Staphylococcus aureus is a bacterium that lives on human skin and in noses. This is normal, and does not usually cause a problem. However, Staphylococcus aureus can also cause infections such as boils and abscesses. These infections occur both in healthy individuals and in people who are already sick.
MRSA is the same Staphylococcus aureus bacterium that normally lives on skin and in noses. However, many antibiotics no longer kill MRSA. If a person has an MRSA infection, alternative antibiotics must be used.
Many people are carriers of MRSA and never have any symptoms and never develop an infection. Others may have an infection, usually involving the skin. These infections can be treated with antibiotics, local skin care or a combination of both. Local skin care may include draining abscesses or boils (this should be done only by a health care provider). Antibiotics may be given orally or on an outpatient basis or sometimes intravenously. It is important that if you are given an antibiotic, you take all of the doses, even if the infection is getting better, unless your doctor tells you to stop taking it.
Good personal hygiene will help reduce the spread of MRSA to others. Remember to:
MRSA might go away, but often it does not. If it does not, no treatment is necessary, but if you develop an infection, your doctor will decide what treatment is necessary.