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Staph Skin Infection

Often affecting the skin, "staph" (Staphylococcus) infections frequently appear as a red bump (or cluster of bumps) that is mistaken for a spider bite, pimple, boil, or pustule. The skin may also be warm, painful, and swollen, and pus may or may not be present.
Staph infections of the skin commonly occur at sites of noticeable trauma, such as cuts and abrasions, and areas of the body covered by hair, such as the back of the neck, groin, buttocks, armpits, and beard area of men.
If your healthcare provider suspects that you have a staph infection, he or she will perform a physical exam and may order certain tests to confirm the diagnosis. These tests involve obtaining a sample from the infection site and sending it to a laboratory for testing. It usually takes about 48 to 72 hours for the results to come back, although newer tests that provide quicker results are becoming more widely available.
Warm compresses may be the only remedy required for a minor staph infection of the skin. In some cases, antibiotics are recommended. A healthcare provider may also drain the infected area to help it heal more quickly. More serious infections can require hospitalization and intravenous (IV) administration of antibiotics.
(To learn more about staph infections and their effects on the skin, click Staph Infection Symptoms and Signs, Staph Infection Diagnosis, or Staph Infection Treatment.)
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