Staph infections are caused by the staphylococcus bacteria, they usually remain in the organ or area that they have infected, however they can produce disease in any part of the body and if the bacteria enters the bloodstream through a cut etc, it can then travel to anywhere in the body. Symptoms are determined on where the infection develops. If it develops in the kidneys, heart or lungs there can be some very serious problems. If a person is suffering from a chronic illness such as cancer, diabetes, or chronic kidney or liver disease, they will be more vulnerable to severe infections by the staphylococcus bacteria. Staph infections that develop in the hair follicles, often remain on the surface and look like small pimples, however if the infection goes deeper boils may occur. Other forms of staph infection are conjunctivitis, which causes the eyes to redden and to weep pus and then form a crust over the eye while you are sleeping, and Toxic shock syndrome which occurs in women who have left their tampons in for too long. It can also enter the breasts of breast feeding mothers and cause extremely painful breast abscesses, or it can enter the bloodstream and infect the bones and joints, causing the joints to swell up and fill with pus. The general symptoms of this type of infection include:
Swollen lymph nodes
Swollen areas around the wound
Pus filled pimples or boils around the hair follicles
Staph infections are caused by the bacteria Staphylococcus, which is usually found in the mouth, rectum, nose or genital area. The bacteria is harmless until it enters the body, when this happens the bacteria forms abscesses that contain pus in or on the affected area.
Try and eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables and drink plenty of filtered water. Take a zinc supplement to help your immune system to fight the infection and a supplement of vitamin C and bioflavonoids may also help.
To help the abscess or boil heal, apply heat. To prevent any scarring add a few drops of lavender, thyme oil or bergamot to the hot water that is being used. Once the pus has drained, clean the affected area with warm water and lemon juice and keep it clean until it has completely healed. If the abscess or boil needs to be lanced, it is important that only your doctor or surgeon does it. To prevent the infection from spreading while it is healing, take showers rather than baths.
When to seek further professional advice
As soon as there is any pain, swelling or pus forming around the wounded area of the skin, as the infection may spread into the bloodstream and cause more serious complications. Also if the lymph nodes in your armpits, neck or groin are swollen, although this could also be a symptom of another disease. If you have a boil that is very tender and has red lines radiating from it, and you are suffering from fever and chills may be a sign that the infection has spread. It is very important to consult your doctor if you have a boil or abscess on or near your nose, lip, forehead, cheeks or spine because the infection might spread into your brain or spine. If you are suffering from recurrent boils, you may suffer from diabetes.
Alternative treatment can only be used to help treat minor infections, and to help strengthen your immune system so as to prevent any more outbreaks. There are 7 herbs that contain antibacterial properties and are thought to be quite helpful in fighting staph infections. Some of these herbs are Goldenseal, Echinacea and Garlic. You can take three cloves of garlic daily at the first sign of the infection, if you find that the smell is becoming a problem then take garlic oil capsules instead or eat fresh parsley. Cleavers can also be used to help heal the abscesses. Aromatherapists recommend applying a warm compress using grapefruit, geranium or lemon essential oils.
You might be able to treat yourself if you are only suffering with boils, however if the infection gets worse it is important that you consult your doctor so that he can prescribe an oral antibiotic for you to take. If the abscess is too large to treat it will have to be lanced by your doctor or surgeon, this should never be done by you as you have to be in completely sterile surroundings.
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