In staph infection treatment, a doctor will likely drain the wound and administer oral and topical antibiotics. A staph infection is a bacterial infection caused by staphylococcus, and needs to be treated quickly, because if the bacteria enters the patient's bloodstream, it can be a life-threatening condition. Patients can help accelerate the healing process by applying warm compresses and keeping the area clean.
If any of the possible symptoms of an infection are noticed, patients should see their doctors immediately to begin a staph treatment plan. These symptoms can include areas of swelling and redness, as well as sores that may ooze pus. Some patients may notice large, crusted blisters or swollen boils. Staphylococcus scalded skin syndrome is a rash that has the appearance of raw, burned skin. If the patient also has a fever, it is possible that the bacteria is in his bloodstream.
After testing a sample of tissue to confirm the diagnosis, the doctor may lance the boil or wound to drain the pus. He may also run additional laboratory tests before prescribing an antibiotic. Certain antibiotics work more effectively against different strains of staph bacteria. If the patient has an antibiotic-resistant strain of staph, he may need to receive vancomycin intravenously due to the fact that the drug is not effective against staph when it is taken orally.
Other types of medications used for staph infection treatment include sulfa drugs, or sulfonamides. These are antimicrobial agents that work by preventing the bacteria from producing key nutrients it needs to survive. Cephalosporins are another type of drug that may be used for staph treatment. These medicines may be taken orally or via an injection. Nafcillin, another common staph infection drug, may also be administered with an injection.
Lifestyle remedies may also be helpful for staph infection treatment. Patients can apply a damp, warm compress to the wound several times daily, provided they use a clean washcloth for each use. This method, along with soaking the wound in warm water, can help drain pus and alleviate discomfort. They may also apply antibiotic ointment and clean dressings, as directed by a doctor.
Occasionally, staph treatment may involve surgery. Patients with infections that penetrate deep into the muscles may need to undergo surgical cleaning. Those who have a prosthetic device, such as an artificial knee, will need to have that device removed if it becomes infected with staph.
Many strains of staph infection, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), have become resistant to many of the drugs used to treat patients. Prevention is a key component in staph infection treatment — by regularly cleansing and covering cuts and wounds, a patient can help prevent these infections and reduce the need for antibiotics.