Skin infections start when bacteria get into a cut or scrape. Bacteria live on everyone's skin and usually cause no harm. But when staphylococcus bacterian get into your body through  a break in the skin, they can cause a "staph" infection. Staph infections may spread to other people by skin-to-skin contact and from shared items such as towels, soap, clothes, and sports equipment. Also, beware of bedding with wound drainage on it.

Staph infections are becoming harder to treat. Some germs are resistant to antibiotics. They are called MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus). 

Immediate Self-Care

  • Wash cuts, scrapes, and sores with soap and water then keep them clean and cover with bandages (change one to three times per day)
  • Consult Schiffert Health Center's Wound Care Information sheet
  • Avoid contact with other people's cuts and sores and any materials that have come in contact with them
  • Avoid sharing personal items such as soap, towels, razors, and sports equipment
  • Clean and wash sports clothing and equipment after each use

When to See a Health Care Provider

  • You have signs of infection such as pain, redness, swelling and heat, and oozing pus or blood or other drainage
  • New symptoms develop during or after you get treated