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A staph infection is caused by bacteria known as staphylococcus. There are different causes, ranging from direct infection to staph bacteria residue. Once you're infected, symptoms develop over time and include boils, abscesses, and areas of swollen and irritated skin. Staph infections are treated with topical, oral, or intravenous antibiotics, depending on what kind of infection you have. Home treatment can also help, but more severe cases need medical intervention.

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Contact With Infected Individuals

The easiest way to become infected by staph bacteria is to touch someone who already has it. Staph bacteria are highly resistant and can survive even the harshest environments, including hot, cold, and saline surroundings. You can find staph bacteria on household surfaces, eating utensils and clothing. So, contact doesn't have to be skin to skin.

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Infected Wounds

An infected wound is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria to develop. That's why it's vital to clean and sanitize any injuries as soon as possible; this keeps infection risk low. Skin conditions such as cellulitis indicate the presence of staph bacteria. Cellulitis is characterized by swelling and redness of the skin and should be reported to your dermatologist.

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Weakened Immune System

People who undergo treatments for conditions such as cancer or diabetes may suffer from a range of complications, including a weakened immune system. If you can't respond to infections, invading bacteria will find their way into your body more easily. If you don't eat a healthy diet, you have a higher chance of getting a staph infection. So, make sure that you are getting plenty of vitamins and minerals to support a healthy immune system.

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Unwashed Towels

Couples, intimate friends, and family members sometimes share towels. However, this is risky and a great way to spread infection. Staph infection can easily cling to towels, clothes, and bedding. When you wipe your skin with someone else's towel, you help bacteria spread, enter the dry or cracked skin, and begin to cause trouble.

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Contact With Infected Surfaces

You can contract a staph infection by touching surfaces that contain harmful bacteria. Luckily, most places are clean and free from staph-causing bacteria, but sometimes the risk of an outbreak increases. Staph bacteria are known for resilience; they can linger on surfaces for extended periods, even when disinfectant is used. You can carry staph bacteria for an extended period without showing any signs of infection. If enough bacteria are present, symptoms including redness and swelling of the skin develop over time.

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Infected Hair Follicles

Believe it or not, your scalp may be harboring staph-causing bacteria such as S. aureus. This type of bacteria can infect the skin of the head and nearby locations, including the hair follicles. This sometimes leads to a skin infection that leads to a variety of symptoms. While most cases are limited in extent, others may cause further complications that warrant medical examination. The infection can spread far from the original point.

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Openings in the Skin

An opening in the skin is a leading cause of staph infection. If you get a cut the size of a paper cut, the bacteria can enter the skin through the opening. You'll notice signs such as red, painful skin with pus, a liquid discharge. Further, the skin may not heal quickly, and recuperation can take longer than normal.

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Infected Droplets

If you breathe in infected droplets that contain staph bacteria, then you may become infected. Luckily, this risk is quite small. In fact, each day people breathe in millions of droplets of air containing a range of foreign substances. Some of it is filtered by the nose, and others are destroyed by the body. If you become infected, you should know that staph infection is easy to treat and usually goes away on its own.

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Infection After Surgery

Surprisingly, up to 25 percent of all people carry staph in different parts of the body, including the mouth and foot. Fortunately, most people don't develop symptoms. An unusual way that you can become infected by staph bacteria is during surgery. That's because medical instruments can insert bacteria into the body.

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Objects in the Skin

Small metallic, glass or wooden objects stuck in the skin can cause staph infections. Many people have gone through the highly unpleasant experience of having a splinter of wood under the skin of your finger. In most cases, it causes pain but no actual infection. However, in some cases, more severe symptoms may develop that indicate a staph infection. Make sure to sanitize any areas that become injured or wounded.

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Disclaimer

This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.