Symptoms of MRSA and Staph
Most MRSA symptoms are identical to traditional Staph symptoms because MRSA is simply a type of Staph bacteria. These infections are also commonly mistaken for spider bites. This makes proper diagnosis very important so you get the correct medical attention as soon as possible.
Common Staph Infection Symptoms
Only a professional test can confirm if you have a MRSA infection or Staph. So use this page as a helpful guide, not as a substitute for testing with the help of your doctor.
The most common visible signs of MRSA are: bumps, pimple-like lumps, or blisters on the skin (these are also the signs of a Staph aureus infection in general). Lumps on the skin are often accompanied by swelling and reddening of the surrounding skin area. The center of the lump often has a white or yellow pus filled head, which sometimes drains on its own.
Does Staph infection itch? Staph is often very itchy and lumps can be tender and warm to the touch. Lumps can sometimes become deep sores with increasing pain and swelling if left unchecked. The color of the surrounding skin area is often red to purple and may begin to spread as the infection progresses.
MRSA and Staph are often diagnosed as causing one of the following conditions:
- Boils – Also called furuncles, boils are bumps with a pus filled head. If boils enlarge and grow together, they can form a multi-headed lump called a carbuncle. It is important that you do not try to lance or drain these on your own. Larger open boils are sometimes called carbuncles.
- Folliculitis – Similar to boils, Folliculitis is the deep infection of a hair follicle, usually less than a quarter inch in diameter, often surrounded by an area of inflamed red or pink skin.
- Impetigo – Crusty oozing bumps, blisters or lesions, usually yellow to red in color, that break open easily. Impetigo is common on the face and can spread easily to other parts of the body.
- Abscess – Pus filled cavities under the skin that rarely have a head or drain on their own. You can sometimes feel the fluid inside of an abscess if you press on it with your fingers. It is important that you do not try to lance or drain these on your own.
- Cellulitis – Deeper more serious infection with significant swelling, tenderness, deeper red color and increasing size. Sometimes red streaks may radiate out from the center. Bumps and blisters may or may not be present with cellulitis.
- Furunculosis – Hair follicles that become infected deeper in the tissues, with swelling and red skin (also called boils).
- See more pictures of different types of Staph and MRSA at our pictures page. CAUTION: some of the images are graphic.
Staph versus MRSA symptoms
Because MRSA is a specific type of Staph bacteria, both infections share many of the same signs or characteristics. However, MRSA superbug infections differ from traditional Staph infection in that MRSA bacteria have learned to adapt to most common antibiotics, making them more virulent.
If you have the following indicators in addition to the signs of Staph listed above, you may have MRSA:
- Minimal or no improvement after taking antibiotics for 2 to 3 days.
- Rapid spreading of your infection
- A prior history of MRSA infections
These infections can show up anyplace on your body but are more common in the following specific areas:
- Areas of clothing friction and irritation, such as the legs, buttocks and shaving areas
- Sweaty areas like armpits, neck, face, groin and feet
- Deeper infections like cellulitis are most common on the arms, hands, lower legs and face.
More serious symptoms of a MRSA infection
Most infections caused by MRSA and Staph are limited to the skin. However, Staph can also enter your bloodstream and spread to internal organs. More severe indicators of internal infection include:
- Weakness or fatigue
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle aches
- Acute pain
If you show signs of a skin infection and have any of the above symptoms, consider seeing a doctor as soon as possible. The following serious conditions can occur with internal Staph or MRSA:
- Staphylococcal pneumonia – Abscess formation in the lungs. An underlying lung disease is the usual precursor.
- Endocarditis – Infection of the heart valves that can lead to heart failure.
- Osteomyelitis – Infection of the bones that causes severe inflammation.
- Staphylococcal sepsis – A widespread infection in the bloodstream that can lead to shock, circulatory collapse and death. People with large areas of severe burns are particularly susceptible.
Other signs and indicators
Other signs of MRSA or Staph are not directly related to the Staph bacteria themselves, but to the toxins that the bacteria produce. These toxins, called enterotoxins, are waste products that the bacteria make while they are alive. Enterotoxins can also be parts of the bacterial cell walls that shed after the bacteria are dead.
Enterotoxins are not transmitted from person to person, so the conditions they cause are not contagious. Also, you can be exposed to enterotoxins from bacteria that are already dead. That means that the enterotoxins alone can cause illness without you ever getting an infection. Exposure to bacterial enterotoxins can cause the following conditions:
- Food Poisoning – A condition in the bowels usually caused by eating foods that are contaminated with Staph enterotoxins. Nausea, vomiting, dehydration and diarrhea usually begin within several hours of eating contaminated food and typically resolve on their own within 3 days.
- Toxic Shock Syndrome – This condition is usually associated with menstruating women who use tampons. Fever, diarrhea, vomiting, and muscle aches can lead to low blood pressure, shock and potentially death. A sunburn-like rash may also be present.
If you think you are infected, consider visiting with your doctor or an infectious disease specialist (an I.D. doctor) to get a bacterial culture test to confirm what is causing your condition.
How to Win the Infection Battle
MRSA and Staph are serious and potentially life-threatening infections. Antibiotics and conventional medicine often fail against these superbugs. Fortunately, there are powerful natural and alternative remedies for handling these infections.
The MRSA Secrets Revealed Program contains Michelle’s 3-Step Infection-Free Method™, a complete how-to guide to naturally stop these infections. It includes the strongest remedies for skin, internal, nose and other types of infection. The program also includes ways you can protect yourself and your family in hospitals and in the community.
Get started now by clicking the button below.