Understanding your MRSA Rash. As MRSA often lives on the skin or in the nose it can be carried for some time before it finds an area of vulnerability to infect. Any activity that breaks or bruises the skin can therefore be an entry point for infection. Read on for descriptions of several conditions that can be complicated by MRSA.
MRSA is an antibiotic-resistant infection that is often first noticed as a skin rash. The staph bacteria infect the skin and the first symptom is a general reddening of the skin. The area is often itchy and can then become filled with pus, which creates raised bumps and cysts that have the appearance of pimples. These may burst open, ooze pus and create an open red sore. MRSA rash is however a general term and the infection may well be a complication of the conditions mentioned below.
Cellulitis is a deep infection of the skin and the underlying tissues. The infection penetrates beyond the surface skin and creates the possibility of bloodstream infections such as blood infection (sepsis), bone (osteomyelitis), heart (endocarditis) and tissue death (gangrene).
It is usually noted on the lower legs, face and arms, but can infect other areas. Because the usual symptoms are red, warm and tender skin care is needed as this is a symptom of several other MRSA conditions. Possible indications of cellulitis include:
Redness or inflamation which grows bigger
Red streaks radiating outward from the centre of the wound
Skin sores, bumps, small pimples or rashes
Skin that appears stretched, tight or shiny.
Fever, chills, sweating or shaking
A boil starts in a hair follicle or oil gland. The skin will turn red and a tender lump develops. Often, after four to seven days, pus collecting under the skin gives the area a white appearance. Boils may appear on the face, neck, armpits, shoulders, buttocks or eyelid (sty.) A cluster of boils is a more serious condition called a carbuncle. The mrsa bacteria enter the body through tiny nicks or cuts in the skin or can travel down the hair to the follicle. Seek medical advice if the boil persists or several develop.
An abscess is a pool of pus. This will gather in a cavity formed created by bacteria, parasites, or other materials like splinters or bullets which violate the surface of the skin. As toxic organisms attack this triggers an inflammatory response from the body. Symptoms of an abscess include: heat, redness, swelling, and pain. Prompt medical attention is indicated when an abscess is suspected since the body can rarely heal it on its own.
MRSA folliculitis is being increasingly noted. General staph related folliculitis is usually found in the axillae, bearded area, buttocks, and extremities. MRSA folliculitis has been found in the periumbilical area, chest, flank, and scrotum. Those at increased risk of developing folliculitis include immunocompromised patients as well as individuals with nasal Staphylococcus carriage, hyperhidrosis, skin injury, and pre-existing dermatitis. The small raised bumps often clear without intervention but they can develop into serious conditions. See pictures of the condition here
Impetigo is an infection caused by Group A Streptococcus (GAS) or "strep.". The sores that it provokes can be complicated by MRSA infection. Itchy sores (lesions) start as small red spots, usually on the face around the nose and mouth. These may blister and ooze infectious fluid. A flat honey-colored (yellowish-brown) crust develops that eventually goes. It will leave red marks that heal without leaving a scar. See this picture of
Impetigo on the face from DermAtlas.
Erythema is a term used to describe redness of the skin, caused by an increase of blood supply to the capillaries in the lower layers of the skin. It occurs with skin injurys, infections, or inflammations. It is not an infection but a description of the impact of the infection.
People with hard-to-control eczema may have secondary skin infections. The fragile skin is infected with classic MRSA conditions and may appear red, with honey-colored crusts, pus-filled blisters or a wet and weepy condition. 90% of patients with atopic dermatitis were colonized with the MRSA bacteria in a study noted here
MRSA Carbuncle & Furuncles
A carbuncle is a cluster of multiple infected hair follicles. A furuncle is an infection of a hair follicle and the surrounding tissue. A carbuncle is a densely packed swarm of furuncles. A carbuncle will ly extend into the deeper layers of the skin.It is a broad, red and hot nodule drains pus through multiple openings. The patient will feel ill and may have a fever and fatigue. Carbuncles are often found in areas of thicker skin like the nape of the neck, the back, or the thighs.
They are usually treated with incision and drainage (I&D). This drains the pus away and allows the infection to heal from the inside out.
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