How Do You Get Rid of a Staph Infection

How do you get rid of a staph infection? Staph infections are common, and there are many answers to this question. The good news is that most staph infections are minor, and not serious. Healthy people carry staph, or Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, around in their systems without ever getting sick. Nasal Staph germs are common in many healthy people, and don't cause problems. But staph bacteria can invade the skin or bloodstream. In those cases, infections arise and medical treatment may be necessary. Here are some methods of treating Staph infections.

  • Boils: This is a raised blister, often painful or itchy. Depending on its size, it may need to be drained in a doctor's office. Don't drain large staph boils yourself; the bacteria is highly contagious and you risk spreading the infection or giving it to others. For smaller boils, warm, moist washcloths applied often can help drain and reduce swelling. Ibuprofen can reduce the pain and inflammation. Launder any washcloths you use immediately to avoid spreading the bacteria. 
  • Styes: These staph infections in the eye cause the eyelids to swell. A warm compress applied three to five times daily can help reduce swelling. Ibuprofen may also be helpful. Styes should clear up on their own in a few days. If they don't, see your doctor, as it could be a different type of infection. 
  • Folliculitis: This is an infection around hair follicles, causing raised, white or red pimples around areas where you shave. Apply warm, wet washcloths several times a day. Antibiotic cream can be helpful. Remember to launder any washcloths that you use so that you don't spread the bacteria. 
  • Cellulitis: This infection causes red swelling of the skin. It is most common on the legs, but it can occur anywhere. An antibiotic is needed to cure this infection, so see a doctor if it develops. Lyme disease can have similar symptoms to cellulitis, so it's a good idea to have a blood test to rule out other possible causes of the swelling. 

Staph in the bloodstream can cause internal infections, including abcesses, heart infections, bladder infections and pneumonia. Antibiotics are needed to treat these infections.

If you are prescribed an antibiotic to treat a staph infection, be sure to continue using it for the entire time that it is prescribed, even if your symptoms clear up. Staph is very resilient and may come back if prescribed treatments aren't followed.

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