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Managing and Avoiding Staph Infections

Treatment Options

The recommended treatment for a staph infection will depend on things such as:
  • The severity of the infection
  • Where the infection is
  • The results of various tests (including which antibiotics may be the most effective)
  • Existing medical conditions
  • The person's age.
For small staph infections affecting the skin, warm compresses may be the only treatment needed. With mild cases of impetigo (a bacterial infection that causes sores or blisters on the face or other parts of the body), a healthcare provider may prescribe an antibiotic that is applied to the skin.
For mild-to-moderate skin infections, a healthcare provider may insert a needle to remove some of the infected fluid or make a cut on the skin to drain the infection. This can help the tissue heal more quickly. It is very important that you not try to do this yourself; self-treatment can make things a lot worse. Antibiotics may also be prescribed.
Treatment for serious staph infections may require hospitalization and IV antibiotics.
(Click Staph Infection Treatment to learn more, including considerations to be aware of while undergoing treatment.)

Preventing a Staph Infection

The following are some strategies that can help prevent a Staphylococcus infection:
  • Keep your hands clean by washing thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Always shower promptly after exercising.
  • Avoid contact with other people's wounds or bandages.
  • Keep cuts and scrapes clean and covered with a bandage until healed.
  • Avoid sharing personal items, such as towels, washcloths, razors, clothes, or uniforms.
  • Wash soiled sheets, towels, and clothes with water and laundry detergent. Use bleach and hot water if possible.
  • Dry clothes in a hot dryer rather than air-drying (this helps kill bacteria in clothes).
(Click Staph Infection Prevention to learn more.)

Staphylococcus Infection

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