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Staphylococcus (cont.)

What Are Staph Infection Symptoms and Signs?

  • Most staph infections that are visible usually have a reddish, swollen, itchy, and/or tender area at the site of infection.
  • Often the site oozes pus or has some crusty covering with drainage.
  • Sites of infection can be small like a pimple on someone's face or even in the nose, a boil on an extremity, or large like a carbuncle.
  • Cellulitis (it most commonly appears on the legs) often shows redness and swelling of the involved area without pus, but impetigo shows a crusty weeping rash with an occasional blister.
  • Scalded skin syndrome shows extensive skin redness with bullae (fluid- or pus-filled blisters).
  • Infected catheters and other implanted devices usually show redness, pus, and tenderness at the skin entry site. Deep abscesses, pneumonia, osteomyelitis, and most other internal infections are only seen by X-ray and other imaging techniques or are not visible at all (for example, toxic shock, food poisoning) although nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain, chills, and fever may be present.

The appearances described above are only suggestive of staph infection; proof of infection depends on bacterial culture and subsequent identification of the infecting agent.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/31/2017

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Staphylococcal infections are usually caused by the organism Staphylococcus aureus.

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