What Causes Staph Infection?

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What causes staph infection? There is one main staph infection cause but there are also a few other reasons why a person may develop a skin infection known as Staph. Listed below you will find several causes with some brief explanations.

The Staph Bacteria

By far the main staph skin infection cause is bacteria. There are several different bacteria species that may be involved. It has been stated that there are in excess of thirty different bacteria that may cause a staph infection of one sort or another. However, the Staphylococcus aureus bacterium is responsible for causing most of the staph infection problems that people will experience.

Staph is Contagious

When individuals think about what causes staph infection, it is important to realize staph infections are contagious. They can be spread from an infected individual to a healthy individual via skin-to-skin contact with the infected area. Therefore, environments where a lot of people are in contact with each other such as hospitals and senior homes are areas where staph infections may be more prevalent. Contact sports can also be a staph cause. An individual can spread the infection to other areas of their own body by touching the infected area and then a healthy skin area. Sharing or contacting contaminated items are staph causes as well. Examples are bedding, clothing, sports equipment, or towels.

An Individual's Health is a Factor

When examining the question what causes staph infection, it is important to look at the health of the individual. People with weaker immune systems due to age, pre-existing illnesses, or because they are undergoing treatments that make them weak are vulnerable.

Skin Damage

The presence of bacteria is not the only cause of a staph problem. In many cases, the bacteria are already present on the skin and various other parts of the body and do not lead to an infection. A staph infection occurs when the bacteria invade a wound and the body cannot fight off the bacteria. Skin problems such as eczema, skin burns, cuts, scrapes, puncture wounds, and surgical incisions all contribute to the staph problem. The damaged skin area does not have to be large. In fact, even a pin hole size puncture can be a staph cause and lead to a staph infection.

What Causes Staph Infection - Antibiotic Use

Recent antibiotic use by an individual, people on dialysis or on catheters or feeding tubes, have also been recognized as possible staph infection causes.

Staph Infection Prevention Tips

In addition to the question what causes staph infection, it is important to focus on staph infection prevention tips. A staph infection in the blood and a staph infection in general can be prevented by following a few basic staph infection prevention tips.

The first staph prevention tip is to keep rashes, skin wounds, scraps, cuts, or skin punctures clean. This can be achieved by washing the injured area with soap and water immediately and then using a sterile bandage or dressing to prevent bacteria from having access to the damaged skin area. Antiseptic ointments or antibiotic ointments can also be used. Keep an eye on the damaged skin area. If the area around the wound becomes inflamed, red, painful, and starts oozing pus, this could be the onset of a staph infection. A visit to a physician should be considered. The appearance of red lines stemming from the injured area is a common sign of the staph infection spreading and medical attention is a must at this point.

Another way to prevent a staph infection in the blood and minor staph infections is to avoid sharing towels, bedding, clothing, and other items. This is a good general rule to follow for any situation, but it is especially a concern if the sharing is with a person that has a staph infection. Wash contaminated items with hot water and use a disinfectant or bleach where possible. In common areas such as gym showers, locker rooms, swimming pools, etc., it is advisable to not walk around with bare feet and therefore, some sort of footwear should be worn.

Avoid skin-to-skin contact with anyone that has a staph infection or suspected of having one.

If you have an infection, keep the infected area covered and avoid touching the infected area and then other parts of the body because this may spread the staph skin problem.

Protect the affected skin area and do not get involved in activities that may lead to contamination of the wound or broken skin area.

Good personal hygiene, which includes washing hands when necessary and bathing regularly are also recommended especially after athletic activities. Use of alcohol based hand sanitizer may help as well.

Finally, follow the staph infection treatment regime to completion and as directed by the physician. This will ensure that the infection will be cured, will not spread, and will not develop into a more serious health problem.

Other staph infection resources:

staph | symptoms and diagnosis | prevention | treatments 

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