Staph Infections and Why You Should Care

(c) 2011, written by Will Blesch

Staph infections can be really annoying, potentially dangerous, and in rare cases life threatening. Ok, so what makes me bring up the subject of Staph infections? Why should you care?

The other day I thought I had a spider bite. It was just a small, round, slightly painful bump on my side. Over the course of a couple days, it didn’t go away and it had an angry, red head to it.

Gross right?

Well, according to WebMD, “about 25% of people normally carry staph in the nose, mouth, genitals, and anal area. The foot is also very prone to pick up bacteria from the floor. The infection often begins with a little cut, which gets infected with bacteria.” It’s a hungry, aggressive little bug and you need to try to protect yourself from an invasion force of these guys.

The bacteria thrive in warm, moist environments and so public showers, toilets (even your shower etc.) is a potential haven for this bacteria. If you are in a public shower or toilet such as at the gym, the beach or elsewhere…let me give you four nice words. Flip-flops. Sandals. Shoes.

Don’t go barefoot in these places!

Staph infections can get ugly rather quickly. Symptoms show up “as a small area of tenderness, swelling, and redness. Sometimes it begins with an open sore. Other times, there is no break in the skin at all — and it’s anyone’s guess where the bacteria came from.

The signs of cellulitis are those of any inflammation — redness, warmth, swelling, and pain. Any skin sore or ulcer that has these signs may be developing cellulitis. If the staph infection spreads, the person may develop a fever, sometimes with chills and sweats, as well as swelling in the area.” – WebMD

Regular medicinal treatment for a staph infection usually involved anti-biotics. The bad news is that staph infections, especially inNorth America, are becoming resistant to antibiotics due to overuse and it is leading to fears of a Staph “super-bug.”  Regardless, antiobiotics are still the number one prescription given.

Drugs like Keflex (cephalexin) and Duricef (cefadroxil) are the most commonly prescribed medications. And, wow. Just wow. Again, as with most prescription drugs I’ve talked about previously on this site, cephalexin and cefadroxil both have numerous side effects. “Diarrhea; dizziness; headache; indigestion; joint pain; stomach pain; tiredness.” – drugs.com

Cefadroxil is no better. “Diarrhea; nausea; stomach upset; vomiting.” – drugs.com

Now, because Staph can be such a serious issue, I am not personally against the use of these drugs despite their potential side effects. With that said, it’s wellknown that staph infections show up more in those with compromised immune systems.

Because of this, making sure you are doing all you can to build up and protect your immune system is smart. (This is true even if a staph infection isn’t something that worries you. There are plenty of other nasty bugs ready to attack you!)

Now, there are natural things one can take or eat that I think will enhance one’s immune system and help your own body fight these bacteria infections. One of those things is garlic. Eating raw cloves cut up in a salad or in some other type of food is highly recommended since garlic is known to be a natural antibacterial. (It’s also great for other health issues as well.)

There is also evidence to suggest that an essential oil derived from cinnamon destroys the bacteria’s cellular walls.

According to the Journal of Applied Microbiology, “Cinnamon essential oil shows effective antimicrobial activity and health benefits and is therefore considered a potential food additive.”

I don’t know if this could also be used as a topical treatment or not. It’s something I’ll have to do some more research on. However, I know that “Thyme (Thymus vulgaris), lavender (Lavandula officinalis), or bergamot (Citrus bergamot) oils are believed to have antibacterial properties and may help to prevent the scarring that may result from skin infections. A few drops of these oils are added to water and a compress soaked in the water is then applied to the affected area.” – Vashon Organics

Anyway, to make a long story short, my “spider bite” became a lot worse and I ended up having to start a regimen like that described above. Staph infections can be painful, itchy and just gross if left untreated…and did I mention possibly (rarely) life threatening?

Don’t play games with this one.

Prevention is best…but if you do get infected, you should immediately take action to fight the evil buggers.

References:

WebMD.com

Drugs.com

Bouhdid S, Abrini J, Amensour M, Zhiri A, Espuny MJ, Manresa A. “Functional and ultrastructural changes in Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus cells induced by Cinnamomum verum essential oil.” Journal of Applied Microbiology, October 2010

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One Comment on “Staph Infections and Why You Should Care”

  1. Lafemmeroar says:

    I need glasses,;at first glance I read your title as “Staff Infections …” and thought that I wouldn’t want to be infected by a co-worker’s cooties.

    Very informative post and now I’m sort of paranoid of cooties run amuck.


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