Staph skin infections, including MRSA, generally start as swollen, painful red bumps that might resemble pimples or spider bites. The affected area might be:

  • Warm to the touch
  • Full of pus or other drainage
  • Accompanied by a fever

These can quickly turn into deep, painful abscesses that require surgical draining. Sometimes the bacteria remain confined to the skin. But they can also burrow deep into the body, causing potentially life-threatening infections in bones, joints, surgical wounds, the bloodstream, heart valves and lungs.

When to see a doctor

Keep an eye on minor skin problems — pimples, insect bites, cuts and scrapes — especially in children. If wounds appear infected or are accompanied by a fever, see your doctor.

Sept. 09, 2015