Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a special type of Staph. Both MRSA and staph are serious bacterial infection that may be life-threatening.
MRSA and Staph have similar symptoms but with a laboratory test, you can actually differentiate between staph infections.
A laboratory diagnosis will not just tell if an infection is MRSA or staph, it will also confirm if you are infected or not.
The following are some obvious signs of MRSA and Staph:
- Bumps, small lumps or blisters
- Inflamed Bulges, or tenderness of the skin
- The head of the bumps have a white or yellowish pus
- Common on any part of the body from the face to arms, legs buttocks etc.
General Signs of MRSA and Staph Skin Infections
Here are some common symptoms and signs of MRSA and Staph infections.
Itching: MRSA and Staph are characterized by lumps and rashes that are very itchy. Sometimes you feel as if something is crawling underneath your skin.
The itching is irresistible. As you scratch that part, the lumps reddens and sometimes erupts into deep sores that could lead to secondary infection.
Abscess: one of the major symptoms of MRSA and Staph is the appearance of pus-filled abscesses that are deeply situated underneath the skin.
Most times you notice something like a collection of liquid moving under your skin when you move it with your fingers.
Don’t try to drain the liquid yourself because it could become a deeper infection.
Boil: a boil is a more shallow type of abscess; they are usually close to the epidermis or outer covering of the skin. Boils are also like bumps but they are filled with pus.
In some instances, the boil could be the accumulation of more than one boil thereby forming a large lump known as carbuncle.
Just like abscesses, boils should not be lanced or drained by you; it may lead to more infections. Just consult your doctor.
Cellulitis: cellulitis is another type of deep infection on the skin that is characterized with swelling and pains.
Cellulitis infection arises when the bacteria that causes infection gets into your dermis through a cut on the skin. It is a common infection that occurs on the leg, arms, hand and sometimes on the face.
One peculiarity about this infection is that it enlarges and increases in size as the infection grows. Most times doctors may have to measure it to decide if it is growing or not.
Folliculitis: Folliculitis is deep infection that affects the hair follicle of the skin.
The hair follicle forms a bump that is usually encircled by some portion of inflamed red or pink skin.
The areas that are affected by folliculitis are often characterized by pain and itching.
Impetigo: Impetigo usually affects children more than adults. They are just like bumps and blisters but they are usually yellowish to red in colour and they erupt effortlessly.
Impetigo is commonly found on the face but they could spread to the other parts of the body. The scabs of impetigo are characterized by dried blood serum.
How to Diagnose MRSA or Staph
The above listed symptoms can actually be used to diagnose Staph or MRSA, but it cannot be used as a confirmatory test.
It is a doctor that can confirm if a patient has MRSA or Staph, after a proper test has been done.
These signs can only serve as a guide but it cannot replace the diagnosis by a professional.
If you wish to use the signs and symptoms, it is important you know that MRSA and Staph are usually wrongly diagnosed or mistaken as spider bites.
They have the same signs and symptoms with recluse spider bite.
Site of Staph Infection
Staph and MRSA infection can occur on any part of the body especially, the armpits, groin, feet, face, legs, buttocks and areas that you shave.
Differences between Staph and MRSA Symptoms
MRSA also known as Methicillin-resistant Staphylociccus aureus is a type of staphylococcus aureus bacteria that is resistant to Methicillin antibiotic drugs.
Methicillin antibiotic is a by-product of penicillin family.
MRSA and Staph have many characteristics or symptoms in common. But the major distinguishing factor between them is that MRSA bacteria are resistant to many types of antibiotics that would normally work on general Staph bacteria.
Aside from all the above mentioned signs, it is also possible you have developed MRSA if :
- You have used antibiotics repeatedly within short intervals with no improvement.
- The infection on your skin is spreading rapidly
- You are a carrier of MRSA bacteria on your body or nose.
- There is no positive outcome or improvement after you have taken antibiotics for 3 days.
- You have previously been diagnosed of MRSA infection.
Whatever signs you observe, it is pertinent you visit a Doctor who recommends you for a test. This test confirms the infection, and makes it easier for you to know what to treat.
Advance Cases of MRSA infection
Often times, the infections of Staph and MRSA are majorly restricted to the skin if treated properly and quickly.
Nevertheless, in some advance/severe cases, the infection could spread into your bloodstream and from there affect your internal organs.
At such times, the following signs maybe observe:
- Chills / cold
- Muscle pain
- Inability to breathe properly
- Acute pains
Whenever you observe any or some of these signs or symptom, it is very important you visit a medical doctor as quickly as possible. This is because most of this signs are common with other Staphs or MRSA that affect people internally.
The following are some serious internal Staphs or MRSA
Endocarditis – these are infections peculiar to the heart, it can result to the failure of the heart.
Staphylococcal pneumonia – these are characterized by the formation of abscesses in the lungs
Pneumonia – these are caused by Staph or MRSA infections
Staphylococcal sepsis – this is a serious infection that is in the bloodstream. It spreads round the circulatory system and can lead to the failure of the system and this can result in death.
Osteomyelitis – this is an infection that affects the bones and can cause inflammation.
In conclusion, MRSA and Staph can affect people of any class and age (from children to adults).
These infections are dangerous and highly contagious. In communities that does not have good health care facilities, it spreads rapidly.
So it is important you visit a Doctor as soon as you see any of the symptoms mentioned above for proper check-up and treatment.