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Staph Infection: Identification and Treatment

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Staph Infection: Identification and Treatment

The term "staph infection" can cause some confusion. In some cases, staph infections can be minor; in others, they develop into dangerous methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Understanding more about staph infections can help you avoid complications.

Causes of Staph Infection

The Staphylococcus bacteria is the strain of bacteria behind staph infections. The bacteria can be found in the nose or skin of healthy individuals.

These infections occur when the bacteria go deeper than the skin level. Staph infections can occur in the bloodstream, bones, joints, lungs, and heart.

Staph Infection

Staph Infection Symptoms

There are a variety of symptoms depending on the type of staph infection you have.


This is more contagious than other staph infections. Impetigo symptoms usually are blisters leaking fluid, and they may develop a yellow crust.


Boils are oil glands or hair follicles that develop pockets of pus. Symptoms are swollen and red skin with bubbles of pus.


When an infection goes deeper than the skin's surface, cellulitis occurs. The symptoms are swelling, redness on the skin's surface, and weeping sores.

Staphylococcal Scalded Skin Syndrome

Staph bacteria may cause staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome through toxins. It is most prevalent in children and babies. Symptoms are rash, fever, and blisters.


Bacteremia happens when staph gets in the blood. Symptoms include low blood pressure and fever. These staph infections come from pneumonia, endocarditis, and meningitis.

Food Poisoning

Staph bacteria are behind some food poisoning cases because the bacteria grow in old or spoiled food. Symptoms of this kind of staph infection are dehydration, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and low blood pressure.

Toxic Shock Syndrome

This condition is primarily linked to tampon use. Symptoms include muscle aches, stomach aches, diarrhea, and fever. They may also have rashes on their hands and feet and confusion.

Septic Arthritis

Staph bacteria often target the hips, shoulders, knees, toes, and fingers. When this happens, it is referred to as septic arthritis. Symptoms include swollen and painful joints and fever.


MRSA is a staph infection that resists the treatment of many conventional antibiotics. Its symptoms are swollen skin that is painful and hot to the touch and sores. This is often accompanied by fever.

Symptoms That Require an Immediate Trip to Urgent Care

  • Fever
  • Blisters with puss
  • Painful, irritated skin rashes
  • Skin infections are being passed around the house

Staph Infection Treatment

Staph infection treatment entails cleaning the area and taking antibiotics. Doctors may prescribe cefazolin, oxacillin, linezolid, nafcillin, and daptomycin. Drink the oral antibiotic as directed and finish all the prescribed medication. Let your health care provider know if your symptoms worsen even with the medication.

Unfortunately, there are staph infections that are unresponsive to common antibiotics. Doctors may prescribe IV antibiotics for antibiotic-resistant staph infections, such as daptomycin or vancomycin.

How to Prevent Staph Infection

There are a few things you can do to help prevent staph infection. Consider the following:

  • Practice good hygiene, such as washing your hands and sanitizing.
  • Keep wounds clean and covered. Change bandages as they heal.
  • Follow food safety guidelines
  • Wash bedding and clothing regularly.
  • Don't share personal items.
  • Leave tampons in for only 4-5 hours, and consider using sanitary napkins as often as possible.

Baptist Emergency Room & Urgent Care

Get Treated for Staph Infection at Baptist Emergency Room & Urgent Care

Baptist Emergency Room & Urgent Care's emergency room is open 24/7, and urgent care is available from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day. Appointments are unnecessary - walk in, and our healthcare professionals are ready to help at both of our locations.

Navarre - 8888 Navarre Pkwy., Navarre, FL 32566. Call the center at 850-750-5698.

Nine Mile - 9400 University Parkway Suite 101A Pensacola, FL 32514. Call the center at 448-227-4600.

Baptist Emergency Room & Urgent Care is comprised of board-certified ER-trained physicians and professionally trained ER nurses who deliver quality medical care. Our urgent care and emergency room can effectively treat various medical conditions. From fever to fractures, allergies to abdominal pain, and colds to concussions, we have you covered with on-site labs, CT, X-rays, and ultrasound.