In the office, as well as in ER’s around the country…this is becoming a familiar site. It’s not a Spider Bite which is what people commonly think. If you call me and tell me you have a Spider Bite, I’ll bet my stethoscope you have what is known as a MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staph Aureus) Infection. Some know it as the Superbug. What all this means is that this infection is resistant to several antibiotics. At it’s worse…it will kill.
So…what is Staph/MRSA?
It’s a bacteria and can cause skin infections that looks like pimple or boils. People often confuse them with spider bites. These sores can be red, swollen, painful and may have pus or other drainage. Staph infections that are resistant to antibiotics are called MRSA.
Who gets MRSA?
Anyone can get a Staph infections. However, you are more likely to get an infection if you have:
- Skin to Skin contact with someone who has a staph infection
- Contact with items and surfaces that have Staph on them (yes, it can live on surfaces for a while)
- Openings in your skin such as cuts or scrapes
- Crowded living conditions
- Poor hygiene.
Is MRSA serious?
It can be. While these infections often start off small, they can grow and enter your bloodstream, your lungs or surgical sites. If you are concerned about a sore on your body, you should see your health care provider.
How is MRSA treated?
Most likely it will include taking an antibiotic that has shown to be effective, as well as having the abscess lanced (or drained). If you are given antibiotics, it is essential you take all doses – even if you feel you are cured. Don’t save antibiotics or share with others (this is a major contributing factor to MRSA).
How do I keep MRSA from spreading and protect myself?
- Wash your hands often or use an alcohol based sanitizer
- Keep your cuts and scrapes clean and cover them with bandages
- Do not touch other people’s cuts or bandages
- Do not share personal items like towels or razors.
Remember, if you have a sore that seems to be getting worse and is not healing…see your health care provider. Especially if it seems to be a spider bite.