What are MRSA boils?

MRSA boils are a physical symptom that manifests in the presence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection. Considered a form of staphylococcal skin infection, MRSA boils present as progressive skin sores that form a boil of contained infection, which without proper treatment can lead to abscess formation. People with MRSA boils may undergo diagnostic tests to confirm the presence of a staph infection, which usually results in the administration of aggressive antibiotic medications. Treatment involves draining the infection from the boil to promote proper healing and prevent the infection from spreading to other parts of the body.

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection has been claimed to result from overuse of antibiotic medications leaving certain people vulnerable to staph bacteria. MRSA infection is most often acquired in the community or in an institutional setting, such as a long-term care facility or hospital. A fairly ubiquitous microorganism, this type of staph bacteria is generally only considered a threat to people who have recently been hospitalized, possess compromised immunity, or play contact sports where injuries are likely to occur.

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection is usually diagnosed with the administration of a skin biopsy or a tissue sample taken from the affected area or lesion. Sent for lab analysis, test results are usually available within a couple of days. Meanwhile, it's not uncommon for people with MRSA boils to be given aggressive antibiotic medications in anticipation of a positive test result.

Transmitted through dermal contact, namely abrasions or cuts, staph bacteria usually take up residence immediately in their new environment causing redness and irritation. MRSA boils will usually take on a pimple-like appearance that quickly fills with pus. Tender to the touch, the sore progressively hardens as it becomes riddled with infection, causing a white "head" to form. If left untreated, the boil can progress to form an abscess that funnels into the skin and causes further complications by promoting the spread of infection.

People with MRSA infection often have flu-like symptoms that include fever, chills, and generalized muscle aches. Some may experience pronounced fatigue, a persistent cough, and an impaired ability to breathe properly. People with MRSA boils may or may not have additional signs and symptoms of infection, so it is important to monitor their condition for any changes. MRSA infection spreads rapidly, and in certain cases, one's condition can deteriorate rapidly, requiring prompt and proper medical care.

Most MRSA boils are treated by needling the surface of the sore to allow the infection to drain, which is essential to the healing process. Precautions should be taken during the drainage process as liquid infection, or pus, poses a threat of reinfection if not handled properly. After the infection has been drained, antibiotic medications may continue to be given to ensure elimination of any remaining infection. People taking antibiotics for this purpose are generally strongly advised to finish the entire prescription to ensure that the infection has been eradicated from their system and to decrease their chance of re-infection.

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