I have been battling a type of staph infection known as MRSA for almost 3 years. This is an in-depth topic with a lot of information to cover. So over the next few days, I’ll be sharing different aspects of my own story as well as how MRSA is contracted, how conventional treatments handle it, and natural treatments that have worked for me.
Please note I am not a doctor. This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be medical advice.
What is MRSA?
MRSA stands for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a type of staph bacteria that is resistant to several antibiotics. Initially, most Staph infections were sensitive to penicillin. Over time, many infection became resistant to penicillin and methicillin (a related drug developed to treat these germs). And the term methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) was born. Unfortunately, some strains of Staph have become resistant to methicillin and other similar antibiotics. These strains are known as MRSA, which cannot be cured with traditional penicillin-related drugs. Instead, MRSA must be treated with alternate antibiotics. This super bug is difficult to treat.
How Did I Get MRSA?
You can get MRSA in a hospital or community settings, even if you are otherwise healthy. You can pick it up from a wet towel or used razor, or even from gym equipment that isn’t properly cleaned. I believe I picked it up from a wet towel, not realizing the risk.
What are the symptoms of MRSA?
Sometimes, people with MRSA skin infections first think they have a spider bite. That’s what I though was happening when I developed the first abscess on my leg. It was red and angry-looking, and I could tell it was full of infection. Even my neighbor, who is a paramedic, thought it was a spider bite. If you don’t see a spider, it’s probably not a spider bite. Most staph skin infections, including MRSA, appear as a bump or infected area on the skin that might be:
- Warm to the touch
- Full of pus or other drainage
- Accompanied by a fever
The bump wasn’t very big but after a week it hadn’t gotten any better. My husband took me to the emergency room and I found out it was MRSA. The doctor gave me antibiotics but didn’t drain it there. Since the abscess wasn’t big, the doctor told me to use a heat pack to draw it out and get it to drain on its own. After a couple of days, it did rupture and drain. I thought the MRSA was gone, but I was wrong.
The problem with antibiotics is that they may treat the immediate infection, but don’t get rid of the underlying MRSA. It stays in your body and can cause recurring skin infections. And don’t forget the harmful effects of antibiotics. They kill off the good bacteria in your body with the bad, causing your system to be completely out of balance. If you have recurring infections, doctors want you to take low-dose antibiotics over a longer period of time.
Of course, you can’t completely prevent MRSA. But you can minimize your risk. Good hygiene is essential, including washing your hands and body, keeping cuts, scrapes and wounds clean and covered, and not sharing items such as towels and razors. If you do have an infection, these steps are even more important to prevent spreading it to others. Also important is washing towels, bedding, and clothes regularly.
Have you had any experiences with MRSA? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!