Staph Infection Treatment
When recommending treatment for your staph infection, your healthcare provider will consider the severity of your infection, the strain of bacteria causing it, and other factors. Milder cases may only require warm compresses. In other cases, your healthcare provider may prescribe antibiotics and cut the skin to drain any infected fluid. Don't try to drain the infection on your own -- this could make the situation worse.
After a person has been diagnosed with a staph infection, the recommended treatment will depend on things such as:
- The severity of the infection
- Where the infection is located
- The results of various tests, including which antibiotics may be the most effective
- Existing medical conditions
- The person's age.
The skin is the most common area infected by staph bacteria. For small staph infections, warm compresses may be the only remedy needed. In 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.
In other situations, the staph infection goes deeper into the skin. To treat this problem, 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. Do not try to do this yourself; self-treatment can make things significantly worse.
Antibiotics taken by mouth may also be prescribed in this situation. The type of antibiotic that is used will depend on the specific type of staphylococcal bacteria causing the infection, along with whether it is resistant to certain types of antibiotics.
Some examples of antibiotics that may be recommended to cure a mild-to-moderate staph infection affecting the skin include:
- Sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim (Bactrim®, Bactrim® DS, Septra®, Septra® DS, Sulfatrim®)
- Linezolid (Zyvox®).
After starting an antibiotic, your healthcare provider may want to re-evaluate you in 24 to 48 hours. If the antibiotics do not appear to be working, it could be that the strain of staph is resistant to that specific antibiotic, or the infection is a deeper, more serious infection than was originally thought. In this case, a new antibiotic may be recommended, or you may be admitted to the hospital for treatment with IV antibiotics.