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What is Staph and How Do You Treat it?

August 21, 2017

You’ve probably heard about staph. But what is it and how do you treat it? Time to ask an expert! We reached out to Dr. Carrie Brown with Arkansas Children's. She shared her knowledge about staph, plus how to treat it and more importantly - how to avoid it. Here’s what she had to say:
 

Staphylococcus (staph) is a bacteria that lives on skin of most people and usually does not cause any problems. Most commonly, it is found in people's noses (gross!). It only becomes a problem when there is broken skin (generally from scratching) and then the bacteria gets into the skin and can cause an infection.

 

The normal staph bacteria causes a sore with a honey colored crust on top. This is commonly called impetigo. It can be spread from one area on a person's body to another through scratching or from the person to another person if they have broken skin and come into contact with the sore or a surface on which drainage from a sore has been left (gym mats).

  • Treatment - It can usually be treated with a topical anti-staph antibiotic ointment or cream. If there are multiple sores, treatment with antibiotics by mouth may be necessary. 
  • Ways to avoid staph - Keep your child's nails trimmed short and clean. Broken skin = spread of the infection.
  • Is it staph? If you have sores that are not healing or that are spreading (especially if they have a light colored scab/crust on them) you should see a doctor. 

VIDEO: See how one local family battled staph and get some more tips from Dr. Brown.

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