A to Z: MRSAenparentshttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/headers/P-khAZDictionary-enHD-AR1.jpgLearn about causes and complications of skin infections.MRSA, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, oxacillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, ORSA, hospital-acquired MRSA, HA-MRSA, community-acquired MRSA, CA-MRSA, staph infections, antibiotics, Staphylococcus aureus, skin infections, cuts, scrapes, bites, pneumonia, hand washing, personal hygiene12/04/201304/08/201909/02/20199a239e5c-f208-4ea5-98bf-03a0f2178e3bhttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/az-mrsa.html/<p><em>May also be called: Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus; Oxacillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus; ORSA</em></p> <p><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/mrsa.html/">MRSA</a> stands for methicillin-resistant <em>Staphylococcus aureus</em>. Staph is the shortened name for <em>Staphylococcus</em> (staf-uh-low-KAH-kus), a type of bacteria. MRSA is a strain of staph bacteria that resists certain medicines that usually treat staph infections.</p> <h3>More to Know</h3> <p>Many strains of staph bacteria are quite common, and most people have staph bacteria living harmlessly on their skin or in their noses. Staph bacteria that enter the body through a <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/bleeding.html/">cut</a>, scrape, or rash can cause minor <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/staphylococcus.html/">skin infections</a>. Most of these heal on their own if the wound is kept clean and bandaged, but sometimes antibiotics are needed.</p> <p>What makes the MRSA strain different from other staph bacteria is its resistance to the antibiotics that usually treat staph infections. When bacteria are resistant to antibiotics, they are harder to kill.</p> <p>MRSA infections often develop around open sores, like cuts, scrapes, or bites, but also can develop on intact <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/skin-hair-nails.html/">skin</a>. Red, swollen, painful bumps appear that sometimes weep (leak) fluid or pus. Some people also develop a fever.</p> <p>In more serious cases, the infection can spread to the blood, lungs, <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/osteomyelitis.html/">bones</a>, joints, or other parts of the body. MRSA also can cause infections like <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/pneumonia.html/">pneumonia</a>. Fortunately, complications like these are not common in healthy people.</p> <p>MRSA infections require different medicines and approaches to treatment than other staph infections do. Doctors may prescribe oral antibiotics to help treat a MRSA infection. More severe infections might need IV (intravenous) antibiotics, given in a hospital. If there is a collection of pus or fluid, called an <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/abscess.html/">abscess</a>, it may require drainage.</p> <h3>Keep in Mind</h3> <p>Most MRSA infections are treated without long-term issues. Many such&nbsp;infections can be prevented by&nbsp;<a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/hand-washing.html/">washing hands</a> well and often, keeping cuts and scrapes clean and covered with a bandage, not sharing personal items (like razors, towels, or uniforms), and making sure to take the full amount of any antibiotics as prescribed.</p> <p><em>All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.</em></p>
AbscessAn abscess is a sign of an infection, usually on the skin. Find out what to do if your child develops one.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/abscess.html/f31fd7e9-3f18-41b3-9409-0075181f6ca4
CellulitisCellulitis is a skin infection that involves areas of tissue just below the skin's surface. It can affect any part of the body, but it's most common on exposed areas, such as the face, arms, or lower legs.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/cellulitis.html/11d03e5b-f1ac-42bc-95b9-8ed4436e5326
Dealing With CutsFind out how to handle minor cuts at home - and when to get medical care for a more serious injury.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/bleeding.html/dd98d89c-e30e-4b99-8178-bb65cc8e9c3d
MRSAMRSA is a type of bacteria that the usual antibiotics can't tackle anymore. The good news is that there are some simple ways to protect yourself from being infected. Find out how.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/mrsa.html/305cecf0-cdc4-43ff-a1e1-dd4afbc5b6c7
OsteomyelitisSometimes a bad cut that gets infected can lead to even worse things, like a bone infection called osteomyelitis. The easiest way to protect yourself is to practice good hygiene.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/osteomyelitis.html/018fa95e-9847-44f8-8128-15ce46ab062b
ParonychiaParonychia is an infection of the skin around a fingernail or toenail. Most of the time, it's not serious. Find out what causes it, what to do, and how to prevent it.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/paronychia.html/da6edce0-bdf2-4523-98f7-5900d8224608
Staph InfectionsWhen skin is punctured or broken for any reason, staph bacteria can enter the wound and cause an infection. But good hygiene can prevent many staph infections. Learn more.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/staphylococcus.html/eb617e21-017c-44ab-bc1e-dfa5f4e8cd05
TetanusTetanus is a bacterial infection that grows in a contaminated wound. Because it can be serious, it's important to get immunized. Find out more.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/tetanus.html/f5369583-ec3a-4542-a901-8e0ee2ce7f72
Wound Drainage CultureDoctors order wound drainage cultures when they suspect wounds are infected.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/wound-culture.html/bbce2001-ae3d-4a2c-bda5-45a15e1ecbf0
Wound Healing and CareHow well a wound heals depends on where it is on the body and what caused it – as well as how well someone cares for the wound at home. Find out what to do in this article for teens.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/wounds.html/8698279b-71fb-496e-a138-9564f07e71f2