Just when you thought you got rid of your staph infection, it comes back again. And in the same spot! There’s an ongoing debate over whether or not the staph infection can come back at the same place or not. Since the staph issue is becoming more and more relevant, there is more evidence that the infection can actually reoccur at the same spot more than once. But why is this happening?
Let’s take an example of a woman who got a spider bite on her buttock in 2008 which turned into a staph infection. She dealt with it properly with appropriate medical assistance and thought she was through with it for good. However, in 2013 she noticed the pus forming behind the scar that formed after the spider-bite-turned-staph. She went on a forum to ask if it is possible that the infection happened again and what are the possibilities of it coming back to the exact same spot she had it in several years ago.
So, Is It Possible?
The answer is simple, yes, the staph infection can come back at the same place. But why is this possible? Since staph infection is caused by the bacteria under the name of Staphylococcus aureus, it means that the bacteria is actually a lot “smarter” than your regular bacteria. The Staphylococcus aureus actually lays dormant in the body due to the fact that it develops a biofilm which masks it quite successfully amongst the healthy cells and bacteria in your body, so the immune system cannot recognize is as something harmful and fight against it.
Once the staph bacteria enter your body through a small cut, scratch, or an insect bite, it colonizes your skin with multiple strains and flourishes inside of your organism, giving way to the occurrence of an infection. Staph infection is treated with antibiotics, however, due to multiple strains and developed biofilms, the bacteria becomes resistant to most forms of traditional antibiotics, which means that only the weakest ones get killed off, and the more developed, “smart” bacteria remain in the body and wait for your immune system to become weakened.
What Can I Do?
The first thing you should do if you notice the symptoms of infection in the same place you had it before is to contact your doctor. Dealing with the problem while it is still small will elevate the chances of it going away quickly and painlessly. Also, be aware that you will have to tackle the underlying cause of your infection, and that is the dormant bacteria that can and will come back once you are done with your usual antibiotic treatment.
One of the most important things to remember is to attack the enemy on more than one front, meaning, to use more than one method of treatment. Do not rely solely on antibiotics if you want to get rid of the infection once and for all. Try to use a topical antibiotic before an oral one, and opt for a natural remedy which would accompany your antibiotic course. There is a myriad of natural ingredients that have antibiotic properties and can help calm the inflammation and the infection, so why not utilize all the things nature gave us?
Work on getting your immune system stronger. When you are ill or if your immune system is weakened for some other reason, the dormant staph bacteria can find the way to cause an infection again and again, until you deal with it properly. Take the needed precautions when you are visiting high-risk environments such as hospitals and healthcare facilities. Keep a healthy diet and get regular checkups.
How to Prevent Staph Infection from Coming Back?
First of all, determine if you fall into a risk group. People who are most at risk are those who have been recently hospitalized, those in care facilities and nursing homes, individuals with weakened immune system, children who spend time in daycare, military personnel, athletes who have skin-to-skin contact, those who share equipment, and people who get tattoos.
You should always make sure to wash your hands often and wash them properly. Always use soap and water and an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. You should wash your hands for at least 15 seconds, and use a disposable towel to dry them, and turn off the faucet with another paper towel. Your alcohol-based hand sanitizer should contain at least 62 percent of alcohol, and since these are now available in common drugstores and supermarkets so there is no excuse not to use them.
Keep a good personal hygiene. A shower or bathe at least once a day, and if you are an athlete, make sure you take a shower after each practice or game. Also, wear flip flops in the public showers to avoid contact with the potentially dirty floors.
If you do get an injury, scrape, cut, insect bite, or something else, make sure to keep all the injuries and cuts clean. Bandage them properly until they heal. Good hygiene is a must here. The pus that drains from the infected sores can contain the staph bacteria, so keeping your cuts and wounds clean and covered will prevent the bacteria from spreading.
If at all possible, avoid sharing personal items with others. Do not share towels, sports equipment, clothes, and other items. Also, keep your manicure or pedicure set for yourself. Your razors should be your own and never ever share them with someone else.
Wash your clothes and bed linen in hot water which will help kill the bacteria. If you are washing bleach-safe materials, it is perfectly fine and even desirable to use bleach. If you have a dryer, dry your clothes that way instead of hanging it out to dry, however, bear in mind that the bacteria can survive even in the dryer.
For all the ladies out there, reduce the risk of toxic shock syndrome (which is caused by the staph bacteria) by being meticulous about your tampon routine. Change your tampons frequently, at least every four hours, and more often is possible. Get the tampons with low-absorbency, and alternate between tampons and pads whenever you can.