Staph infection is caused by a type of bacteria. When an area on your skin is infected it may look like a pimple or boil. Your infected area may also be red, swollen, painful, or have pus or other drainage.
Anyone can get a Staph infection. You are more likely to get infected if you have:
- crowded living conditions
- openings in their skin such as cuts or scrapes
- contact with items and surfaces that have Staph on them
- skin-to-skin contact with someone who has a Staph infection
Most Staph skin infections are minor and may be easily treated.
However, Staph may cause more serious infections, such as infections of the bloodstream, surgical sites, or pneumonia. Sometimes, a Staph infection that starts as a skin infection may worsen.
To keep a staph infection from spreading:
- do not touch other people’s cuts or bandages
- do not share personal items like towels or razors
- wash your hands often or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- keep your cuts and scrapes clean and cover them with bandages
If your infection does not get better contact your doctor for more aggressive treatment. This treatment may include taking an antibiotic or having a doctor drain the infection.