What Is A Staph Infection?

A staph infection or staphyloccal infection is any infection caused by one or more pathogenic species. Most commonly characterized by the formation of abscesses on the skin or in other organs.

Staph infections are common occurences. They can invade any part of the body. A staph infection usually enters the body through an open cut or wound.

The most common staph infections are infected hair follicles, usually producing small white-headed pimples. An injury to the follicle caused by shaving or clothes rubbing against the skin can cause the infection to erupt. Some times the infection shows in the form of a boil. Although boils can occur anywhere on the body, they are most frequently found on the face, neck, buttocks, armpits and inner thighs (near the pubic area), where small hairs can usually be irritated.

If you get one on the eyelid, it is called a stye. To help prevent boils, use shaving cream and if a cut appears make sure that you keep it clean and dry. Open cuts should always be cleaned properly and covered until healed. Keep clothing from rubbing against infected areas. Women should wear nylons and men should wear t-shirts to prevent injured hair follicles from being further irritated or infected.

Nursing women can develop a staph infection called Mastitis if their breasts are cracked. Menstruating women who use tampons can develop Toxic Shock Syndrome, a type of staph infection that can turn deadly. Overweight individuals that have overlapping skin are also susceptible to staph infections because of skin irritation.

Usually good hygiene can prevent these most common forms of staph infections. Untreated staph infections can spread to the bloodstream, into the bones or into the lungs. When it spreads to the bones the infected joints can swell and permanently stiffen. When it spreads to the lungs pneumonia can occur. When it spreads to the heart, endocarditis can occur causing permanent damage to the heart.

Rarely, staph infections can be ingested with food, usually food that has been sitting out for too long. Foods that have a lot of salt or sugar content can grow staphylococci. The worst offenders are cream and cream filled pastries, salads(like macaroni and potato), ham, pork or highly salted meats. Symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps.

Symptoms usually last 1-2 days. This type of staph caused food poisoning is usually easily cured.

Suspect a staph infection if you see any of these signs:

* Pain or severe swelling around a cut or puncture wound on the skin.

* Boils, styes, or small white-headed pimples near or around hair follicles.

* Swollen lymph nodes in the neck, armpits or groin area.

* Sometimes a resistant ear ache or case of strep throat or persisting pneumonia.

* Or if you have eaten any food that has been out of refrigeration too long and you develop food poisoning symptoms.

Doctors and hospitals are well equipped to deal with the most common forms of staph infections. With proper preventative measures and the right treatment a staph infection can be easily cured.

It takes between 10-14 days to cure the common staph infection. Antibiotics, creams and analgesics with bed rest is usually all it takes.

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