Information on Staph Infection

What is Staphylococcus (Staph)?

Staphylococcus is a group of bacteria that can cause a number of diseases as a result of infection of various tissues of the body. Staphylococcus is more familiarly known as Staph (pronounced "Staff"). Staph-related illness can range from mild and requiring no treatment to severe and potentially fatal.

Over 30 different types of Staphylococci can infect humans, but most infections are caused by Staphylococcus aureus. Staphylococci can be found normally in the nose and on the skin. The bacteria do not cause disease. However, damage to the skin or other injury may allow the bacteria to overcome the natural protective mechanisms of the body, leading to infection.

 Who is at risk for Staph Infections?

Anyone can develop a Staph infection, although certain groups of people are at greater rick, including newborn infants, breastfeeding women, and people with chronic conditions such as diabetes, cancer, vascular disease, and lung disease. Injecting drug users, those with skin injuries or disorders, intravenous catheters, surgical incisions, and those with a weakened immune system due either to disease or a result of immune suppressing medications all have an increased risk of developing Staph infections. *This is something to remember your tattoo is a new open wound and everyone is susceptible to Staph Infection.

What are the symptoms and signs of a Staph Infection?

Staphylococcal disease of the skin usually results in a localized collection of pus, known as an abscess, boil, or furuncle, depending upon the exact type of lesion that is present. The affected area may be red, swollen, and painful. Drainage or pus is common. When Staph is in the blood (bacteraemia or sepsis), it can cause high fevers, chills, and low blood pressure.

What are complications of Staph Infections?

Scalded skin syndrome is a potentially serious side effect of infection with Staph bacteria that produce a specific protein which loosens the "cement" holding the various layers of the skin together. This allows blister formation and sloughing of the top layer of skin. If it occurs over large body regions, it can be deadly, similar to a large surface area of the body having been burned. It is necessary to treat scalded skin syndrome with intravenous antibiotics and to protect the skin from allowing dehydration to occur if large areas peel off. The disease occurs predominantly in children but can occur in ANYONE. It is known formally as Staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome.

Infected Tattoo:

If you think your tattoo might be infected, don't wait for it to get worse! Signs of infection are severe pain, hot redness, swelling and/or a pus discharge with or without the presence of blood, or a foul odor emanating from the area. Infection that is not properly tended to can result in serious health consequences and even death. It is not something to be taken lightly. Immediately proceed to the hospital. We are all susceptible to Staph infections the bacteria that causes it resides on our bodies and just waits for an opportunity to take hold, like in a fresh new tattoo wound.

To Avoid Infection:

- When cleaning keep tattoo covered well and remember that vacuum dust can cause a serious infection

- No Contact Sports

- No Gyms or use of exercising equipment

- Always wash hands before touching your tattoo

A reminder please DO NOT share ointments.