Staph infection is a common bacterium that usually starts off as a zit or bump. This bacterium lives on the skin harmlessly but when the skin is punctured staph bacteria will enter the wound and an infection starts. About twenty five percent of people carry the staph bacteria in their nose, mouth, and genitals. This infection can be mild or severe. It can all start with a simple boil or end up into a flesh eating infection. Staph infection is very contagious and can spread quickly. It is very common in people with weak immune systems and people who even have diabetes.
Staph infection is spread through skin to skin contact. The bacteria can also spread from one area of the body to another. There are over thirty different types of staph that can affect people. Newborns, breastfeeding women, and people with chronic conditions are more at risk for developing staph. Staph infections are very contagious until they have been treated and the infection has been resolved. Staph usually begins with a skin infection and then it worsens and becomes a staph infection. If someone has the skin infection and personal things are being shared like bed linens, towels, or clothing is shared it can be passed around. If staph enters the bloodstream it can become a serious and dangerous medical condition. It can lead to other parts of the body such as the lungs, bones, joints, or heart. However, it is rarely common for staph to be in other parts of the body. It is more a skin infection.
Staph usually begins as a small area on the skin that becomes tender and swell. It may also have a reddish color to it. It can begin with an open sore or a zit on the skin. The infection on the skin may then become painful and have some warmth to it. As the staph infection spread a person may then have a fever and have chills or break out in sweats. Some common skin infections that lead to staph are folliculitis, furuncle, impetigo, cellulitis, and hordeolum. An infection of the hair follicles is known as folliculitis. When a boil or a lump is under the skin forms and feels with pus it is known as a furuncle. Impetigo is when a skin infections begins on the hands and feet and results in a blister or pimple. When an infection in the skin gets in the areas of the tissue below the skins surface it is knows as cellulitis. A common infection that many people have experienced is having a sty which is an infection under the eyelid is known to be a hordeolum.
Staph infection can usually be diagnosed without having to do lab work. It can be diagnosed just by appearance. If the staph infection has gotten way out of control and got into the blood stream blood work may be done. When staph test are taking the laboratory determines what kind of antibiotics are needed to fight off the bacteria. Staph infections can be treated with antibiotic ointment or oral antibiotics. If they staph infections are severe it may be surgically drained. The serious and life threatening cases of staph are usually treated with intravenous antibiotics.