With the cases of CA-MRSA increasing, everyone is looking at bumps and rashes on their skin a little differently. No longer is it just workers and caregivers in high population facilities that are being trained on how to recognize a MRSA infection, everyone needs to know. The faster this infection is recognized, diagnosed, and treated, the more successful the treatment will be.
Once a person is diagnosed they can take precautions to avoid the spread of the bacteria to others. Recognizing it is the first step to having it diagnosed properly.
Signs and Symptoms
A MRSA rash will look like other rashes or bug bites at first, but a rash caused by this infection will rapidly get worse and spread. The only way to positively diagnose that a rash was caused by this bacteria is to have a healthcare professional test for it. Doing a culture or testing blood will identify the bacterium that is causing the infection. Once this is done, treatment can begin if needed. Signs and symptoms of a rash caused by MRSA include the following:
- Painful swollen site
- Pus filled bumps
- Warm to the touch
- Streaks that radiate from rash site
- Flu-like symptoms
This rash may start out looking like a bug bite or it may develop around a break in the skin (cut, puncture, abrasion, scrape, etc.) where the bacteria were able to enter. Once diagnosed, the rash will need to be treated and steps taken to prevent the spread of the bacteria – Additional MRSA Symptoms.
Preventing the Spread
One of the best ways to prevent the spread of MRSA is by hand washing with soap and water. Alcohol based sanitizers are better than anti-bacteria products that may only kill weak bacteria and allow the stronger bacteria to flourish, reproduce, and possibly mutate to resistant strains. Other ways to prevent the spread include the following:
- Keep the infected area covered
- Don’t allow direct contact with the rash
- Keep the area clean
- Do not drain or lance on your own
- Disinfect any surface that comes in contact with rash
- Do not share personal hygiene items
- Wash clothing, bedding, towels, and anything else that comes in contact with rash
- Clean and cover any new breaks in the skin
Taking precautions to avoid the spread of the bacteria will not only prevent others from getting a MRSA infection, it will also prevent another location on the body from developing this type of rash. It is important to follow the instructions for taking antibiotics, applying antibacterial cream, and prevention when you are diagnosed with MRSA so that treatment will be effective and prevent additional infections.