Staph (pronounced "staff") is short for the staphylococcus
This little bacterium is very common (it lives on your
skin), but when it enters your body through an cut or during
surgery, it can cause an infection. Staph infections produce
pus. Skin infections from staphylococcus include:
- Folliculitis: Staph infections of hair follicles cause
itchy, white, pus-filled bumps on your skin (often where people
shave or have irritations from skin rubbing against clothes)
- Boils: Infections deeper within hair follicles that
leave large, frequently red inflammations (often occur on the
face or neck)
- Sties: Infection of the follicle surrounding the eyelashes,
causing a sore red bump in the eyelid
- Impetigo: The infection kids often get around their
mouths and noses that causes blisters and red scabby skin
- Abscesses: Infection characterized by pus and swelling
that can occur in the skin and in any other organ.
Staph infection is also the leading cause of food poisoning,
can be to blame for larger life threatening conditions, such as
Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), pneumonia, bone infections (osteomyelitis),
mastitis in nursing mothers, endocarditis (infection of the inside
of the heart), and bacteremia (blood infection). Healthy people
usually don't become severely ill from staph infections, but those
at special risk, who have weakened immune systems, include:
Health care professionals can determine that it's a staph infection
by taking a culture (a swab with a giant Q-tip) from the infected
site. Once staph is diagnosed, your provider prescribes antibiotics
that kill that specific bacterial strain.
Hospitals are trying to stop staph infections, because most hospital
patients are at risk, and because drug-resistant strains of staph
(versions of the bacteria not vulnerable to the antibiotics used
to treat staph infections) are becoming more common. People with
resistant staph infections may require hospitalization to receive
antibiotics through an IV or by injection.
As far as we know, however, bacteria do not develop resistance
to the complex natural antibiotics in herbs.
For more on natural antibiotics and antivirals, click here.
Preventative measures include careful treatment of all skin conditions,
including wound care after trauma or surgery, IV drug users taking
precautions when injecting, and people with special risk factors
being attentive to early symptoms of staph.
More info about staph infections: