What are the treatments for staph infection?

Most staph infection on the skin can be treated with a topical antibiotic (applied to the skin). Your doctor may also drain a boil or abscess by making a small incision to let the pus out.

Doctors also prescribe oral antibiotics (taken by mouth) to treat staph infection in the body and on the skin. The antibiotic will vary depending on the type of infection. In severe cases of staph infection, doctors use IV (intravenous) antibiotics to kill the bacteria.

What are the side effects of the treatment for staph infection?

Side effects vary depending on the type of antibiotic used to treat the staph infection. Side effects from topical ointments can include stinging, itching, and redness in the affected area. Common side effects of oral antibiotics include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

What are the complications associated with staph infection?

If left untreated, staph infection can be deadly. Rarely, staph infection are resistant to the antibiotics commonly used to treat them. This infection, called methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), cause severe infection and death.

What can I do to help relieve symptoms of staph infection?

It is important to see your doctor if you think you might have a staph infection. To relieve the symptoms of staph infection on the skin, you should clean the affected area with soap and water. Cold compresses and over-the-counter pain relievers may ease the discomfort of skin infection.

In cases of food poisoning, drink plenty of liquids while you are recovering to reduce your risk of dehydration. Massage and warm compresses can relieve the symptoms of mastitis.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 09/17/2019.

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