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Staph Infection – Pictures, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

Written by Dr.Mary

What exactly is a Staph Infection?

This is an infection which is caused by the Staphylococcus bacteria. Staphylococcus is a classification of bacteria which can cause an excess of infections as a consequence of the capability to infect many different types of the fleshy tissue of the body. Staph-associated diseases can vary from very mild and needing no management to severe with the potential to be fatal.


This name Staphylococcus is a Greek word staphyle, meaning “bunch of grapes”, and kokkos, meaning “berry”, for this is what staph appears like under the microscope, a “bunch of grapes” or “round little berries”.

Staph Infection Symptoms

Staph infections of the skin normally cause localized collections of pus, which are known as boils, abscesses, or furuncles. The area which is affected can be swollen, red, as well as painful. Pus or drainage is very common. When staph is in the blood as in bacteremia or sepsis, it can cause chills, low blood pressure and fevers which are high.

Staph infections of the skin can also develop to impetigo which is a crusting of the skin or cellulitis which is inflammation of the connective tissue under the skin. In some uncommon cases, a serious problem which is well-known as scalded skin syndrome can develop. In breastfeeding, staph can result in mastitis which are inflammation of the breast, or in breast abscess. The types of breast abscesses can discharge the bacteria into the milk of the mother.

When this bacterium enters the blood system and migrates to other organs, numerous severe infections can develop. Spreading of this organism in the blood system is referred to as sepsis or bacteremia.

Staphylococcal pneumonia primarily affects those individuals with underlying diseases of the lungs and can lead to formations of abscess in the lungs. Infection of the heart valves known as endocarditis can lead to heart failure. The migrating of staph to the bones can cause a severe inflammation in the bones recognized as osteomyelitis. Staph sepsis in the blood system is a primary cause of shock as well as circulatory failure, leading to death, in those with severe burns covering huge areas of the body.

When left unmanaged staph aureus sepsis conveys a death rate of over 80%. Although not very common, staph aureus has been also stated as a cause of chorioamnionitis as well as neonatal sepsis in pregnancy, but group B streptococci are the most common bacterial reason of this life-threatening illness for the fetus.

Staph infections are spreadable and can be spread from person to person. Pus or drainage from infected wounds can contain the bacteria, so appropriate hygiene and hand washing is essential when caring for wounds which are staph-infected.

Staph food poisoning is an illness involving the intestines and causes vomiting, nausea, diarrhea and especially dehydration. It is caused by eating food which is contaminated by toxins produced by Staphylococcus aureus. These indicators usually develop in 1 to 6 hours after eating the contaminated food. The illness lasts customarily for 1 to 3 days and resolves on its own. Individuals with this infection are not contagious since toxins are not able to be communicated from one person to another person.

Another illness caused by the toxins of Staph aureus is “toxic shock syndrome” where the bacteria develop under conditions which have no or little oxygen. This syndrome has sudden onset of vomiting, high fever, diarrhea and muscle aches, followed by low blood pressure, which can lead to shock and death. There can also be a rash that resembles sunburn with peeling of the skin. “Toxic shock syndrome” often still occurs specially in menstruating women using tampons.

Staph Infection Causes

There are approximately 30 different variety of staph which can infect humans, but most of the infections are caused by Staphylococcus aureus. Staph is found normally on the skin and in the mouth, the nose, genitals as well as the anal region. The foot is very inclined to to pick up this bacterium from the ground. This infection frequently arises with a tiny scratch that becomes infected with staph.

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Staph can be found in 25%-30% of adults who are healthy. In most cases, the bacteria will not cause any illness. But, damage to the skin or any other injury can allow the bacteria to overtake the natural protection mechanisms of the body, leading to tremendous infections.

Staph infections can be as minor as a boil to infections which are antibiotic-resistant to infections which are flesh eating. The variances between these infections is the strength of the infection, how deep it goes, how fast it extents, and how curable it is with antibiotics. The infections which are antibiotic-resistant are common mostly in North America, because of the unrestricted abuse of antibiotics.

Very frequently patients having surgery can get very serious types of staph infections. The current good news is that hospital staff is taking many safeguards in order to avoid infection in anyone having surgery. That is why they carefully clean the area which is being operated on, use equipment that is sterilized, and sometimes give a person antibiotic before surgery.

Staph Infection Treatment

Treatment for staph infections is the use of antibiotics. But there’s been a steady change in how well antibiotics work. Most staph infections were able to be treated with penicillin but that changed in the 1980’s and much stronger antibiotics are now needed to be used.

In approximately half of the cases, however, resistance is seen with all antibiotics even the stronger ones. There are several more very powerful antibiotics now, but physicians need to know when and how often to use them.

There is another treatment often used for staph infections. If the infection extend so deep that it encompasses fibers or muscles that are enclosed by fibers, it needs to be cleaned surgically.

You may need to take steps to aid with the avoidance of staph infections. Any time a person has a cut or skin break, wash it with water and soap, keep it dry and clean, use antibacterial ointment and keep it covered. A number of outbreaks recently between football players began when only one team player had a boil and it spread from that one boil to infect the members of the other team.

A staph infection is infectious when the lesion is draining or weeping and if individuals share towels or further personal items that can be contaminated. Wearing coverings over the feet in locker rooms as well as other common areas can help to avert contamination.

If a sore develops unusually red or painful, the individual must get medical attention immediately. If lines which are red develop, that is a sign that an infection is increasing and needs fast medical attention.

Currently you may have heard about methicillion-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA. MRSA is a form of staph that has built up immunity to any of the antibiotics physicians normally used to treat staph infections with. MRSA can be very hard to treat, but in most cases the infection does heal with the correct treatment.

Staph Infection Pictures

Staph Infection Staph infection on fingers Staph Infection on legs Staph Infection Staph Infection Staph infection on neck and scalp region Staph Infection Staph Infection on nose Staph Infection on face and ears Staph Infection
  1. […] one or more hair follicles – the shafts which are tube-shaped from which hair grows – develop a staph infection (Staphylococcus aureus). This type of bacteria that is normally an inhabitant of the skin and often […]

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