Staph infection is a bacterial infection caused by Staphylococcus. About 25 percent of people carry normal levels of this bacteria in the nose, mouth, genital area and anal area. The foot can also pick up this form of bacteria from the floor. If you have a cut in the skin, it can get infected with bacteria.
There are various types of staph infections. Some can be simple boils, some are resistant to antibiotics, and others are so severe, your skin can be severely affected. The difference among these types lie in the infection strength and depth, its ability to spread quickly and its resistance to antibiotics. With overuse of antibiotics, antibiotic-resistance infections have become common.
A common type of staph infection is cellulitis. It involves infection of the deeper layers of the skin. The good news is, it can be treated with antibiotics. People who have weakened immune systems due to medical conditions like diabetes are at greater risk of cellulitis.
Signs and symptoms of staph cellulitis are tender, swollen and red areas in a part of the skin. It can also begin with an open sore or any other form of skin breakdown. Pain, fever, chills and sweats are other signs that one is afflicted with this infection.
Another good news that you'd like to hear is that this infection can be prevented. When you have a cut on the skin or a skin breakdown, it's important that you wash it right away with soap and water. Keep the cut clean and dry. Apply antiseptic ointment and cover it to prevent bacterial infection.
If the wound is weeping or draining, staph infection becomes contagious. Be sure to stay away from any open wound. Touching another person's open wound makes you at risk of staph infection. You also need to avoid sharing towels or other personal items with people. Sharing razors, combs and other items is a major no-no. You never know who's contaminated. It's better to err on the safe side and make use of your own personal belongings.
See to it too that you always wear a foot covering in areas used by other people such as the locker room and shower room in gyms. This prevents contamination with staph bacteria. Good hygiene is another effective preventive measure. Make it a habit to wash your hands all the time. If you come in close contact with people, wash your hands every time you do so especially before eating and after shaking another person's hand.
Finally, be sure to drink eight to 10 glass of water a day. Drinking plenty of fluids can help flush out bacteria from the body. This will not only lower your risk for staph infection but improve your overall health as well.