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Date of last update: 10/12/2017.

Forum Name: Other infections

Question: Nasal Staph infection

 ryann - Fri Dec 14, 2007 12:51 am

I am a 36 y/o female fairly healthy besides some orthopedic issues. Meds for orthopedic pain management. I am an Occupational Therapist so I have direct pt. contact, primarily with elderly pts., and I have a 10 y/o & 8 y/o at home.

I have been battling what the third doc. told me is a staph infection in my nose. I have not had a nasal swab yet. The doc. prescribed bactroban (?) ointment. This ointment does eliminate the infection, but after a couple of months it comes right back. I have been back and forth with this for over a year. I have now developed boils on my butt. They appear 1-2x/month. They are large, hard, red and purple, and develop a white head. I popped the first one not knowing what it is and yellowish blood tinted fluid came out of it.

I know have a raw/sore nasopharyngeal area. The left side of my neck is tender and swollen (jugular nodes?), and I have been so tired that I have to rest during the day which is new for me. My kids have been battling a cold, but I do not have the runny stuffy nose typical of colds. My current flare-up with the nasal infection is the worse it has been.

Is this staph infection just something I just have to deal with indefinitely? Can I give this to my patients or my kids? Are the boils or swollen tender neck related and a progression of the staph infection?

Thank you!

 Dr. Chan Lowe - Fri Dec 14, 2007 10:08 pm

User avatar Hi Ryann,

Most likely you have a bacteria called MRSA or methacillin resistant staph aureus. This bug is prone to causing spontaneous skin infections.

You are likely having trouble clearing the infection in your nose because you are colonized with the bacteria. This is fairly common. About 30% of people will have staph colonizing their nose and skin.

Getting rid of the colonization is difficult. Using the nasal bactroban is a good start. The best way to try to clear the colonization is to use the bactroban for seven days (twice a day on each side of the nose). This will help with the nasal part but the skin must also be treated. Using a washing soap called chlorhexidine to wash with (basically shower and use on entire skin surface) daily at the same time as using the bactroban is also needed. Everyone in the house needs to do this at the same time for one week. This may help clear the colonization.

Using both the nasal ointment and the body wash for everyone in the house prevents the bacteria from being spread back and forth.

The bacteria can be spread to others. In fact, it is quite possible that you picked up this bacteria from your work.

Best wishes.

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