Staphylococcal Infection Treatment

Staphylococcus, commonly known as “staph,” is a group of bacteria that live in the nose and on the skin of 20 to 30 percent of adults. Most of the time, they cause no harm, but they can cause infection if injury occurs and the body’s normal protective barriers break down. Staph infections are usually mild, but they can be serious, even deadly. The most common form of staph infection.

Minor Skin Infections

Skin infections are generally treated with antibiotic ointments or oral antibiotics, which will begin to relieve symptoms in one to two days and rid the body of the infection in one week. Even if you begin to feel better in the middle of the antibiotic course, it is imperative that you finish the entire prescription to ensure that the infection will not return. Incomplete antibiotic courses can also lead to the creation of antibiotic staphylococcus strains, such as MRSA. Different strains of staph respond to different antibiotics, so the infection will undergo culture tests in a laboratory before treatment is administered. If the infection has caused abscesses, surgery may be required to drain them.

Open Wounds

When an unhealed cut becomes infected with staphylococcus, in addition to taking a doctor-prescribed course of antibiotics, clean the wound with salt water and soap. To relieve discomfort, submerse the affected area in warm water or apply a warm, wet compress, heating pad or hot water bottle three or four times a day for twenty minutes. If boils accompany the infection, the water will help drain them of pus. Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen to relieve pain or fever.

Closed Wounds

After seeking professional medical care and following the recommendations for antibiotics, apply a heating pad to the closed wound three times a day to increase the effectiveness of the antibiotics in the infected area. Keep any wounds that have been surgically drained and sutured away from water, and do not clean within twenty-four hours of the surgery.


Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is a “superbug” that is resistant to treatment with methicillin-class antibiotics, which includes penicillin, amoxicillin and oxacillin. To determine which specific bacteria are causing the infection, your doctor may order cultures of your blood, urine, skin, sputum or urine, or of the fluid draining from the infected area. Minor MRSA infections may be cured simply through draining the accompanying sores on the skin, a procedure that can be done in a doctor’s office. More serious MRSA infections may be treated with antibiotics including clindamycin, linezolid, tetracycline, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole or vancomycin. If a serious infection progresses, it could lead to hospital admission for intravenous hydration and medication or kidney dialysis.