Staph Infection symptoms and diagnosis
July 01, 2021 | Farah Jassawalla

Staph Infection symptoms and diagnosis

Staph infections are caused by staphylococcus bacteria. It is commonly found on the skin or inside the nose of even healthy individuals. Most of the time, these bacteria cause no problems or sometimes end in relatively minor skin infections. However, staph infections turn deadly if the bacteria gets deeper into your body, entering the bloodstream, joints, bones, lungs or heart.

Prevalence and spread of Staphylococci

Over 30 various kinds of staphylococci infect humans, but most infections are caused by staphylococcus aureus. It’s usually found within the nose. Around 25% to 30% of healthy adults and 25% of hospital medical workers are infected by it.

Staph bacteria spread to others by:

      Close skin contact with other individuals who have already been exposed to a staph infection.

      Sharing of assorted personal things, for instance, towels, toothbrushes, clothes, etc.

      Air droplets while coughing and sneezing.


To diagnose a staph infection, a doctor has to:

      Perform a physical exam: During the exam, your doctor will closely examine the skin lesions you have.

      Collect a sample for testing of staphylococcal: Doctors diagnose staph infections by checking a tissue sample or nasal secretions, which are sampled for diagnosis, to test for signs of the bacteria.

      Conduct various tests: If you're diagnosed with a staph infection, the doctor may order a test called an echocardiogram to check whether the infection has affected your heart or not.

What are the symptoms of staph infection?

Skin infections:

Skin infections caused by staph bacteria include:

      Boils: The foremost common kind of staph infection is the boil, a pocket of pus that gets developed in the hair follicle or exocrine gland. The infected skin becomes swollen and red. If a boil opens, it will probably drain pus. It often occurs under the arms or around the groin or buttocks.

      Impetigo: It’s a contagious, often painful rash. It always features large blisters that may ooze fluid and develop a honey-colored crust.

      Cellulitis: It’s an infection of the deeper layers of skin and causes skin redness and swelling. Sores or areas of oozing discharge also develop.

      Staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome: Various toxins are produced after staphylococcal infection which can lead to Staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome. This condition is characterized by fever, rash, and blisters. When the blisters break, the uppermost layer of skin comes off and leaves a red, raw surface that looks like a burn.

Toxic shock syndrome:

This life-threatening condition results from toxins produced by some strains of staph bacteria and has been linked to tampons, skin wounds and surgery. It often appears with:

      A high fever

      Nausea and vomiting

      A rash on your palms and soles that resembles a sunburn


      Muscle aches


      Stomach pain

Septic arthritis:

Septic arthritis is commonly caused by a staph infection. It results in:

      Joint swelling

      Severe pain within the affected joint


Food poisoning:

Staph bacteria cause food poisoning. Some of the symptoms are:

      Nausea and vomiting



      Low blood pressure

What is the treatment of Staph infection?


Antibiotics commonly prescribed to treat staph infections include certain cephalosporins, such as cefazolin. Other antibiotics include nafcillin, oxacillin, vancomycin, clindamycin, and linezolid. Get your medications from Shifa4U online along with medical help.

Wound drain:

In case of skin infection, the doctor may perform an incision to empty all the fluid that has been accumulated at the site of the wound.

Device removal:

If the infection involves a tool or prosthetic, it is removed via surgery.

How can a Staph infection be prevented?

You can prevent staph infection by:

      Washing your hands.

      Keeping personal items with yourself.

      Keeping your wounds covered.

      Keeping yourself clean.

Farah Jassawalla

Farah Jassawalla is a graduate of the Lahore School of Economics. She is also a writer, and healthcare enthusiast, having closely observed case studies while working with Lahore's thriving general physicians at their clinics.