What is MRSA?
MRSA is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a potentially dangerous type of staph bacteria that is resistant to certain antibiotics and may cause skin and other infections. As with all regular staph infections, recognizing the signs and receiving treatment for MRSA skin infections in the early stages reduces the chances of the infection becoming severe. MRSA is spread by:
- Having direct contact with another person’s infection
- Sharing personal items, such as towels or razors, that have touched infected skin
- Touching surfaces or items, such as used bandages, contaminated with MRSA
What are the signs and symptoms?
Most staph skin infections, including MRSA, appear as a bump or infected area on the skin that may be:
- Warm to the touch
- Full of pus or other drainage
- Accompanied by a fever
What if I suspect an MRSA skin infection?
Cover the area with a bandage and contact your healthcare professional. It is especially important to contact your healthcare professional if signs and symptoms of an MRSA skin infection are accompanied by a fever.
How are MRSA skin infections treated?
Treatment for MRSA skin infections may include having a healthcare professional drain the infection and, in some cases, prescribe an antibiotic. Do not attempt to drain the infection yourself – doing so could worsen or spread it to others. If you are given an antibiotic, be sure to take all of the doses (even if the infection is getting better), unless your healthcare professional tells you to stop taking it.
How can I protect myself and others from MRSA skin infections?
- Know the signs of MRSA skin infections and get treated early
- Keep cuts and scrapes clean and covered
- Encourage good hygiene such as cleaning hands regularly
- Discourage sharing of personal items such as towels and razors