Cellulitis is a skin infection that is commonly caused by Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes bacteria. The usual entry point of these two bacteria to cause the skin infection is through cuts, wounds, and scratches in the skin or other skin breaks.
A type of cellulitis is the MRSA cellulitis which is caused by a type of Staphylococcus aureus. MRSA stands for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. This type of S. aureus is resistant to beta-lactam antibiotics such as cepahlosporins and the penicillin family (dicloxacillin, methicillin, nafcillin, and oxacillin). Aside from being methicillin resistant, these species also differ from other staph because it is coagulase-positive. This infection is contacted from situations where people live or stay in close proximacy. This infection is most of the time rampant in nursing homes or hospital wards.
Usual targets of this infection are patients who just had surgeries, invasive procedures and those who have open wounds being treated. Patients with edema, diabetes, and those who are immunocompromised such as pregnant women are prone to this infection.
MRSA cellulitis symptoms are tenderness, redness and swelling in infected areas. The infected area is warm to touch and may manifest boils with pus. Accompanying symptoms include headaches, fever, chills, low blood pressure, and rashes all over the body. Body pain, nausea and vomiting are also symptoms. These are effects of the toxins secreted by the MRSA.
MRSA cellulitis is diagnosed by physical examination and getting culture samples from the infected area to be examined in the laboratory. It is best to consult a doctor once symptoms are present since MRSA cellulitis may cause necrosis if neglected. Once necrosis starts, the area infected must be surgically removed to prevent further dispersal of infection. Severe cases may lead to fatal sepsis and toxic shock syndrome once the toxins secreted by MRSA have abundantly proliferated.
Prevention is still the best way rather than cure. Good and careful personal hygiene is the first lie of defense against infections of the skin. Open wounds must be treated immediately with disinfectants and sanitizing agents. Open wounds must not be exposed to dirt and unsterile water. Contact with animals such as cats, digs and poultry must also be minimized for immunocompromised patient. Those with chronic skin diseases such as eczema must be careful to keep the open wounds protected at all times.
MRSA treatment includes the administration of antibiotics. Treatment of main goal is to stop the bacteria causing the infection and to minimize changes of recurrence since cellulitis has a high rate of recurrence. Since MSRA cellulitis bacteria is resistan to the usual antibiotics for cellulitis, new antibiotics such as Linezolid, (associated with oxazolidinones class), daptomycin and tigecycline are given to successfully treat the infection. Treatment may be administrated intravenously at first and then oral antibiotics may be prescribed after seeing improvement in the patient's condition.
The pus in the skin infected must also be drained surgically. Open wounds must be bandages and cleaned to avoid the spread of infection and to avoid secondary infection. Treatment is considered effective once the patient's symptoms subside after 7 to 10 days.