Staphylococcal Infections

Also called: Staph

Staph is short for Staphylococcus, a type of bacteria. There are over 30 types, but Staphylococcus aureus causes most staph infections (pronounced "staff infections"), including

  • Skin infections
  • Pneumonia
  • Food poisoning
  • Toxic shock syndrome
  • Blood poisoning (bacteremia)

Skin infections are the most common. They can look like pimples or boils. They may be red, swollen and painful, and sometimes have pus or other drainage. They can turn into impetigo, which turns into a crust on the skin, or cellulitis, a swollen, red area of skin that feels hot.

Anyone can get a staph skin infection. You are more likely to get one if you have a cut or scratch, or have contact with a person or surface that has staph bacteria. The best way to prevent staph is to keep hands and wounds clean. Most staph skin infections are easily treated with antibiotics or by draining the infection. Some staph bacteria such as MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) are resistant to certain antibiotics, making infections harder to treat.

Symptoms of Staphylococcal Infections

The following features are indicative of Staphylococcal Infections:
  • fever
  • pain or tenderness in the affected area
  • skin redness or inflammation that gets bigger with the spread of infection
  • skin sore or rash that starts suddenly, and grows quickly in the first 24 hours
  • tight, glossy, or stretched appearance of the skin
  • warm skin in the area of redness
  • joint stiffness from swelling of the tissue over the joint
  • hair loss at the injection site
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • red sores
  • itching
  • blisters
  • ulcers
  • swollen lymph nodes
  • yellowish crusts
  • thin, irregular burrow tracks
  • scaling
  • rapid breathing
  • breathing difficulties
  • general malaise
  • loss of appetite
  • abdominal pain
  • headache
  • chest pain
  • cough
  • blue colouration of the skin around the mouth
It is possible that Staphylococcal Infections shows no physical symptoms and still is present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Staphylococcal Infections

The following are the most common causes of Staphylococcal Infections:
  • Staphylococcus and Streptococcus bacteria
  • methicillin-resistant Staph aureus
  • infection with Sarcoptes scabiei mite
  • dermatophytes
  • molds

Other Causes of Staphylococcal Infections

The following are the less common causes of Staphylococcal Infections:
  • bacterial infections
  • viruses infections
  • fungal infections

Risk Factors for Staphylococcal Infections

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Staphylococcal Infections:
  • children who are 2 years old or younger
  • people who are age 65 or older
  • smoking
  • being hospitalized
  • suffering from chronic disease
  • weakened or suppressed immune system

Prevention of Staphylococcal Infections

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Staphylococcal Infections. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • washing hands daily with soap and water
  • applying a protective ointment or cream on wounds
  • covering wounds with a bandage
  • inspecting your feet daily if you are suffering with diabetes
  • moisturising the skin regularly
  • carefully trim fingernails and toenails in case of diabetes
  • wearing footwear and gloves to protect hands and feet from any injury
  • do not share personal care products
  • avoid touching blisters
  • using antimicrobial soap
  • washing cuts and scrapes properly
  • maintaining hygiene
  • cleaning all clothes and linen properly
  • get vaccinated against the pneumonia
  • avoid smoking
  • do exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet

Occurrence of Staphylococcal Infections

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Staphylococcal Infections cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Staphylococcal Infections can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Staphylococcal Infections can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Staphylococcal Infections

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Staphylococcal Infections:
  • Physical examination: To check redness, swelling, abscess or other skin problems
  • Blood culture test: To check for bacteria in the blood
  • Complete blood count: To count total number of blood cells
  • Biopsy: To diagnose skin diseases or infections
  • Lab bacterial skin sample test: To determine if methicillin-resistant staph aureus is the cause
  • Skin examination: To looking for the signs of mites
  • Chest X-ray: To diagnose pneumonia and determine the extent and location of the infection
  • Pulse oximetry: To measure the oxygen level in your blood
  • Sputum test: To evaluate the cause of the infection
  • Computed tomography scan: To view the detailed image of your lungs
  • Pleural fluid culture: To detect the type of infection

Doctor for Diagnosis of Staphylococcal Infections

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Staphylococcal Infections:
  • General Practitioner
  • Dermatologist
  • Pediatrician
  • Podiatrist
  • Chiropodist
  • General practitioner
  • Primary care doctor
  • Pulmonologist

Complications of Staphylococcal Infections if untreated

Yes, Staphylococcal Infections causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Staphylococcal Infections is left untreated:
  • blood infection
  • bone infection
  • inflammation of the lymph vessels
  • inflammation of the heart
  • meningitis
  • shock
  • tissue death
  • spreading of infection to other body parts
  • kidney inflammation or failure
  • permanent skin damage
  • scarring
  • impetigo
  • large painful fissures may develop
  • thickening and yellowing of the nail can occur
  • jock itch
  • ringworm
  • toenail fungus
  • bacteremia
  • septic shock
  • lung abscesses
  • pleural effusions
  • empyema
  • pleurisy
  • respiratory failure

Procedures for Treatment of Staphylococcal Infections

The following procedures are used to treat Staphylococcal Infections:
  • Oxygen therapy: Raises the level of oxygen in your bloodstream

Self-care for Staphylococcal Infections

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Staphylococcal Infections:
  • Maintain skin hygiene: Use antimicrobial soap and keep skin clean and hygienic
  • Use personal care products: Do not share personal care products with infected person
  • Maintain hand cleanliness: Wash hands thoroughly
  • Keep the skin cool: Minimizes the itching
  • Apply soothing lotion: Calamine lotion relieves the pain and itching of minor skin irritations
  • Change socks regularly: Prevents athlete's foot
  • Don't share shoes: Lowers the risks of spreading fungal infection
  • Avoiding tight-fitting footwear: Prevents athlete's foot and reduce recurrence
  • Avoid walking barefoot in locker rooms or public showers: Helps in prevention of athlete’s foot
  • Stay hydrated: To help loosen mucus in your lungs
  • Get plenty of rest: Makes you feel better
  • Take your medicine as prescribed: Helps you in recovering the infections more quickly

Patient Support for Treatment of Staphylococcal Infections

The following actions may help Staphylococcal Infections patients:
  • Education and information: By knowing about the disease helps in prevention of athlete's foot
  • Join supporting research groups: Provides medical knowledge and care about the disease

Time for Treatment of Staphylococcal Infections

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Staphylococcal Infections to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • In 1 - 4 weeks

Is Staphylococcal Infections Infectious?

Yes, Staphylococcal Infections is known to be infectious. It can spread across people via the following means:
  • contact with infected person
  • contact with infected clothing, bed linen, towel and toys
  • air-borne droplets

Related Topics

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Staphylococcal Infections.

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