Staph Infection: Symptoms, Treatment and Causes

What Is Staph Infection?

Staph infections are caused by bacteria called staphylococcus which most often affect the skin. Sometimes they need to be treated with antibiotics but often they go away on their own.

Staph infection symptoms

Symptoms of a staph skin infection can include:

·      A painful red lump or bump on the skin

·      Sores, crusts or blisters

·      Hot, red and swollen skin

·      Sore, red eyelids or eyes

Staph bacteria can also cause more serious infections, like blood poisoning and toxic shock syndrome, but these are much less common than skin infections.

See a GP if you think you have a staph skin infection and:

·      It’s getting worse or spreading quickly

·      It lasts more than a week

·      You have a weakened immune system – for example, you have had an organ transplant or you’re having chemotherapy

You might need antibiotics to treat the infection.

Also see a GP if you keep getting staph infections.

Find out more about online and in-person same-day private GP appointments available at an award-winning MyHealthcare Clinic based in Fulham, Wandsworth, or Wimpole Street, Central London.  Appointments available Monday to Saturday.  Just call 0207 099 5555 to book your private GP appointment now.

How staph infections are spread

The bacteria that cause staph infections live harmlessly on the skin around the nose, the armpits and on the buttocks.

They usually only cause an infection if they get into the skin – for example, through a bite or cut.

Staph bacteria can spread to others through:

·      Close skin contact

·      Sharing things like towels or toothbrushes

·      Droplets in coughs and sneezes (less common)

You cannot always prevent staph infections

It can be difficult to prevent staph infections because many people have the bacteria on their skin.

But there are things you can do to reduce your chances of getting an infection or spreading the bacteria to others:


·      Wash your hands with soap and water regularly

·      Keep your skin clean by having a bath or shower every day

·      Keep any cuts clean and covered use disposable tissues to blow your nose


·      Do not share towels, washcloths, bed linen, toothbrushes and razors