythema last time:
    – Was she scratching her leg, or she got sctatches just as children often do?
    – Did she ever has red bumps like acne on her legs, or anywhere on the skin? I mean folliculitis.

    Some people have Staphylococcus aureus bacteria (and some have MRSA) in their noses without any symptoms. This is called staph colonization. If someone with staph colonization picks his/her nose, and then scratches the skin to the point that the surface layer of the skin is injured, he/she may infect him/herself (auto-infection).

    Nasal swab should be taken and tested for presence of MRSA, and to see which antibiotics are effective.

    MRSA colonization may be also on the skin, in “skin folds”: mainly in armpits and groin.

    So, if she will have MRSA infection again, she can be tested for MRSA colonization.

    The main way staph infection occurs is skin-to-skin contact with infected person, especially on the site of even slight skin ijury, like scratch. Staph infections are common in sporters who share towels, sport equipment, etc.

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  • whatruckus

    I was diagnosed with possibly having a staph infection on my leg today and I was prescribed antibiotics (Clindamycin) and the abscess ruptured today, I was wondering how long I would be contagious for as I know I’m more contagious now that the fluid is draining.

  • Jan Modric

    just assume you’re contagious as long abscess is draining. You’re also contagious to yourself – you can spread infection to other skin areas with your hands, so wash hands after touching abscess. Clean abscess regularly and keep it covered.

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  • Sarah

    My sister just found some bumps on her private area that she is concerned about. Her syptoms correspond with a staff infection but also correspond with herpes. she was just treated for a bacterial infection and we are wondering if it didnt heal all the way and if it might be the cause of her breakout. what are the chances that it could be a staff infection?

  • Jan Modric

    To Sarah.

    Staph infection may reccur because an old infection was not cured completely but new infection may occur at any time.

    In staph infection some red bumps may be filled with pus – what looks like acne. Bumps are usually separated one from another.

    In herpes infection some blisters may be filled with a clear yellowish fluid but not pus (pus is not translucent) and several small blisters may be accompanied together.

    You may compare folliculitis (picture 1 above in the article) and pictures of herpes here:

  • danny

    I have an absess from injecting dilaudid in my forarm I have 1/4 tube of bactroban does anyone know if this will cure the absess once it starts to drain thanks for any advice

  • Jan Modric

    To danny.

    Staph abscesses on the surface of the skin (like furuncles) usually open, drain and heal by themselves. During draining it is important to clean the area and if you wear long sleeves an abscess should be covered by a gauze to prevent spreading of infection to other skin areas. Bactroban may help to prevent infection of adjacent skin but, like said, abscess should heal on its own in some days. If not, doctor should check it and eventually prescribe antibiotics by mouth.

  • mkapoor

    I’ve been diagnosed with a mild staph infection and have finished a course of cefedroxil plus application of mupirocin. However, after my last dosage yesterday, I have noticed a few new boils erupt since today evening. They are very small but I can see a bit of pus in them. Will this infection go away for good with stronger anti biotics? Or is it a chronic problem?

  • Jan Modric

    To mkapoor.

    Staph infection may repeat or persist if treatment was not long enough, if new infection occurs (self-infection from previously infected spot or skin contact with a person with infected skin) or in low immunity.

    So you may ask the doctor for another dose of medications and avoid self-infection by clothes, toilet seats, etc.

    If all this won’t help you will need a blood test to check your immune status (white blood cells and immunoglobulins) and eventual chronic diseases.

  • Bluedoll01

    Hi, I was recently diagnosed as having Foliculitis cause by Staph and my dr recommended an over the counter anti-bac wash.

    This was about 6 weeks ago and while I have seen some improvement on my legs I am still getting new spots on my arms. Is there anything else I can do to try and get rid of this?

  • Jan Modric

    To Bluedoll01.

    Do you think you could be constantly exposed to staph infection – sharing sport equipment or clothes with others, skin-to-skin contact with infected persons…? In these cases infection may reoccur.

    Continue with the wash and use it on the arms…Or you can try some ointment (also OTC). If it doesn’t help asky our doctor to get antibiotics per mouth.

    Think where you are getting infection from. If you are staph carrier (have staph bacteria in the nose) you may be infecting yourself with hands/fingers…

  • SaharaFrost

    I have a small staff infection on my leg…not even dime-sized, and I’m currently using both topical cream and antibiotic pills. Yesterday, a scab formed, and then today, it fell off…and the skin immediately around it fell off as well. Not big sheets…just little pieces…MAYBE half a centimeter around the infected area. Is some amount of peeling like that normal? Or is this likely the beginnings of something worse?

  • Jan Modric

    To SaharaFrost.

    Scabs and peeling appear in impetigo (Picture 4 in the article above) and are a part of the infectious process. You should only be worried if infection would persist for a long time or spread to new areas of the skin.

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  • xfactor

    I went to immediate care because I had this thing growing around my buttocks. I thought it was a spider bite. THe dr. Diagnosed it as A boil, abcessess/ furnucle. She lanced it and took a culture and said that they would call if it was something bad like MRSA? SO this was 4 months ago. This was the first time some such thing happened to me. Within that 4 months I have had 2 more that occure in the same back area. Now I have another one growing! Except it in my front pubic area. I shaved it and it started out as a ingrown hair, now it has grown and become painful like the ones in my buttocks/thigh area. What is going on with me? Do I have to see the doctor. I don’t want to waste money. I’m afraid this could be chronic. I just want this painful experience to go away. I can’t function, go to work in pain. HOw am I suppose to continue my studies. Thank god its just happening in summer but i’m afraid how fall school will happen when this reoccurs.

  • xfactor

    oh just to add. They did not call me back on my culture results, meaning that it was nothing serious? But I feel like it could be since its been reoccuring the past few months. And When I left the immediate care the dr. prescribed me on Bactrim.

  • Jan Modric

    To xfactor.

    Recuring boils could be due to:
    – shaving
    – constant auto-re-infection by clothes or by sharing towels, sport equipment…
    – staph bacteria are often present in nose and mouth without causing any symptoms but could cause infection on other parts of the skin
    – lowered immunity, corticosteroid therapy

    What to do:
    – avoid shaving
    – wear airy clothes, change underwear daily
    – get appropriate oral antibiotics from the doctor
    – non-prescription antibiotic ointmemts would maybe prevent spread of infection on the skin surface but would not be enough to treat big boils.
    – If nothing of abowe helps, you will need to have a blood test to check your immunity.

    Bactrim is OK. but if boils will reoccur you will ned oral antibiotics.

  • Olly

    my bottom lip is swollen to about the width of a thumb and it has strange yellow goop on the surface it is also extra swollen on the right side and seems to be weeping clear salty fluid. it is painful and very ugly. it also slows eating to a crawl as the lip is almost touching my teeth and i have to be careful not to bite it. the first day i had it i thought it was just a fat lip from my rugby game but by the end of the day it was way too swollen. what is your advise on clearing this infection away for good?

  • Olly

    by the way could it be anything other than staff?

  • Jan Modric

    To Olly.

    Hematoma (bruise) would color skin blue, then yellow and then green.

    Clear, translucent (?) liquid doesn’t speak for staph infection. White/yellow thick non-translucent pus is discharged in boils caused by staph.

    So, if skin color changes to greenish and oozing remains clear, you just need to vait and the swelling will reduce in due time. If pressure starts to build in the swelling and oozing becomes thick, visit a doctor.

  • catrose

    I started having nipple pain while nursing my son to the point where I had to wean him. My symptoms were pain, itching and cracked skin. My doctor prescribed antiobiotics and diagnosed a bacterial infection. I’ve since finished the antibiotics and the symptoms have worsened. The nipples now have red patches, are still itching and still cracked. I was wondering if it could be a yeast infection? My baby had no symptoms. If it is yeast, could I just use the over the counter yeast medicine-miconazal?
    Thanks for your help

  • Jan Modric


    a rash from a yeast infection may disappear after only few days of treating with an antifungal ointment but probably at least a weak of treating would be needed to prevent reoccurence.

    If antifungal ointment doesn’t have an early effect or an infection reccur, diagnosis should be confirmed by a doctor.

    Keeping breast and under-breast skin dry is essential in prevention of yeast infections.




  • Oceno123

    I went to the doctor a few months ago for bumps on parts of my leg such as the back and on my hip where my belt line is. He gave me Mupirocin and Chlorhexidine gluconate , a antiseptic skin cleanser to use body wash for the ares i have the bumps. He said i had a unbalance of staph levels and that these things and an antibiotic would take care of these. I was wondering is there any hope they will ever go away or am i stuck with them and the scars they leave behind?

  • Jan Modric


    if these bumps you are getting are from staph infection, you may be a staph carrier, meaning you have Staphylococcus aureus bacteria on your skin or in your nose. Another possibility is that you get infected from someone, sharing the same sport equipment, toilet sits…or so.

    Showering not enough or excesive showering can derrange your skin flora – if you don’t have enough of healthy bacteria on your skin, harmful bacteria may overgrow.

    Do you also suffer from other infections?

  • Oceno123

    I have had them for a while now, I recently moved out from my parents house and i use only my towels and things of that nature and they are still there. i always thought the ones around my hips were from wearing to tight of jeans or something. If anything i take at least two showers a day, i am a very clean person. I am an all around healthy guy i never really get sick i have never really been on any medicines for more than a month. i eat more fruit than most. I am currently a smoker but am going to try my hardest to quit after i finish my last pack, but other than that i clean and healthy. I have noticed that more are showing up on the back of my legs and i just don’t want this problem to get out of hand.

  • Jan Modric


    are these bumps a size of pimples? Do (at least some of them) have white heads? Did they appear only after you moved out? Did mupirocin and other antiseptics helped you?

    Have you used hot tubs, jacuzzi, sauna or swimming pools recently?

  • Oceno123

    They are the size of pimples maybe a little bigger. What made me go to the doctor finally for this a while back was one on my hip got really big and it hurt really bad. Pus would come out and it reminded me of a boil( though i have had never had one before) The medicine didn’t seem to help to much. It seems like they just stay red bumps an every once and a while one will get a white head on it. I have had this going on for at least 3 to 4 year. I haven’t been in any hot tubs or pools lately. Am i going to have to leave with these forever?

  • Jan Modric


    from what you’ve described, it’s actually possible the large bump was a boil (furuncle). Mupirocin is a mixture of antibiotics and it often helps in folliculitis – this is what you possibly have.

    If oitments didn’t help, you should ask for oral antibiotics. Before that, doctor should take a sample of secretion from oozing rash for microbiological analysis which can reveal if the cause is Staphylococcus aureus or some other microbe.

    I also recommend you to have a basic blood test (blood cells, minerals, iron, etc.) which can reveal, if there is some underlying disorder that lowers your immunity causing that this rash persists.

    Wearing comfortable clothes may help to prevent skin irritation.

    Such bumps are not something what should last long, if you’re otherwise healthy and if you get appropriate medication.

  • Oceno123

    I just got a doctors appointment for the next time i am in my home town. I have had this bumps on my hips and two pimple looking bumps on the lower head of my penis. I had this hip and the bumps on my penis long before i had sex for the first time. The one’s on my penis have never moved and always look the same. Is it possible for this staph problem to be in the privite area? If so why does is go to these areas and not lets say my arms?

  • Jan Modric


    some people are staph carriers, meaning they have staphylococci in the nose, mouth or on the skin surface, especially in armpits and in the groin…without causing any problems. Scratching or small injuries due to friction by clothes may push bacteria into the hair follicles, which get inflammed.

    On the other hand, acne, inflammation of the oil glands, may look just like folliculitis.

  • MMkaz777

    After pressing large amounts of pus from a wound, I’ve seen a large “white tube” of skin protruding up from inside the wound. Looks like a vein or straw type structure. What is this?

  • Jan Modric


    are you talking about a wound from an injury? In this case you should see a doctor right away to prevent spread of an infection.

  • MMkaz777

    No wound, more like a large cyst or boil. I’ve seen the same tube like skin structure on videos as well after draining. Is it a passage of where the pus comes from?

  • Jan Modric


    a boil is (usually staphylococcal), infection of the hair follicle. The tube you are talking about is probably dilated canal leading from the hair follicle to the skin.
    You can imagine this from the drawing of an infected hair follicle here:

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  • my daughter is 3yrs old and has been diagnosed with folliculitis/staph. They put her on 2 HEAVY antibiotics and muprocin in her nose. It went away for a while and now it’s back…. worse. I am at my wits end, frustrated with seeing her suffer. What else do I do!!?

  • Jan Modric


    take your daughter back to the doctor promptly. Doctor should determine exact type of bacteria by taking sample of her skin rash and maybe nasal secretion. On basis of the obtained results, doctor can prescribe exact antibiotics.

  • ngaynor6

    My wife recently had a staff infection on her leg and was given Backtrim and three months later she has one on her face can the infection still be in her body and what doctor s she would see hopefully not a M.D can they test her blood or what is the testing process
    Thank you

  • Jan Modric

    To ngaynor6.

    Skin stapf infection is often contracted from affected person’s own skin, since some people are staph carriers. Facial infection could arise from staphyloccoci in the nose. Bactrim or mupirocin can be used on the face and also on the mucosa in the nose. She should use disposable napkins to wipe her nose to prevent constant re-infection.

    She should also think about other possible causes. Staph bacteria can be transmitted by towels, sport equipment, computer keyboards from other infected persons. She should not use any makeup or other facial creams…Severe physical or psychical stress or chronic illness can lower immunity and allow staph bacteria to thrive on the skin.

  • Kevin Hardbarger

    I have been battling a staph infection for going on two months. I was digonsed in Feburary or March of this year with it and then I was fine all summer. I was constantly getting scratched and it never became staph. Then about a week after I started back in school I noticed little red bumps on my lower right arm. I went to the wellness clinic at school and they told me it was staph infection and covered it with bandages and neosporin and prescribed my bactrin cream and an oral antibiotic and then I got that cleared up after about two weeks and then I got one on my left arm and I was out of oral antibotic but I used the cream they gave me. It cleared up to. Then I got two more on the opposite arm and I used the cream. I think the one healed up but I can’t get the other one healed up.

    Could someone tell me why I keep getting them when only I go back to school

  • Jan Modric


    are you wearing a shirt with short sleeves at school? It would be possible to contract staph from a desk using by someone else having staph infection..also from sport equipment during gym…

    On the other hand, you my be autoinfecting yourself, since staph can be easily spread from one body part to another by hands or clothes. Another possibility is that you carry staphylococci bacteria in your nose and spread them on the skin with hands after wiping the nose…In this case doctor shoud tell you, if applying an antibiotic cream to the nose would help.

  • abutaweela

    iam infected by this face and my special area.I tried many med.but still the same.What should Ido?help pleeeeez!

  • Jan Modric


    red bumps can be acne, staph folliculitis, herpes or something other.

    For staph folliculitis, OTC antibiotic creams containing mupirocin often work.

    If not sure what it si, you might want to visit your doctor.

  • abutaweela

    Jan Modric,
    I visited him year ago,precriped me with some creams and injection, I was well for a while but it turned back worse.Should I remove it with any kind of operation?Adviceeeeeeeeeeee!

  • Jan Modric


    different skin rashes are treated completely different, so dermatologist have to say what is it. If antibiotic cream helped, it’s possible it is staph, but doctor should tell which exact cream/drug to use. Mupirocin is available OTC, by the way.

    Doctor can also order tests to check if you by any chance have lowered immunity or other condition resulting in recurrent staph infection.

  • Aurora

    In October I developed four painful bumps on my groin/thigh that I initially thought were ingrown hairs. I went to the doctor and discovered they were staph. I took a full course of 2 antibiotics (Cephalexin and something else) and everything cleared up. Since then I developed one other that cleared up on it’s own and now seem to be developing another. Initially, I know the infection came from my workplace (3 others had the same) but I’m no longer there and am still having re-infection.

    What’s going on?

  • Jan Modric


    staph bacteria can be spread by towels, clothes, computer keyboards – they may survive there for several weeks.

    If you’re staph carrier, you can have staphylococci on your skin or in the nose. When your skin is even slightly injured, bacteria can enter hair follicles and cause infection. This autoinfection can be spread by hands, your own clothes, etc. You can cover the bump until it heals to prevent the spread of infection.

  • Aurora

    What precautions can be taken to minimize the chance of reinfection? I can’t very well stop shaving!

  • Jan Modric


    maybe you can.

  • nblais9800

    My daughter is 11 years old. She scraped her knee and got an infection that lasted weeks, she went through 2 different antibiotics. Then she got ingrown toenails that got infected last month. Now she has what appeared to be a bugbite on her shin and it too has become infected. Can you think of any reason why she is getting infections evertime she has a skin abrasion or a bite. It all swells, bruises and is filled with a yellowish bloody pus.

  • kdabear

    6 days ago I began experiencing pain in the tip & side of my nose. Dr. said I have Staph Cellulitius. I’ve been on antibotic SMZ/TMP DS 800-160 & bactroban for 2 days. The pain is still really bad. Taking Motrin around the clock. How soon can I expect relief? Should I seek another opinion?

  • Jan Modric

    To nblais9800.

    Common causes for frequent staph infections:

    – she can be a staph carrier – she has Staphylococcus aureus bacteria on the skin. When the skin is even slightly injured, bacteria invade into the skin and cause infection.

    – if she also often have other infections, like respiratory or urinary infections, she should have blood tests for immune status.

  • Jan Modric

    To kdabear.

    Cellulitis may need some time to heal, hard to say how long…Continue with treatment for some days and you should see if inflammation is ceasing or not.

  • Yastaphora Enny

    Pls.Is always as if something is coming out of my penis,but nothing,and also rashes in my part.What could that be?

  • Jan Modric

    Yastaphora Enny,

    this would need to be checked by an urologist.

  • deja11999

    my uncle was recently released from a nursing home. prior to this he was mrsa positive when was hospitalized for about 8 months. my concern is that he is still carrying mrsa even though it is dormant. can we catch iti have a 6 yr old. and he keeps scrathing his body all over our house and it is grossing me out as well as making me angry that he doesnt take it seriously

    • Jan Modric

      To deja11999.

      It is true that MRSA is contagious, but not necessary more then infection with usual staph bacteria. If the uncle himself does not have an actual infection, and if none of you have any chronic disease, or injured skin, then I don’t think there is a high risk of infection for anyone. Most problematic are direct skin to skin contacts, especially through skin scratches or wounds. Washing hands and avoiding hand-mouth contact and nosepicking is a great preventive measure.

      You can arrange re-testing for him. MRSA carrier state can be treated but it often re-appears. Why he scraches himself, anyway? Maybe he has some fungal infection?

  • Sarah

    i am prone to staph infections/abcess’. could there be an underlying cause?!

    • Jan Modric


      1. Are you in skin-to-skin contact with other people, like in some sport, or do you share sport equipment with them?
      2. Do you scratch a lot or have vulnerable skin?
      3. You may be a staph carrier – in this case you have staph bacteria on your skin or in your nose. Then you get self-infected, whenever you scratch or have a skin injury. Infectologist can make a test.
      4. Lowered immunity is another possible cause. Blood test would be needed to confirm this.

  • Kevin Hardbarger

    Thank you for that piece of info, Jan Modric. After I made that post I went back to the wellness clinic and they told me if I didn’t see any improvment they would refer me to a dermatologist to run a skin grapht. At the time I did not know what a skin grapht was, but I looked it up and it is a surgery for trauma victims to make burns and the like look better. How will that help.
    Please help.

    • Jan Modric


      I suppose they have mentioned that a dermatologist can take a small sample of your skin and investigate it under the microscope. This is called a skin biopsy. Skin graft is a patch of a healthy skin usually taken from another part of the body to replace the skin damaged from trauma or burns – it’s not likely you will need this. What you have seems to be a staph infection – the question is why it recurs. It’s possible you are a staph carrier (have staph bacteria on your skin or in the nose) and you auto-infect yourself. Or you are in the constant contact with someone or something contaminated with staph. If your problem persists, I recommend you to see an infectologist.

  • Kevin Hardbarger

    I do when it is warm, Jan Modric, but last year I wore them and I didn’t get it again all year.

  • Kevin Hardbarger

    Thank you for that piece of info. I was very scared of a skin grapht, but I really don’t want to go to an infectologist. My right arm is full of scars from it.

  • Jan Modric

    Kevin, if you are a staph carrier or in constant contact with staphylococci (like sport equipment shared with others), then small skin injuries and even scratches expose your skin enough to be infected.

  • Pugs44

    I’ve had a red sore nose problem for along time … almost a year. These sores are red with a white flat patch in the center around the back part of my nose.. They don’t have pus inside them, but they’re always inflamed. I have had pimple like sores with pus closer to the rim of my nose, but still on the inside. These hurt so bad I pop them and put alcohol and antibiotics on them. I can also smell something gross like infection or something! I have tried everything to clear them up I even used a Q-tip with bleach on it. They will kinda go away then come back. I blow my nose and green stuff comes out then it bleeds a little crust up and starts all over again. I’ve never been tested for staph so after reading the above post I’m wondering if that could be what’s going on. My question is can a staph infection stay in your nose this long and not cause a major infection to the brain or other places? Can this be a cancer sore? I don’t have any insurance so I haven’t been to a doctor.

    • Jan Modric

      To Pugs44.

      Do the sores appear inside your nose (on the mucosa) or on the outside skin? Staph infection does not likely cause sores within the nose, and white centers in bumps caused by staph often contain pus.

      It sounds, like an infection, though, maybe a chronic sinusitis. Are you male/female, how old are you, do you have any chronic disease, or take any drugs, do you smoke or drink a lot of alcohol? I suggest you to try to arrange a direct appointment with an ENT, who can take nose swabs and give you appropriate antibiotics if necessary.

  • iprayican

    I have an elderly friend, early 80’s, eight months ago, she got two sores on her lower leg, one on calf and one on shin. They didn’t go away so she went to doctor, doctor said they were ecoli infections. She went on antibiotics and topical creams but didn’t get rid of them. She went back to doctor, they put her on a stronger antibiotic and are doing would care, where they clean it out and pack it. Sores are size of quarter and deep. They did scan to make sure it wasn’t into her bone, it isn’t. She said the cleaning they do is very, very painful. They give her shots around the wound to numb it. She said now she is in constant pain and even pain medication doesn’t take it away. She said pain isn’t localized any more, very tender and sore around the area, too. Is it possible that the shots they are giving her to numb the area are causing irritation or reaction and making her feel worse? Couldn’t they do a local above the area instead of all the shots? And is there any alternative treatment she could try since traditional treatments haven’t healed it?

    • Jan Modric

      To iprayican.

      Leg ulcers may be due to deep venous thrombosis or phlebitis (vein inflammation). A dematologist should give a correct diagnosis. You can read more about leg ulcers.

  • jp

    do you know what skin infection is water inside the skin and its very itchy

    • Jan Modric

      To jp.

      Your skin is swollen? Where? Any red or other rash, like red bumps or patches? When did this start? Red, slightly raised rash can appear in allergy to certain foods, medications, ointments, soap, clothes, detergent…

  • hello sir i am based from india and having boils from more then 2 years no i am in big problem i get boils on head i got couszin sister shes in hell problem she is just 3 years and have big problem doctors here in my area and city are unable to develop any kind of medical treatements for us please help us we can send you our pictures or if you can help we can talk with on phone about this problem please help

    • Jan Modric

      To bhavnet.

      An infectiologist or dermatologist or maybe a doctor of general practice should give you a diagnosis and, if the boils acre caused by staphylococcal bacteria, prescribe you and your cousin sister appropriate antibiotic. I can not recommend you any remedies, since I do not believe they will work.

  • aj south

    can staph be passed from a carrier to someone who has bad oral hygine through a cough or sneeze.
    Then the person with oral hegien get sepsis?

    • Jan Modric

      To aj south.

      If you are talking about a real case, can you say what has actually happened? I person with a bad mouth hygiene (including injured mouth mucosa..) could get a staph sepsis (or at least bacteremia) from staph bacteria in his own mouth.

  • J.J.

    About 2 years ago I had some cellulitis removed from my lower stomach that was infected by staph. I had to stay in the hospital for about a week. At that time I was told since I had staph, it was likely I could get it again easy. I recently returned to work from maternity leave and the day I came back we were informed a fellow co-worker that was working at my desk was diagnosed with staph. He will be returning to work on Monday which will make it a full week he has been out. I have been reading up on the infection again and see that newborns and breastfeeding mothers are at risk to get staph. Should I be worried that he may still be contagious? I don’t want to take a risk of me getting the infection and passing it on to her since I breast feed. Should I take any special precautions?

    • Jan Modric

      To J.J.

      You can attract an infection from your co-worker, if he will still has an oozing rash on the skin and you directly touch that rash, or he contaminates certain surfaces, like a desk or computer keyboard, with the oozing fluid and you touch this fluid after him. But the bacteria would need to invade through your skin (a scratch or cut) to be infected. If his infection was on the forearms, you could be able to contract it by using the same desk and wearing short sleeves…Find out on which body part he had an infection. You are not likely to get infected “through the air”.

  • rocco

    Know a person who had outbreak on private area but sores were pussy and slough off alot of dead skin and drainage. Tests negative for herpes but postive for staph. She does shave area and has had staph infection before on her legs. Still the md called it herpes.Any chance it could have been staph?

    • Jan Modric

      If it looks as staph and was tested positive for staph, it’s probably staph. It sounds, like a bad infection, so this person might need prescribed oral antibiotics.

  • Kevin Hardbarger

    Can hair pulling cause staph infections

    • Jan Modric

      Kevin Hardbarger,

      yes, it can cause staph folliculitis.

  • leeg

    Hi, I have been fighting Staph 6 months ago, the first one I had, it was a huge lump near my groin area. I was given antibiotics and I thought I recovered until December when they started comming back. I have gotten 6 since then and the newest one I have is on my groin again. I heard it lives on your nose, the thing is when I blow my nose green stuff comes out? Is that staph? Is there any way to get rid of staph for good???? I have missed hours of work because of this. Help!

    • Jan Modric


      staph may live in your nose or on the skin without causing any symptoms. It’s possible you auto-infect yourself. Consider to see a doctor who can check if you have sinusitis and, if it is caused by staph.

  • Laura

    For about 3 weeks I’ve had a toe infection. The doctor has confirmed that staph is present, along with anaerobes. I’ve just finished a course of antibiotics (for a week) and I’ve been soaking my feet in hot water since I started the course. It seemed to be less painful and the odor went down by the last 2 days of the course but as soon as I was off it, it’s flared up again completely (today, 2 days later). The infection is very painful and seems centered in the area above the cuticle, which is red and swollen. There is also pus coming from the cuticle area and a red substance (it looks like blood but is like it’s attached). Also the nail itself seems.. sunken? And it’s quite yellow in colour. From the research I’ve done online I think it may be an ingrown toenail that’s caused a bacterial infection in the form of paronychia. What do you think? Also, I’m worried about the chances of sepsis or something else serious. What are the chances of this? I’ll be going back to the doctor tomorrow but I just wanted a second opinion. Thanks.

    • Jan Modric


      yes go back to the doctor. Antibiotics obviously have not killed all bacteria, so the infection has reoccured.

  • max

    nov.2009 i went to the barbershop and got my hair cut and mustasche trimmed. 1 week later i noticed that the left side of my mustasche wasnt growing back properly…then out of nowhere my left side of my top lip swole up to the point where it looked like someone punched me in my lip…then i noticed that the hairs on my mustasche where infected to the point that it was very painfull and yellow puss was comming out . i went to the doctor and he told me it was a ingrown hair and prescribed me anti biotics..before i could finish the antibiotics i developed another bump on my thigh and it looked like the same thing another ingrown hair…but then another one popped up like a week later on the side of my hip where no hair grows…after they healed 2 weaks later 1 big boil and 2 more small boils developed in my armpits..i was given a salb from a freind… the salb is black and smells like tar<(ichtolan)…after i used the salb over night it almost drained the boils completley…and now march of 2010 a boil formed on my scalp…this is really driving me crazy… i never had anything like this in my life…could the infection from my ingrown hair on my mustasche caused all the other infections…please help me what should i do???

    • Jan Modric


      staphylococcus aureus (shortly staph) is a bacterium that can be present on the skin of some healthy people. So, it’s possible you also have staph on your skin – in this case you’re a staph carrier. It seems that during trimming your moustache, some staph has entered through a tinny skin wound and caused infection. It’s possible that infection was spread to other parts of your body by your hands.

      There are over-the-counter (OTC) ointments, containing mupirocin, available in pharmacies. If this doesn’t help, you can ask the doctor to give you oral antibiotics. Whenever you touch the infected lesion, wash your hands immediately after that. Staph can be also spread by clothes. So, when a boil appear on your hip, cover it carefully with a sterile gauze, so infection won’t spread by your clothes.

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  • Jill

    my 2 1/2 year old has been battling staph infections in the diaper area off and on for over a year now. she is currently on antibiotics for the 3rd time for treatment, along with mupirocin. this round of antibiotics is a much stronger kind. after reading many of the questions on your site, i’m learning that staph can be spread even through clothes, feet, etc. it’s coming to me that when i change her diaper, i have not laid anything down on the carpet. perhaps this is why it keeps coming back. luckily, she is the only one i change a diaper for. any suggestions on cleaning the area where the staph may be, perhaps the carpet? obviously, i will start laying a towel down when i change her. what about the bathtub when she takes a bath? she’s been taking baths with her older sister, but has not spread it to her. it’s time to clear this bacteria up and out of my house!

    • Jan Modric


      was it confirmed that the rash is from staph? Diaper rash can be also from fungi, for which other medications are used. Staph is spread by direct skin-to-skin contact or via “fomites” – any surface that can hold bacteria. Infection does not spread by air, so the rash appears where the contaminated surface touches the skin. If the carpet was a culprit, infection would also likely appear on other parts of the skin, not only in a diaper area.

  • Lacie

    Hello, I’ve had MRSA before, twice now. The first time I had it was back in 2008. At first it started out as an abscess, or boil on my shoulder from a pimple. My parents didn’t take me in for a week until after I was infected and now I have a huge ‘crater’ in my shoulder (its the scar). A few weeks later, I was again infected on the forehead, which was confirmed to be MRSA. The dermatologist at that point believed that I was an MRSA carrier because I constantly became infected.

    I think I’m infected again, although I do not know for certain if it’s MRSA. The injury is located under/ on the side of the nail. It’s been hurting since last Tuesday, and today is Sunday, so that’s six days now. On the first few days, it was just swelled up and very very hot and painful to the touch. Then on day three, a small brown dot formed. On day four, it looked like a small bruise had started up under the nail. Finally today, I noticed there’s a bunch of pus building up half under the nail and half outside of it. On this website, the call it paronychia, but I’m wondering if there has to be a boil present or not for it to be an MRSA infection? Also, the pus is not exiting the body… it will rise to the surface if I dip my finger in hot water though.

    Can someone tell me if this sounds like an MRSA infection?

    • Jan Modric


      in general, any type of skin staph infection, including infection of the nail, can be caused by MRSA. I recommend you to go to the doctor and not try to solve this on your own, since the infection can spread.

  • jlfields

    4 weeks ago I had a staph infection on my forehead. It was treated and now I am left with a dime size area of black dead skin that is crusty. My question is… will it always stay black? It looks like a scab but is black and ulcer like. If it doesn’t stay like this, how long until it looks like a normal scar?

    • Jan Modric


      it may take several weeks to see what will be the final result. Do not try remove the scab.

  • climber87!

    Hi. I’ve had the same bump(fells more like a ball) inside my eyelid. When it first showed up I thought it was a stye, but over time got hard inside my eyelid and has been there ever since. I recently made the BIG mistake of trying to pop it with a needle, some white puss came out then scabbed over. Now it is still there and has a flacky scabb that has to be pulled off every few days, or will start flaking off. I don’t have medical insurance so I haven’t been to the doctor. Should i go? Any info or suggestions??

    • Jan Modric


      I would go to the doctor.

  • kwaker5

    My son (aged 3.5) keeps getting a staph infection around his anus. It was originally treated as thrush, but he has now had 2 courses of penicillin (both times it cleared and then came back within a few days of finishing the course). I am waiting for swab results at the moment (nose and bottom), and have just been told to keep applying Trimovate twice a day until we get the results. I’ve started washing his underwear at 60 with disinfectant, I have cut his nails really short and I’m now obsessed with handwashing/nail scrubbing but am a bit of a loss to know why he keeps getting it. Can you help?

    • Jan Modric


      he could be a nose/skin staph carrier, or some resistant bacteria were not killed and overgrown after stopping antibiotics. Regular washing of underwear should kill bacteria. Bacteria behind the nails would be a problem, if he was actually scratching the anus (not only through clothes). Effect of various antibiotics can be tested on the bacterial culture from the swab, so first, I think you should try what the doctor will prescribe.

  • dumbfounded

    My sister has had an infection which we believe to be a staph infection on the back of her left calf. We believed it originated from a small bug bite so we put some neosporin on it and left it alone. By the fourth day, the whole calf was swollen and very painful to the point where she couldn’t walk, we took her to the hospital and they squeezed(?) the area like it was a pimple. Bloody pus oozed out of the open sore(?). They told us to squeeze to pus out several times a day, disinfect/neosporin/guaze the wound and they told her to take cephalexin 4 times a day for 7 days. That was a week ago. and it appears that the area is more bruised from all the squeezing and scarred from the tapes to hold the guaze. It area is no longer swollen and it appears that the sore is slowing closing. But there is a small area about an inch right above the sore and directly around the wound that is really hard when pushed. My sister says it doesn’t hurt but what is making the area so hard?

    • Jan Modric


      the hard area could be from a localized collection of pus, or an inflammed vessel, but this is only my guess. If it doesn’t go away in few days, your sister can ask a doctor about it.

  • Jessysea

    I have had three reaccuring boils under my breast. Doctor first gave me Keflex 250 qid for 10 days. that did nothing it just made the area begin to harden. I went back and had all three lanced a culture was taken and was started on two atb. With the results of the culture they kept me on bactrim ds bid times 10 days. It appeared to be going away but now that I am done with the atb they are coming back. What will they do now?? I am worried that they will never go away. I am a nurse and totally aware of how infection is spread I wash with antibacterial and I do not squeeze or mess with the area. I have even switched bras, soaps, and use nystatin powder after bathing to make sure it is dry and germ free. Again what will they do next?? More atb, lancing, would they do another culture?

    • Jan Modric


      I guess the culture has revealed the exact type of bacteria, and to which antibiotics they are sensitive. Now, when antibiotics obviously have worked, I don’t think another culture will be neded. There is a possibility that you simply have these bacteria on the skin (staph carrier?) and you got reinfected by bacteria from the surrounding skin, especially if the skin wounds were not closed yet. Or maybe antibiotics have not killed all bacteria completely and the remaining ones have overgrown again. You will probably need another course of oral antibiotics (and maybe an additional antibacterial ointment).

  • Jayuk


    over four months ago (jan 30th), I fell over on a gravel surface and grazed/cut my head. It wasn’t bad but it took a couple of layers off I’d say.

    The main mark generally seemed to heal quite quickly, but after about a month, small, pus-filled, spots began to form on the surface of the scar.

    They disappeared quite quickly but then came back a few times so I decided to go to the doctors. They gave me an antibiotic cream which I used twice a day for two weeks. It was difficult to tell if it had worked because it had been coming and going for a couple of weeks anyway; suffice to say, it came back… With avengeance!

    Anyway, I went back to the doctors again and they’ve prescribed me tetralysal to take once a day for 3 weeks, but to be honest, the doctor wasn’t really sure what the problem was.

    The spots went away but only for a week. I’m one week into my course and another spot – more like a boil this time – is back.

    I wouldn’t have worried but the Internet says so much scary stuff about the pus entering my bloodstream and all sorts so I’m really worried.

    Should I wait until the end of my course or is this a worrying case that needs to get a second opinion immediately?!!


    • Jan Modric


      if bumps and boils appear in the middle of antibiotic course, it is likely they do not work. A dermatologist can take a sample of the pus from the bumps/boils and send it to microbiological laboratory, where they can determine the exact type of the microbe and to which antibiotics is sensitive. You might be instructed to stop antibiotics for a while before the test, but do not change anything without doctor’s advice. If it is obvious that antibiotics do not work, it sounds a bit long to wait for another two weeks to me.

  • rachel

    about four days ago my breasts became very sore and extremely tender to the touch. It got worse and more painful and red areas appeared on each breast. I went to the ER where they diagnosed me with cellulitis. I am taking two kinds of antibiotics as well as pain medication. This is by far the most painful thing I’ve dealt with. Today I started having numbness and tingling in both arms and some in my right leg. Now on one of my breast I have suddenly a spot almost black in color and it oozes. It’s been less than 48 hours since starting the antibiotics. Should I seek more medical attention right away? Also. Everything I’ve read seems to say the infection enters through a cut or scratch. I have plenty on my legs and arms. But my breasts had not one scratch or break in the skin I could see. Can the infection happen in a separate area of the than where it entered?

    • Jan Modric


      breast infection can occur through the nipples, even if these are not injured. But yes, infection can spread to other organs remoted from the initial site. Unexplained numbness and black spot is enough of reason to see a doctor right away.

  • mpatterson

    23 days ago my husband was diagnosed with cellulitis in his lower right leg. He was started on Keflex, then put on Doxycylene, then Clindamycin and now is on Levaquin. The redness and pain started getting better but now is getting worse again. Within a week he had an open sore on his leg. One week later he had two sores. One more week went by and he had five sores with four more getting ready to open up. He is now seeing a vascular surgeon and two days ago they put a Profore wrap on his leg and doubled his dose of Levaquin. But last night the pain was worse and he hardly slept at all. This morning I asked him about his pain and on a scale of 1 to 10 he said it was an 8. The surgeon said he had a strep infection and another type of bacterial infection in his leg. My husband is a type 2 diabetic and although his blood sugar is under control I still worry about him losing the leg. Is there something else that we could be or should be doing? Any advice is appreciated.

    • Jan Modric


      a mixed (staph/strep – and other bacteria) infection is possible, so swabs from different sores should be taken and cultured, I think. Then an antibiotic sensitivity test should be done on cultured bacteria to find out which antibiotics can be effective. The doctor should tell, if apart from oral antibiotics, antibiotic ointments should be also used to prevent spreading infection over the skin. This infection should be treated promptly and aggresively, and completely.

  • colm

    hi, i am a 27 yr old male. since i was 16, i have been getting spots mostly on my face that blister, weep and leave a golden crust that heals in 1-2days, my doctor told me it was a staphyloccus bacteria and give me antibiotics(penicillin-based) which stopped the spots while i took the antibiotics, any tips on keeping the spots at bay without antibiotics? am i re-infecting myself when i shave and through my nose, is there any face or nose wash i can use to kill the staph bacteria? any advice will be appreciated.

    • Jan Modric


      It is possible you are a staph carrier (having staph bacteria in the nose) and you are re-infecting yourself, probably by hands when you touch your nose and face or shave. Antibiotic ointments are available (even OTC), and could eradicate nasal bacteria, but I’m not sure if this has any long-term effect. An infectologist should tell.

  • mua

    hi doc , i hope you are fine and read this

    i recently have penile discharge ,yellwish to greenish , when i sqeuze my penis .

    i know that is sign for std but i didn’t go throw any sexual behavior with any person , only masturbation .

    my Q is it possible to get STD without sexual contact ??
    and is there any infection which is lead to this condition ??

    i am 21 from middle east

    thx and please reply

    • Jan Modric


      infection can be spread to uretra from the penile mucosa or skin. I strongly recommend you to visit a doctor to get antibiotics, if necessary.

  • jayuk

    Hi again,

    Thanks for the advice before. Anyway, the small spot disappeared, and I saw out the rest of my antibiotic course. (To remind you, I fell over almost six months ago, and grazed my head. Ever since, occassionally very small spots have appeared where I grazed it).

    Anyway, back to now: I saw out my antibiotic course, and the spots went.

    But they’re back again (again, they are only tiny). Went back to the doctors today and she has referred me to a dermatologist but that could take 4-5 weeks!!

    Is she being to lacklustre about this? Is there a risk of infection and could that be dangerous if not dealt with quicker?

    Also, my profession is an actor, and I’ve lost out on jobs because of these small spots appearing.

    I just need to know if there is any urgency with regard to getting this looked at?

    Thanks again.

    • Jan Modric


      the safe answer would be: try to arrange the appointment sooner – and it can be an infectiologist. If new boils appear despite antibiotic treatment, it means, they are not (fully) effective. It’s possible more than one strain of staph bacteria is there, and your antibiotics worked only to bacteria from one strain; when this was killed the other strain has regrown. At the time of your visit you maybe won’t have any rash/boils, so you may take some clear pictures.

  • nat

    in april, i had a lot of canker sores in my mouth.. like at least 15. this never happened to me before…but anyways it went away in 2 weeks

    in beginning of may, a spot on my leg was itchy and i scratched it a lot. eventually it became this dime sized looking bruise, n pus would come out now and then

    2 weeks after that, i started getting red spots all over that leg. they were itchy too. eventually they went from red patches to pustules and spread to my other leg, then my body, n my scalp
    i went to the allergy specialist – wasn’t allergies.
    then i went to a dermatologist and he prescribed me antibiotics and a topical corticosteroid ointment. he said i had some sort of bacterial infection (staphylococcyl..?). 3 days after, everything started getting better and barely any new spots came up. he told me to go back to see him 5 days after, (so i had antibiotics for 5 days) and i did. he told me i didn’t need more antibiotics (even though i pointed 1-2 new bumps)

    i went back to toronto (was in vancouver before) and i had a week of no meds. n the situation got worse again, red itchy bumps started to grow. so i went to a doctor here and he prescribed me the same antibiotic for 10 days. i am now done taking it (10-11 days since i started retaking antibiotics) but im still getting new red bumps!
    theyre not pustules anymore, just red itchy patches. on top of that, the pustules that were on my hands went down (turned brownish) and started to cause peeling in the areas. the peeling proceeded…and now i can’t shower comfortably. my hands hurt a LOT whenever i wash them, n they’re really dry. its weird because only my hands are peeling. and my bum (where the crack is)

    i don’t know what’s going on…because its been 2 months since this all started! is it possible that the bacteria became resistant to the antibiotic? can i just ask the doctor to prescribe me another type of antibiotic? and what exactly do i have?

    • Jan Modric


      if this what you have is staphylococcal infection, it is possible that some bacteria were sensitive to antibiotics and some not – and nonsensitive (resistant) have overgrown, when the sensitive ones were killed. An infectologist (or maybe a dermatologist) should take a sample of these rashes and send it to laboratory, where they can culture it and try which excat antibiotics are effective. I encourage you to arrange this promptly.

  • catash

    My daughter has had recurrent staph infection for over five months now. She has been operated on at least four times with numerous lesions lanced each time. At one time she had 24 puscles under one arm pit. Antibotics work okay for a while but as soon as they are stopped back they come. We have an appointment with Infeftious Diseases next week as noone here seems to know what to do. She just can’t keep going like this it is getting her down.

    • Jan Modric


      an infectiologist can order blood tests and other tests to find out eventual underlying conditions, like lowered immunity.

  • robin

    Hi doc,
    I believe i have Acne Cystic as there are acne on my face and my back. The problem is that there is excessive hair growth on my right arm and is also thick in nature.I am at my wits end.Pls help……

    • Jan Modric


      a dermatologist can say are there cystic acne or maybe a staphylococcal or other infection, or some other disorder. I can’t recommend any treatment without knowing the cause.

  • Pingback: Causes of Skin Rashes in Newborn Babies, Infants |

  • chantal

    I am getting really concerned about my staph aureus infection, it has been tested by the doctors and i have tried around 8/9 different types of antibiotics and creams and none have made any differece, the affected area is on my nipples, started off just one and then the other got infected too, i have always had excema but never around my breasts.
    The infection however does not look much like any of the above, the skin seems to always be open and seeping and really itchy, the skin doesnt seem to heal over properly, it forms a thick itchy skin that sticks to anything touching it or falls back off.
    I am also getting a lot of pain inside my breasts which is worrying me.
    The doctors just keep on giving me different antibiotics and this has been going on for 18 months now, if you could give me any advice i would really appreciate it!!

    • Jan Modric


      I strongly recommend you to visit a dermatologist or infectologist who should take a sample of the rash and any secretions and send them to laboratory, where they can determine an exact type of bacteria and check to which exact antibiotics they are sensitive. Some staph bacteria are more resistant then others and do not respond to certain antibiotics, so tests are needed to find out what can work.

  • JD

    I had a hernia operation 4 yrs. ago, developed a staph infection, was treated with Bactrin, but have had recurring outbreaks on one side of my rear end…Lately, they have just about been continuous, in the same area. The doctor said I could keep trying anti-biotics, but I’m wondering if there is a strong enough one to knock it out for good. I’ve tried Turmeric for a couple weeks, with no results. It is very frustrating and embarrassing. I see these athletes are treated in hospitals and given IV’s or something and get rid of it? Can I find permanet relief??

    • Jan Modric


      a sample of rash can be taken and sent to laboratory where they can find an exact type of bacteria and make antibiotic sensitivity tests to see which exact antibiotic to use and in which form (oral/i.v.). I believe an infectologist can do that. Of course you should find a permanent relief. The question is also, where is the source of infection – is it within your body or on the skin (staph carrier) or on clothes or environment (gym equipment…).

  • confuz&pain

    I got a staph infection when i was 7 mon. pregnant and now my son is 4 months and i got it again one in my chin and 2 on the lips of my private area my baby dad got in on his groin area and i think i got it when we had sex im clean and he is dirty and smelly did i get it from him or is it me and what do i need to do to prevent my son from getting it cause its so painful and how can we stop from getting it

    • Jan Modric


      staph infection may be treated with antibiotic ointments available in pharmacies, and if this doesn’t help, a doctor can prescribe oral antibiotics. Infection is transmitted by skin contact, but also by towels, clothes, bed lining, computer keyboards and such…it’s hard to say, who has infected whom…During treatment, changing underwear daily is necessary, and you should wash all the clothes that touch the skin and bed lining, since staph bacteria can survive for up to 8 weeks on things that were in contact with the rash. Also clean computer keyboard, desks and other frequently touched things. Regular showering can help to prevent development of infection, since staph bacteria often live on the skin.

      You need to clean hands before touching the baby, and do not share the napkins and towels you use with him…Also be careful to not spread infection with cups or spoons.

  • ghost

    Please I have been having mouth ulcers, small seperate boils around the groin all of which heal and return. I have been using Ciprofloxacin for seven days (after a swab test showed staph) but no improvement. What antibiotics may help?

    • Jan Modric


      maybe another swab test will be needed, and antibiotic sensitivity test performed on cultured bacteria to find out the optimal antibiotic. Some other investigation, like certain blood test (performed by an infectologist) may show eventual underlying disorder causing recurring infections.

  • Serge Perez


    My name is Sergio Perez & I am experiencing staph AGAIN for the 3rd time. I first got it back in March of this year, & I ended up getting it on the right side of my upper rib cage by the armpit. I thought it was a spider bite at first & continued my daily activities.
    I noticed the area getting more red each day & got a little bit hard when I would touch it. I kept thinking it was a spider bite. 4 days later I was working out at the gym & it was uncomfortable working out because it had gotten bigger. I finally went to my Jiu Jitsu trainer & told me to go to the hospital ASAP because it was staph when he looked at it.
    No insurance i go to the hospital & they have to operate on it, I guess I was in the severe stages of it because they had to cut it open & drain it. They were surprised I was doing my daily activities.
    So that was that i leave the hospital & have a huge bill that Ill have to pay off til I’m dead. I take the antibiotics cleaned the wound good & it went away. 2 months later I get it on the left armpit. I went to go fill up the prescription & it went away.
    Flash forward to today & I have it on the right armpit once again. But i haven’t worked out at any gyms or have practiced jiu jitsu, so I’m not sure what is causing it.
    I take 2 showers a day, wash all my clothes & bed sheets & rightly groomed & I got staph again?
    Someone PLEASE HELP me! I hate this because it scares me of going back to workout at the gym or train jiu jitsu if there’s a chance of getting staph again.

    • Jan Modric

      Serge Perez,

      if your armpits get in contact with gym equipment others also use, it’s quite possible you have contracted an infection there. Staph also spreads with towels and skin-to-skin contact. Another possibility is that you’re a staph carrier, meaning staph bacteria are on the surface of your skin without making any harm, but when you scratch or slightly injure your skin, bacteria enter the skin and cause infection. Low immunity (could be checked by blood tests) could also be a cause of reoccuring staph, but in this case you would also likely have other infections more commonly.

  • RenoGuy


    I bought a home, and I started to aggressively work on renovating it. By that I mean everyday after work and all weekend I would go there to work on it. For almost the whole first month, I used the same shorts/tshirt every day without washing it (I know that was dumb). At the end of the day I would leave the clothes on the bathroom floor so I could put them back on the next day when I come back. By the way, the shorts was actually an old swimsuit (it had the inner piece that goes tight against the genital area). So at around the 1 month mark, one evening I was in the bathroom (at my current living place) about to take a shower, when suddenly I got this really bad itching and irritating sensation on my lower abdomen area (between belly button and private part). I scratched hard for about 10 seconds and it went away and I forgot all about it. I didn’t even inspect it. 4 days later, by accident I look “down there” and notice that I have a “pimple” right under my belly button, which led me to look for more, and I found another one further down. They looked like pimples with pus inside. I decided to pop them, and when I did I notice that there was no actual yellow fluid. The top of the pimple was very very hard to pop, and it actually came off as one piece (like a hard lid), and the opened pimple bled A LOT. I never saw something so small bleed so much. The second one did the same thing. I also noticed right at the very top of my private (where it begins), that there was a group of much smaller looking pimples, and these ones had no yellow pus. I didn’t touch those. Days later, new ones appeared, so I went to the doctor who said it’s folliculitis just by looking at it and listening to my background story (the one you are reading). He gave me Fucidin ointment to treat it, and told me to shave the area. I did, and I am covering the treatment with gauze and tape to have a better effect (as recommended on the box). But after 4 days of treatment I see no improvement at all. In fact, I noticed that now on the inside of my left thigh there is a hair that has a black dot at the base (at the follicule), and also I noticed that some new pimples are forming in the area that I am treating. Furthermore, I noticed that the skin area where the tape is applied is becoming red and itchy.

    Sorry for the very long story, but I figured as much detail as I can share could help the thought process. I am basically wondering if I indeed have folliculitis and if the symptoms I am having are considered normal or common. And how long does it take for Fucidin ointment treatment before I see any positive effects? In the back of my mind I can’t shake the fear that it could be herpes, but I have not had sex in 4 months, which was with my gf at the time, who I fully trust sexually.


    • Jan Modric


      in folliculitis, solid, well demarkated, separate red bumps with or without white head appear on the skin around the hair follicles, one by one, and even if they appear in clusters, they are usually at least few millimeters apart. They can bleed after popping, especially if a lot of force was used. So, regarding your history, it could be folliculitis – an infection probably occured when you scratched yourself. Staph bacteria often live on the skin without making any harm, but when you scratch, you push some bacteria into the skin, and infection starts.

      In herpes, one or more clusters of tinny red bumps with or without translucent liquid in them appear, usually on the border between the skin and mucosal part of genitalia.

      Yet another possibility would be fungal infection, which usually appears as a reddish or brownish patch, or as bumps.

      In four days, antibiotic ointment should at least stop further development of the infection, so it’s quite possible it does not work in your case. You may visit a dermatologist, who can take a swab from rash and send it to the laboratory. Even if it is staph, it’s still important to know which exact subtype of staph it is, since not all subtypes respond to same antibiotics.

  • worried friend

    We have a friend that has been in the hospital for over 2 weeks. He went there with a swelling and redness on his leg. There was indication of a extremely small (possible bug bite) puncture on his lower leg below the knee. We live in SW PA and don’t feel that the brown reclusive spider is the culpret. His leg felt as if it was on fire. He was delirious and did not know his wife. They put him on oral antibiotics. He was out of town at the time and returned to his home within 4 days. At home, his doctor immediately admitted him to the hospital again. He is not able to walk without severe pain. There was redness up to his hip. It is now 2 weeks later and he is on penicillun and now they have added anti fungal. When he has his leg above his heart, it appears a dark tan. As soon as he lowers his leg, it turns beat red and is painful. He even has some pain when laying in bed. He says it feels as if someone is holding a lighter to his leg. The redness is down below the knee.

    Our friend is in his 60’s and had a similar experience with the other leg back in the spring. We are all really worried. Can you provide any insight on what this may be? As of today, the infectious doctor for our county has not been able to determine what the cause is. My friend’s wife is not sure where to turn.

    • Jan Modric

      worried friend,

      your friend should be checked by a reliable and experienced doctor in a serious hospital as soon as possible. It may be a life dangerous condition. It could be an infection, thrombosis, reaction to a bug bite, blood clot, a cyst or an abscess (“pocket”) pressing on a vessel…blood tests would likely be needed.

  • worried friend

    Some additional information: the doctors did an MRI and found pocket of something (my friend’s wife was not sure what). They tried to relieve these pockets but were unsuccessful. Could this be the staph infections?

  • Serge Perez

    Thank you Mz Jan Modric : )

  • Concerned

    I briefly dated a girl (for two months) who towards the end had told me she’d had staph infection in the past and that I didn’t need to worry about it. She was an ex nurse and reassured me it wasn’t contagious and that she hadn’t had an outbreak since she’d known me. Around two months since we’ve parted (due to other reasons) I’ve found a bump that seems to be under my skin in the pubic area with a fairly reddish marking on the skin. It feels kinda hard. It’s been there around a week and hasn’t broken through the skin.

    I’m without medical insurance and kinda concerned. Should I be concerned that it’s Staph?

    • Jan Modric


      it could be staph, and if you don’t have any other symptoms, it could be “only” a localaized furuncle that may grow further and pop, eventually. You may cover it loosely with a gauze to prevent irritation from clothes and to prevent spread of pus over the skin when it pops. I can’t discuss here about how to pop the furuncle safely, since it could be dangerous; anyway, a small procedure performed in a local ambulance should not be costly.

  • dontknow

    1 month ago i was forced to work at my job with a guy who had MRSA. The guy did keep covered up and had been cleared to work. Shortly after i began to form a zit/bump bout the size of a nickle. I went to a urgant care center and the Dr. said was mild staph and gave me 20 antibiotics to take 2 times a day. looked like it help size and swelling. now a week after scrip was taken in full i still cover and keep clean. this morning i went to clean with soap. i gently dabbed then dryed, as i was doing that a little pus came out and was a yellowish color. Am I still contages? Should i be working (moving company)? should I sould get legal advice to?

    • Jan Modric


      I think you should keep the spot covered until it heals completely. Not sure if you are still contagious; if the spot is healing and not worsening, then bacteria were probably killed. If symptoms worsen, a doctor should take a swab and order a microbiological testing to decide which exact antibiotics to use.

  • Concerned

    Thanks for your response. I guess I wasn’t thinking clearly when I wrote my original question. This isn’t the first bump I’ve had in the same area. This first bump around a month earlier had a lot of thick looking pus and clear liquid. I picked at it and it left a little scar.

    That’s two bumps in less than two months now. Should I be expecting these to be a lifetime inconvenience now?


    • Jan Modric


      staph infection by itself is not a lifetime problem. Repeating infections may occur if you are getting constantly contaminated from your environment (physical touch with contaminated keyboards, desks, sport equipment…) or if you are a staph carrier (having staph bacteria in the nose, mouth or skin (in groin, armpits). In this case you can ask an infectologist to take swabs from mentioned areas for microbiological testing. Another cause of repeating infections is low immunity from various disorders.

  • Irritating Staph

    I had an abscess on my butt a week ago. It drained, and it’s pretty much healed. Three days ago, bumps with pus on top (much like acne) started developing on my butt, legs and foot. (There are 11 bumps in total.) This evening, I will be traveling from Hawaii to Boston (a nine hour plane ride), and I’m wondering whether I should bandage each one individually with neosporin. Also, should I wear a dress with cotton underwear? I was thinking pants would be too uncomfortable. If I could get some advice, that would be great. My doctor prescribed me some antibiotics, but I didn’t start taking them until yesterday. They’re very painful and itchy.

    • Jan Modric

      Irritating Staph,

      do it the way, you will prevent spreading infection to other skin areas, and to other people…

  • craftyladybug

    Hi, On thursday of last week around 3 in the afternoon I fell in my kitchen. I got up and was fine but later in the evening my left leg was hurting. I figured it was because I am overweight and I fell on my leg. I normally have swelling on my legs right under my knees and was told by a doctor that I have cellulitus but he couldnt be sure. Anyways, I had a couple of bruises on my left leg under my knee and on the outer side of my leg that were probably about dime sized. I went to bed and when i woke up friday morning the whole front of my leg where to bone goes down was hurting but right above my foot there was a 4 -5 inch thick red patch all the way around my leg. It was extremely hot and had fever and i was very nausiated. a friend had staph a while back ago so i took a antibiotic called bactrim for it just in case cause i have no insurance and i cant afford to go to the doctor. It stayed like that for friday sat and sun the on sun nite i was sitting at my computer and looked down and my whole left foot had turned purple and was swollen twice its size so i went to the er. the dr. came in took a pulse on my foot asked me what happened then ordered xrays..he didnt do blood test or anything. he came back in to tell me xrays didnt show anything broke so i ask him why the sudden change after 3 days did my foot turn blue like that and then asked if it was ok for that part of my leg to be as hot as it is. he didnt feel it or anything but told me he couldnt tell me anything like that i would have to follow up with a doctor!!!!!!!!!! i was like what????? so i left…yesterday my leg was hurting but today almost a week later my foot is totally black and blue swollen twice its size and my leg bone going down the front is got a constant throbbing like theres a heartbeat on it and my leg is so hot it feels like theres a real fire on it. I dont understand whats going on. I know im majorly overweight but i dont understand why after so many days its getting worse like this. I dont understand why a dr wouldnt take blood test for any kind of infections. please help me in what you may think whats happening.

    • Jan Modric


      I recommend you to go back to the doctor right away. I can’t differ from here between a bruise or infection. Bruise would not be so hot as you are describing it, so an infection can be involved.

  • cm2006

    I had cellulitus, which developed into an abscess which I had drained in the ER. It is now healing okay but there is a hardened area about 2″X2″ above the incision. It is not hot or red, but it somewhat tender. What is it?

    • Jan Modric


      the hardened area is probably an inflammation that has remained from the infection and it will likely resorb by itself with time. If no improvement, ask a doctor about it.

  • concerned mom

    my 18 year old son got a tattoo about 2 and a half months ago he got cellulitis on his arm from the tattoo they gave him antib… and it went away but about 3 weeks ago he started getting bumps on his hands he says they bust and some greenish looking pus comes out and then turn into sores that hurt really bad he lives with friends and is’nt working right now any idea what it may be and what i can do ?

    • Jan Modric

      concerned mom,

      bumps (furuncles) with oozing fluid may be a bacterial infection, and antibiotic treatment prescribed by a doctor might be needed again. I believe he should cover the bumps gently with a gauze to prevent infection spread.

  • blessin

    i have rash all
    over my body, it come like acne and when i scratch it turns like ring worm sometime.
    what is the cause?

    • Jan Modric


      red bumps with or without white heads that persist at least for few days are usually folliculitis (staphylococcal infection of the hair follicles). Red bumps that appear and disappear within few hours are likely from food or other allergy. Regarding you have rash all over the body, I recommend you to visit a dermatologist. I can’t by any means determine what is the exact cause from here.

  • Shabbir

    Hi, I developed a boil in my right groin about a month ago, the boil drained automatically within a week but there was a continuous drip of pus. The doctor gave me flucloxacillin for 7 days but did not work, he then changed the medicine to Erythromycin but the draining of pus is still continuing. The swelling is gone but the opening is there and pus accumulates and I have to clean it every two hours. What should I do?

    • Jan Modric


      if antibiotics have not worked so far, then a sample of pus should be taken and sent to laboratoty to determine the exact subtype of bacteria, and to which exact antibiotics they are sensitive.

  • kaylababyyy

    well, i think i’ve got it… but mine doesn’t look like those pictures. these spots on me are red, swollen, and VERY painful. i’m not sure if i should consult a doctor or what..

    • Jan Modric


      a dermatologist can give you a diagnosis and decide about appropriate treatment.

  • kaylababyyy

    Jan Modric,

    i seen a doctor..

    & turns out i do got it. ):
    i have no idea how i got it, but i’m taking antibiotics now.
    i should be better soon.

    • Jan Modric


      antibiotics should start to work within few days, and then it may still take some days for all rash to clear up. You acn read above in the article how staph infection can spread.

  • Mountainman

    Jan Modric,

    The beginning of this past summer I was diagnosed with a staph infection on my legs. I was given medication and the spots on my legs cleared up. About two weeks later I got it again. I was given medication, some stuff to put into my nose and was also told to put some dilute bleach on the infected areas to clear them up. They cleared up, but spots have continued to show up since (I have been applying some dilute bleach and that seems to clear it up fairly quickly). I feel like I’m a clean guy (take showers and change clothes everyday) so I’m not sure why it keeps coming back. I have also noticed that my genitals and anus have itched more than normal since I’ve was diagnosed with staph. Do you think that is a correlation? Should I go to the doctor again and get more medication? What’s your advice?

    • Jan Modric


      genitals and anal area may also be infected by staph. If ointments didn’t help, you can ask for prescribed oral antibiotics. If rash still persists, a doctor can take a sample of the rash and sent it to the laboratory, where they can determine an exact subtype of bacteria, and to which exact antibiotics they are sensitive.

  • three6isawesome

    Aight so i got this friend that does a lot of heroin right and his/her arm is really infected looking but we don’t wanna go to a doctor cuz they’d probably be pissed so should I have him/her elevate it or something? i gave her a bunch of neosporin but i think it’s under the skin

    • Jan Modric


      untreated infection in a heroin addict may be deadly. Please, arrange professional treatment by a doctor for him. Treating it with random antibiotics may cause difficulties when trying to determine the exact type of bacteria in the laboratory. Infection or inflammation can cause cellulitis (underskin bacterial infection) or vasculitis – inflammation of vessels, which look like darkened stripes under the skin.

  • Mary

    Hi I am a concerned parent, my son who is M.R. and has cerebral palsy with a gatrointestinal tube is going to school, and I just found out that one of his classmates was found to have 8 boils and now has fungus on top of them. The teacher says he is on medication, my sons nurse who attends school with him says that the classmate scratches them a lot and is constantly touching things, could that classmate still be contagous?

    • Jan Modric


      boils can be still contagious after starting the treatment. Your son should avoid touching him until the classmate is healed, and should wash hands regularly and not touch the face or scratch the skin.

  • steve

    hey i was wondering what soaps and lotions are good to buy to control and to get rid of staph infection on the skin…my infection wont go away i was using nix cream it was working now seems to not work as well after a year…i read some sights that say dont use anti bacterial soaps ect…some say to use them…im worried about a super bug…im currently again on mylan-minocycline 100 mg one per day for 30 days, nothing seems to work…getting frustrated at risking spreading the infection again and again…would you continue with nix as that seems to be more powerful then acne soaps ect… please help

    • Jan Modric


      after constant using of antibacterial soaps or creams, some subtypes of staph bacteria may become resistant. Nix cream is for lice, not for staph. If oral antibiotics do not work, you can ask an infectologist to take some samples for determination of exact subtype of bacteria and to which exact antibiotics they are sensitive. Also try to find out the source of your infections.

  • Serge Perez


    Once again im back but it’s a bad thing.
    Well after first getting staph for the first time earlier this year in march & having to go to the E.R. to get it cut open cuz I thought it was a spider bite. I managed to get it again in May. Once again had to go tot he E.R. “I’m in debt now!” they gave me a prescription for DOXYCYCL HYC. So it went away again but flash forward to last week, i thought something poked me one night or it was a dream. The point is i thought i had a bug bite but then it started to fluff n raise up & got the red radius around the pimple so i doubt it was a bug bite. I went to the clinic & the Dr. didn’t know if it was a bug bite or staph. He told me to take DOXYCYCL HYC once again.
    So its basically the 3rd time this year. I workout at a gym & do MMA their. I washed all my clothes sheets & gear. When im done training I hit the showers & soap myself up n clean myself & groom properly.
    So how the Fu(K do i keep getting this? It scares me & frustrates me cuz I don’t have money to go to the E.R. every time it happens. I don’t even have insurance so every time i go to the Dr. I’m spending cash I don’t have.
    Someone PLEASE help me…..
    Edit by Jan Modric: **We do not publish e-mail addresses.

    • Jan Modric

      Serge Perez,

      A bug bite can cause swelling, which may heal on its own. So, I can’t say was it a bug bite that coincidently went away after antibiotics, or was it staph infection. A boil from staph contains pus, which can be seen as a white head or pus oozing out after squeezing the boil (when it matures). It is only a test of the eventual excreted substance that can reveal, if it is bacterial infection or not. However, from what you have said the last time, it’s quite possible it was staph.

      Some people are staph carriers – they have staph bacteria on the skin (especially in the nose, or armpits, or groin) without any problems, but can get infected after small skin injuries, when bacteria enter into deeper layers of the skin. Treatment of this carrier state is possible, but it often recurs, so I can’t provide any good advice about this, except you can try to avoid small skin injuries, which more likely occur during gym.

  • steve

    so a non anti bacterial soap is the best? but most likely woulnt kill the infection from your hands or body would it? all disinfectant sprays are good to use on surfaces like computer keyboards chairs ect. to keep from living on? how about bathing in water with bleach?

    • Jan Modric


      a regular soap physically removes bacteria and viruses from the hands, and this should be enough to prevent the spread of infections with the hands. Surgeons, for example, wash their hands with special antiseptic soaps, since they need to remove all bacteria “completely”. Appropriate disinfectants (available in pharmacies) can be used on surfaces, like keyboards, yes. DO NOT use bleach on the skin or in bath, since it can cause chemical burns. In repeating staph infections, think about the possible causes:
      – a repeating contact with infected objects (gym equipment, towels…) infected by others who have staph infection
      – autoinfection – in case you a staph carrier – you have staph bacteria on the skin
      – impaired immunity from some reason (appropriate blood tests performed by an infectologist can reveal that).

  • cinnamon

    After staying in a hotel for two nights, I noticed a nickle sized “sore” on the back of my left calf. Next to it are two very small red bumps resembling mosquito bites. The large “sore” is encircled by a very slightly raised red ring and the middle part is flesh colored and a little scaly looking. None of the “sores” itch or are painful. I checked the room and bedding carefully before unpacking so I’m sure it’s not bed bugs.

    • Jan Modric


      I can’t exclude bed bugs…but it could also be a fungal infection, for example. OTC antifungal ointments exist.

  • feferoads

    i was diagnised with empitigo and i have been treating it with the medication. when i first got the infection it was on my cheek and then began to spread to my nose and upper lip area. Since i have been treating it my cheek looks much better but i feel as if my nose looks worst. this yellow scab like crust developed on an area of my nose and i want to peel it off. Is it okay if i do?
    im teenager and like most very concerned with my appearence

  • BRG

    OK, in July I had gotten two small circular rashes with little pimples circling a firm red center. I had gone to one of those CVS minute clinics thinking it might be impetigo because I had started grapling the month prior. I was provided a perscription topical antibiotic and after a 10 days of treatment it had significantly reduced (not totally gone, but faded away within another week.) Then in early October I ended up getting four separate outbreaks, two on my left arm, one on my right inner bicep, and one on my lower right thigh all at the same time. Once again same symptoms, oral antibiotic, and after 7 days almost gone, totally gone by the following week. At that point I had stopped grappling so I wasn’t at the gym at all and once again last week I get another spot on my left wrist. I didn’t immediately go to the clinic and basically the sore is about the size of a quarter, red, raised and firm but no indication of pus other than a sporatic tiny spot. It hasn’t gotten any larger or smaller and I don’t have a fever or other symptoms. Is there anything else that could be causing this other than staph??

    • Jan Modric


      it can be staph or some other bacteria, for example. According to the symptoms and reaction to treatment it’s likely staph.

  • Kel


    I am a 19 year old healthy female.

    I have been diagnosed with Folliculitis all over my legs (below knees)
    I’ve had it for over 6 months now.
    Firstly I went on one round of Mino Tabs & when that made no difference I went to a Dermatologist and went on Clindamycin and then another round of Mino Tabs. After the two weeks on Clindamycin I noticed a big difference and then within a week they started occurring again.
    I have scars all over my legs alongside scabs & fresh pussy Folliculitis.
    I will admit, it is not as extreme as many of the cases you see when googling Folliculitis however it is prettty bad and covers almost every space on my legs… not to mention I’ve had it for well over six months.

    Also, I do everything possible to prevent it, take salt water baths, new sheets/clothes/towels daily & moisturise using Vitiam E cream. I’m also taking Zinc pills… I even stopped shaving for months! I have also had blood tests and was healthy!

    The only thing I have done which I’m guessing I should is I occasionally pick/squeeze infected bumps! Although I’m trying my verrrry best not too!

    Firstly, is there anything else I can do to clear them up & prevent them!

    Secondly, do you think the scars will heal? Some have been there for months and are currently a dark purple colour.

    Finally, what would you say the best form of hair removal would be? (I would try Laser but my hair not dark enough)

    Your help would be sooo appreciated!

    Thank you

    • Jan Modric


      regarding you’re so prone to get the legs infected, I do not recommend any hair removal at all. Hair removal can actually cause your infections. Get this infection treated and you won’t need to squeeze the bumps. About scars -a dermatologist could tell what are your chances.

  • amberj

    I have been getting a reoccuring staph infection in my scalp 2-4 times a year. For the past five years, I’ve been to dermatologists, ERs, family physicians and all have treated me for bacterial and/or fungal infection of the scalp.

    Recently, I went to an Urgent Care and decided to tell them to take a culture of the bumps (that have pus) and results came back that I have staph.

    The problem is that everyone has been giving me SEPTRA, BACTRIM antibotics. I believe that’s why I haven’t fullly recovered from this scalp infection. Because I constantly wash my sheets, hands, pillows, etc.

    Question is: what types of medicine/antiobotics really TREAT & CURE staph infections in the scalp? (Shampoo, Ointments and Oral Medicine)

    Please help – ISSUE for the last 5 years – EXTREMLY PAINFUL!!!

    • Jan Modric


      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.

    • ScooterMama

      Hey, I know this has been a while, but did you ever find ANY true
      cure for this scalp issue. I have it as well and as a staph carrier
      it is a constant battle. Please reply if you get this. I would love
      to know how things are going for you. ScooterMama

  • kboogs


    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


      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


      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


      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


      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


      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


      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.

    • 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!

    • Jan Modric


      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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

    • Jan Modric


      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.

  • 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.

  • 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


      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

    • Jan Modric


      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.

  • 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


      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 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


      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.

    • Jan Modric


      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…

    • 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.

  • Naga Jolokia

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

  • 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


      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


      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

    • 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).

  • 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?

  • 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.

    • These are antibacterial agents and 2 days is a bit early to expect improvement. You should continuing it for a few more days. It could possible be a recurrence, but depends on whether your first incident was in fact due to staph or some other bacterial species.

  • Denise

    I have been seen & treated for cellulits/abcess in my private area twice, and changed my antibiotic, lansed but nothing drained out so they were unable to culture it. the area has reduced in size/a7 discomfort , but thearea is real hard like a ver hard substance. I am suppose to see a surgent incase it was deeper then what the reg Dr. thought. should I still since has reduced swelling?

    • Hi Denise. Yes, definitely see the surgeon. It needs to be assessed further. While a lump could be a lymph node, a patch may be fibrotic scarring that arises with prolonged and severe inflammation. It’s better to get a second opinion and an all clear from the surgeon rather than leaving it till later when complications may arise.

      • Denise

        Thank you for your advice. i called the surgeon and I have an appt. w/ him on Monday. I am nervous , but know it needs to be addressed


        • Yes it does Denise. You are welcome. Everything of the best.

  • bel

    my husband had surgery for cancer nearly 2 years ago he has been having chemo and tablets which has shrunk the cancer he has been left with a hospital infection which has been tested he has been on antibiotic tablets for two years the dr says it wont heal while on chemo and he cant go of the chemo because it will come back need some thing that we can put on the skin when it flares up please help ???????/

    • Hi Bel. This is a difficult situation because the chemo increases the risk of infections and hampers healing as his doctor said. Even though antibiotics may limit an infection and even clear it up, it is still the body’s own resources that are need to heal the area. Since he is a cancer patient it is advisable that you proceed with caution. Rather direct your concerns towards his oncologist. A topical antimicrobial application like an ointment may help as well but don’t start anything without his doctor’s instructions and approval.

  • Rose

    is it possible to get staph on your face that would almost look like horrible acne? I have had staph before and wonder if this is another form

    • Hi Rose. Yes it is possible. Or you may have acne with a superimposed staph infection. However, there is no reason to immediately assume that the current lesions on your face is definitely a staph infection. Rather consult with a dermatologist for a definitive diagnosis.

  • mandy

    hi for a few months i had redspots on both inner thighs bit like a cluster, what do think i should do and have all over body itching which affects sleep pattern for a few weeks

    • HI Mandy. There is a wide range of causes that can cause generalized itching which is known as pruritus. It may not necessarily be a staph infection. It could be an allergy, a viral infection or even a symptom of liver and kidney diseases. It is difficult to say for sure. Sometimes it is as simple as very dry skin. Red spots can occur with many different skin diseases so it is difficult to say for sure. You should consult with a dermatologist.

  • enr

    Staph infection healing process I’ve read I can use neosporin, when though I’m at the stage where there’s no pus… The crusty stage now

    • Hi Enr. We had to delete your photo because it is shows your face and we cannot be sure if that really is your photo. You should be consulting with a doctor, if you have not done so already. And you should be using either oral antibiotics or topical antimicrobials as your doctor prescribes. In your deleted question you had mentioned that you are applying apple cider vinegar on the area. This is not advisable. Rather use a topical antimicrobial like an ointment. From what you have said thus far, it does sound like it is healing but there is no way for us to say for sure. Staph bacteria can be very resilient and without using tried and tested topical antimicrobials, the bacteria can persist and the infection may recur. Speak to your doctor about your concerns.

  • Sarah

    I have scabs from acne that are healing over, Im on Accutane, and my dermatologist decided to take a culture of an especially dry, scabbed area of my lips, and it came back that I have MRSA. However, the scab on my lip is not hurting, swollen, really red, full of pus or any of the other symptoms of MRSA. Why do I not have any symptoms? And how likely is it going to get somewhere where it can do damage? How long does it take for it to do damage? I’m scared. I’m only 16 and I don’t want to die.

    • Hi Sarah. It is understandable that you are scared but you should be discussing these concerns with your dermatologist who has a better knowledge of your case. It is important to understand that bacteria do naturally occur on the skin even some highly pathogenic (disease-causing) bacteria. However, it often does not cause a problem if there is no break in the skin. Furthermore a healthy immune system can keep it at bay. It is only when these bacteria enter your body is very large doses (infectious doses), is able to thrive on broken skin or when your immune system is depressed that it may cause a disease. So this may be the reason why you do not have any symptoms. Your doctor is in the best position to advise you further.

  • Sarah

    I have scabs from acne that are healing over, Im on Accutane, and my dermatologist decided to take a culture of an especially dry, scabbed area of my lips, and it came back that I have MRSA. However, the scab on my lip is not hurting, swollen, really red, full of pus or any of the other symptoms of MRSA. Why do I not have any symptoms? And how likely is it going to get somewhere where it can do damage? How long does it take for it to do damage? I’m scared. I’m only 16 and I don’t want to die.

  • Sarah

    Im on Accutane, and my dermatologist decided to take a culture of an especially dry, scabbed area of my lips, and it came back that I have MRSA. However, the scab on my lip is not hurting, swollen, really red, full of pus or any of the other symptoms of MRSA. Why do I not have any symptoms? And how likely is it going to get somewhere where it can do damage? How long does it take for it to do damage? I’m scared. I’m only 16 and I don’t want to die.

    • Hi Sarah. We have already answered your question a few days ago. It seems to be pretty much the same question. Please refer to our answer below. Hopefully you have spoken to your dermatologist again.

  • Fizzaz

    I have these itchy, sometimes painful lumps on my inner thighs. Some of them are bigger than others but most are small and it looks like blackheads aswell. My skin is dark around that area, I think it’s slowly spreading.
    Are you able to tell me what it maybe?
    I’m unemployed so I can not go to the Dr right now.

    Thanx in advance

  • Momma

    Hi I had a small pus filled blister form on the knuckle of my index finger of left hand. My hand got a red itchy patch on the top and then went away now the back of my hand is mostly swollen as with my index finger. At the same time that the red itchy patch on the back of my hand showed up, the muscle in my arm just above my wrist also got a red itchy patch but this was more spotted and had disappeared at the same time as the back of my hand then re appeared as a more uniform patch swollen and red and not itchy.. now it has two broken lines that partially go around my arm and end in the crease fold of my arm opposite the elbow… What should I do.. I’ve had this before, usually multiple little white blisters very tiny and either my hand swells or the muscle on arm gets red and swollen but this usually goes away very quicky.. this time there was only one and it was pus filled not clear liquid like before.

    • Hi Momma. The question here is whether this is a skin infection or not. There are several skin conditions that can cause tiny blisters and it may not be an infection. For example pompholyx is a skin condition that can cause tiny blisters on the fingers that comes and goes. You should consult with your family doctor and preferably see a dermatologist at this point since the condition is recurring. The condition needs to first be conclusively diagnosed before treatment can be commenced.

  • Alexis

    I’ve had staph about three times in the past eight months due to my living conditions in my college dorms. The second and third time, both infections were in my legs and left really dark bruises afterwards. Do you have any tips on how to get rid of these? They look pretty bad.

  • Michelle

    I’ve had small bumps in my nose that would come and go and then I got one that sent me to er my nose was twice the size it always is and so much pain I have ms can anyone tell me how not to get these

    • Hi Michelle. Has the cause been identified by a doctor? Is it inflammation or a nasal polyp? These are some of the questions that need to be answered. If you have not done so as yet, then you should consult with an ENT specialist (otorhinolaryngologist).

      • Michelle

        I was told it was staff I have ms so my immune system is not right

  • patricia mathews

    I have cellutis and o was wondering if it was safe to mash the spot I’ve been put on antibiotics today but I’d like to mash the stuff out

  • Marisa Camacho

    I’ve been dealing with this disgusting skin condition. I get these pimple like puss filled bumps that are sometimes huge and very painful. I just recently got a tattoo and I noticed an odd smell coming from it. What is this?

    • Hi Marisa. It is difficult to say for sure what may be causing the condition that you are describing. Please note that we do not make any diagnosis on this platform or prescribe any treatment. This platform is simply intended to serve as a guide. Considering the recent tattoo, pus filled bumps and odd smell, it could be a bacterial skin infection. This requires immediate treatment as it can end up becoming a serious condition. However, this is not definitely an infection and only your doctor can diagnose you.