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Staph Infection in Nose

Staphylococcus bacteria are causative agents for staph infections. Many healthy people are carriers of this bacterium. The following HealthHearty write-up provides information on the causes, symptoms, and treatment of staph infection in the nose.
Batul Nafisa Baxamusa
Last Updated: Mar 12, 2018
Staphylococcus bacteria are present as normal flora on the skin and nose of about 20-28% healthy adults. The term Staphylococcus comes from a Greek word staphyle, that means a bunch of grapes, and kokkos meaning berry. Staphylococci appear like a bunch of grapes or berries, when observed under a microscope. These gram-positive bacteria are facultative anaerobic organisms.
Out of the 30 different strains of Staphylococci, it is Staphylococcus aureus that causes infections in humans. For a staph infection to occur, Staphylococci must enter the body tissues through cuts, wounds, or damage to the skin. This means, even though you have staph colonizing the areas of the nose, they may most probably lead to an infection in an area far away from the nasal passage. Staph bacteria could cause skin infections and soft tissue infections. In severe cases, it may even lead to blood poisoning. Skin infections caused by this bacteria include impetigo, cellulitis, scalded skin syndrome, etc.
Symptoms of Staph Infections in Nose
The most common symptoms of staph infection include development of small or large, pus-filled boils. The boil continues to grow due to pus formation. The boil finally ruptures and the pus drains out. Furuncles are generally smaller boils that heal within one to two weeks. Carbuncles are clusters of boils that take longer to heal, and may lead to serious infections. Other symptoms include development of abscesses, inflamed nostrils, yellow or green-colored mucus, nasal discharge, nasal congestion, sore throat, etc.

Impetigo is a type of staph infection that develops near the nose and the mouth. It is generally observed in children between 2-6 years. The symptoms of impetigo include the formation of honey-colored scabs due to dried serum. The scabs are thin-walled, vesicular pustules that rupture draining out pus.

An active immune system will try to fight off the infection. Thus, leading to a yellow or green mucus discharge from the nose and throat. The affected individual may feel feverish, and even experience pain in the nasal passages. If the staph infection spreads to the sinuses, it could lead to headache, pressure around the forehead, and other sinus cavities along with fever. The infection may also spread to the face, neck, chest and even further down the back. One observes the sudden appearance of painful, red pimples with pus. In serious cases, it may lead to the formation of abscesses. Staph infection can turn into a grave disease if it leads to meningitis, bacteremia, pneumonia, endocarditis, etc.
Are Nasal Staph Infections Contagious?
Yes, nasal staph infections are extremely infectious, and can spread from one person to other. Also, if you have staph in and around your nose, it can spread to other parts of your body. This means, if you touch your nose and then touch any other part of the body with cuts and bruises, the bacteria can spread. Once it gains entry into the broken skin, it begins to cause an infection.
How to Get Rid of a Nasal Staph Infection?
Nasal infections caused by staph are contagious and can spread through the use of common towels, tissues, handkerchiefs, etc. It is important to maintain proper hygiene and wash hands with disinfectants. Avoid close contact with people who are affected by a staph infection.

The standard treatment for nasal staph infections includes use of antibiotic ointments. Cephalosporins, nafcillin, sulfa drugs, or intravenous vancomycin, might be recommended to destroy this bacterium or inhibit further growth of Staphylococcus. Abscesses can also be drained surgically. The doctor may decide on an antibiotic staph infection treatment after referring to the culture results in the laboratory. The highly-resistant strains or serious infections are often treated with intravenous administration of antibiotics.
People who are affected by a nasal infection must consult a medical practitioner on observing the aforementioned symptoms, for proper diagnosis and treatment. It is important to curb the infection when mild. Or else it may lead to some serious health complications.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.