Doctor's Notes on How to Treat Staph (Staphylococcus) Infection
A Staph infection is an infection with Staphylococcus bacteria. Staph bacteria cause a number of different diseases and conditions, including superficial skin infections, toxic shock syndrome, food poisoning, septic arthritis, and bacterial infections of the bloodstream (septicemia). In some illnesses, the symptoms arise due to toxins secreted by the bacteria. In other cases, the symptoms are related to abscess formation and infection with the bacteria themselves.
Symptoms and signs of a Staph infection, therefore, vary widely and differ according to the type of illness that is present. Symptoms and signs can include skin rash, boils, redness, swelling, warmth, and drainage of pus from the skin. Other associated symptoms and signs can include fever, low blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and joint swelling and pain.
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ChickenpoxChickenpox (varicella) is a highly contagious infection that typically affects children. Symptoms and signs include an itchy red blistering rash that forms first on the torso and then spreads to the extremities. Treatment may incorporate Tylenol or Advil for fever, IV fluids for dehydration, antibiotics for bacterial skin infections, calamine lotion, cool compresses and baths, and Benadryl, Claritin, or Zyrtec for itch relief.
EpiglottitisEpiglottitis a medical emergency and death may result if not treated promptly. Causes of epiglottitis include infectious, traumatic, and chemical agents. Symptoms of epiglottitis include: trouble breathing, drooling, taking rapid forward breaths, leaning forward to breathe, trouble speaking, and a high pitched whistling sound when taking a breath. If a person has epiglottits he or she should seek medical care emergently.
How Do You Get Staph Infection?Staph infection is quite contagious, including both methicillin-resistant staph (MRSA) and methicillin-susceptible staph (MSSA). You can get staph from breathing in infected breath droplets, touching contaminated surfaces including an infected person’s skin, or getting the bacteria in a cut.
Life-Threatening Skin RashesRashes are very common conditions and can have many causes. Most rashes are not dangerous but rather are merely nuisance illnesses. Life-threatening skin rashes are rare. Five potentially life-threatening disorders that have skin rash as the primary symptom are pemphigus vulgaris (PV), Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS), toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), toxic shock syndrome (TSS), and staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome (SSSS).
MRSAMethicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is an infection that shows resistance to many antibiotics. Symptoms and signs include pus production and itching in the affected area. The majority of serious MRSA infections are treated with a combination of two or more intravenous antibiotics.
Swimmer's Ear (Symptoms, Treatment, Natural Remedies, Prevention)Swimmer's ear (also called otitis externa) is caused by a break in the skin lining the ear canal and outer ear, allowing bacteria or fungi infect the ear. Excessive moisture in the ear, ear plugs, headphones, hearing aids, and chemical hair dyes, bleaches, or shampoos may also cause swimmer's ear. The most common symptoms of swimmer's ear is pain. Treatment depends on the extensiveness of the infection.
Toxic Shock SyndromeToxic shock syndrome (TSS) is a rare, life-threatening illness that is caused by toxins (poisons) that circulate in the bloodstream. Symptoms and signs include fever, headache, sore throat, cough, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Treatment involves finding and removing the source of infection, IV antibiotics, IV fluids, correcting electrolytes, and monitoring kidney and liver functions.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.