A Staph infection can be tricky to spot because it can look similar to acne. The difference lies in that Staph quickly becomes incredibly inflamed and there isn’t an obvious border where one lesion ends and another begins.
It’s important to know that the Staphylococci bacteria lives on the skin of 20 to 30% of healthy adults but only affects a small percentage of the population. It usually only causes infections and disease if the immune system is compromised (HIV or diabetes) or if there is a cut or abrasion on the skin and the person is a carrier of the harmful strains of this bacteria.
It can be a scary thing to deal with, but it can be dealt with. It can occur more frequently for people who shave a lot and accidentally nick the skin. Also for people who workout, particularly if the workout is in a martial art where skin is rubbing against mats or against other people’s skin, where it can be transferred easily. Showering after any workout is also a must.
As mentioned above, Staph bacteria is typically harmless. Most people live with it on their skin in some form or another and it never bothers them. There are over 30 different strains and only a couple of them are dangerous. So how do you spot it?
It usually looks like a boil or a giant pimple. It can also look like a rash and is quite painful. If it becomes hot to the touch and spreads rapidly, it could be infected with the dangerous strain of Staph bacteria so it’s worth it to get a second opinion. It’s also worthwhile to note that this bacteria lives mostly on the skin and inside the nasal passages, as they are more sensitive areas.
If you think you may have a Staph infection, you will want to speak to a doctor on this issue. Many times, they will recommend an oral antibiotic which should help immediately with the infection. They may also suggest that you are hyper diligent with your hygiene and keep your bedding and clothes as clean as possible. Depending on how bad the infection is, the doctor may also see about getting you an IV drip for supportive care.
Getting this checked out early is of the utmost importance because if the most virulent strains of Staph infect the blood somehow (via cuts or food poisoning), symptoms will be more severe and require immediate medical attention. For these reasons, never extract or squeeze pimples or boils as they can become infected with the Staph bacteria and it will spread rapidly. The more critical symptoms include but are not limited to; fever, chills, pain in the abdomen or on the skin, blisters, impetigo, redness, diarrhea, nausea, and swollen sores that ooze pus.
This bacteria is no joke! Getting help if you think you may have a Staph infection is crucial to long term health. However, they can also be recurrent, meaning once you stop taking antibiotics, it could come back. So catching it early and taking the proper precautions to avoid future infection is very important.
It is imperative to talk to your doctor about this condition if you have these symptoms or have a boil or rash that just won’t go away. It could literally save your life.
Here at Skintherapy, we are Master Estheticians. We are not doctors and we cannot treat Staph infections in our clinic. However, if you come to an appointment and we feel like your acne may be coupled with suspicious infected lesions we will make a doctor referral for you prior to working on your acne. Give us a call at 801-800-6602 or visit our website to book at appointment to treat your acne.