Skin Infections – Boils And Impetigo
(Common Staph Infection Symptoms)
What Causes Boils?
A boil is a common skin infection usually caused by Staphylococcus aureus bacteria (golden staph) – A bacteria which can be found on the skin, in the hair, and in the nose and throat of most people, where it remains harmless until it is able to enter the body through a wound to the skin, or via the respiratory tract. Once golden staph has entered the body it can cause a wide range of mild to severe infections. One of these infections is a boil, which is a tender, swollen wound full of puss.
Staphylococcus Aureus Bacteria
Symptoms Of Boils
When a boil is forming it is a firm, reddish, painful lump on the skin. Over a few days the boil will soften, develop a pocket of puss at the top and become more painful.
Signs Of Severe Infection:
- Skin surrounding the boil becomes warm, red, swollen and painful
- The boil may spread with new boils coming up around the original infection
- A fever may be present
- You may have swollen Lymph nodes
How To Get Rid Of A Boil – Home Remedies
- Apply a hot compress to reduce the pain and draw the pus to the surface. After repeated hot compress applications the boil will burst (may take up to ten days)
- After the boil has burst wash it with an anti-bacterial soap until the puss is gone and then clean the wound with rubbing alcohol
- Apply a topical antibiotic and wrap it in a clean bandage
- Continue to wash the area two or three times a day and keep using a hot compress until the boil is completely healed
- Do not pop the boil or squeeze the puss out. This can spread the infection
Home treatments will cure most boils, if the boil looks like it is becoming infected once again, becomes red and sore, or you have any concerns about the infection at all, see your doctor. They can give you a definitive diagnosis and an appropriate treatment plan.
What Is Impetigo?
Impetigo, also known as school sores (because it is common in school aged children) is another form of skin infection which can be caused by the staphylococcus aureus bacteria, or group A streptococcus entering the body.
Symptoms Of Impetigo
Impetigo generally shows on the face but can develop on the arms and legs as well. It starts as a small cluster of blisters that burst leaving an open, red, moist area which weeps fluid. After a few days a brownish, golden crust forms over the wound.
How Can You Catch Impetigo?
- The most common way of getting impetigo is through direct contact with another infected person. Especially if you have open wounds
- Sharing clothes, linen, towels or grooming items such as hair brushes etc from an infected person
How To Get Rid Of Impetigo
The most effective way to treat/prevent impetigo is to have good personal hygiene and a clean, sanitary environment.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water. If a family member contracts impetigo it is important that the whole family practice good personal hygiene to control the infection and stop it spreading
If the infection does not clear up, or you have any concerns at all see your doctor, you may need some prescription medication such as antibiotics.
How To Stop The Spread Of Skin Infections In General
Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and running water for 15 seconds before and/or after:
- Dressing or touching an infected area
- Handling or eating food
- Using the toilet
- Blowing your nose
- Touching unwashed clothing or linen
Health Issues Which an Increase The Risk Of Getting Skin Infections:
- Poor hygiene
- Poor nutrition
- Immune system problems
- Exposure to chemicals which can irritate the skin