Staph Infection Symptoms

Medically Reviewed by:

Name: Ezire Lilian Chinwe

Description: A highly motivated and licensed biomedical scientist with over 7 years of experience, dedicated to advancing healthcare through innovative research and analysis. Expertise includes genetics, microbiology, and immunology with a commitment to staying at the forefront of scientific advancements.

Link: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lilian-ezire-3ba4b2215/

Understanding Staphylococcus Infections: Causes, Symptoms, and Effective Treatment Strategies

Staph infections are caused by Staphylococcus bacteria, a group of germs found on the skin and in various areas of the body. While many strains are harmless, some can cause infections ranging from minor skin issues to life-threatening conditions. Understanding the symptoms is key to addressing staph infections effectively.

Your type of staph infection is determined by your symptoms. A red, big, and painful bump may indicate a staph infection. Staphylococcus infection symptoms range from irritated skin to painful lumps and swelling, to fever, a racing heart, and confusion after the bacteria enter the bloodstream. Certain individuals carry staph bacteria on their skin or nose but exhibit no symptoms. However, when bacteria enter the body through a skin break, an infection may result, multiplying germs that can cause illness and tissue damage.

It is critical to detect the early signs and symptoms of a staph infection in order to receive appropriate care and treatment before the illness spreads or worsens. The sort of staph infection you have depends on your symptoms. A red, large and painful lump might suggest an infection with the staph. Staphylococcus infection symptoms range from irritating skin to painful tumors and swelling, to fever, a cardiovascular heart, and disorientation when the germs reach your circulation.

Some people have staph germs on their skin or nose but never have symptoms. But when the bacteria enter the body through a breach from the skin, there may be an infection that multiplies germs which may cause disease and damage to the tissue. It is crucial to recognize the early signs and symptoms of a staph infection so that you may get care and be treated correctly before the condition spreads or deteriorates.

Symptoms of Skin Staph Infection

Staphylococcus infections of the skin often generate fewer severe symptoms than infections of other body regions. However, skin infections can become deadly if left untreated or if they develop. Staph can cause the following types of skin infections:


Folliculitis, which occurs when hair follicles get infected, is characterized by tiny red lumps or pimples that may include pus. They can itch, burn, and cause discomfort. Occasionally, the blisters will rupture and crust over.(2)


Boils are a more serious form of folliculitis. They generally begin as painful, red, swollen pimples about the size of a pea. As pus accumulates beneath the skin, a boil may grow and gradually turn white. Boils may spontaneously burst and drain or may require lancing and drainage by a physician.  A boil is also considered a type of skin abscess.

Abscess of the Skin:

Similar to a boil, a skin abscess is a pus-filled pocket of infection that forms beneath the skin. The region around the wound may be painful, red, heated, and swollen. Additionally, you may experience a fever and chills. (3)


Cellulitis symptoms include redness, swelling, warmth, and discomfort at the area of infection. Cellulitis is most frequently found on a person’s leg. As the infection progresses, you may have fever and nausea. Additionally, you may see tiny red patches surrounding the reddish skin and burst blisters.


Impetigo is characterized by red lesions that bleed and leak. The blisters develop a yellowish-brown crust after a few days. This infection can be unpleasant at times, but not always. The majority of impetigo occurrences occur on the face, hands, or feet.

Scalded Skin Syndrome due to Staphylococcus aureus (SSSS):

SSSS is most frequently found in infants and young children and is caused by toxins produced by staph bacteria. A rash, fever, and blisters that burst readily, leaving wet, uncomfortable patches of skin are common symptoms. Additionally, large portions of the top layer of skin may peel away, creating the impression of scalded or burned skin. Additionally, children with this illness may be irritable and fatigued. SSSS is a medical emergency that requires immediate attention. (4)

Infections of Wounds:

Wound infections typically manifest two to three days following surgery or an accident. They manifest themselves at the infection site by causing redness, discomfort, swelling, warmth, and pus leakage. Additionally, you may develop a temperature. (5)

Invasive Staph Infection Symptoms


Invasive staph infections can cause serious complications that may necessitate rapid medical treatment. Naturally, symptoms differ according on the sort of illness, your general health, and the infection’s location.


Sepsis is a potentially fatal consequence of infection. Sepsis is often characterized by fever, chills, rapid breathing, a rapid heart rate, and confusion.

If you have an infection and at least two of the following symptoms, your doctor will diagnose you with sepsis.

  • A body temperature of more than 101 degrees Fahrenheit or less than 96.8 degrees Fahrenheit
  • A heart rate in excess of 90 beats per minute
  • A respiration rate more than twenty breaths per minute
  • Sepsis can occasionally progress to a more dangerous condition called septic shock. This results in life-threateningly low blood pressure.

Arthritis Septica:

Septic arthritis is a joint infection. You may suffer excruciating pain in the area surrounding the joint, making mobility impossible. Additionally, there may be redness, warmth, or edema surrounding the joint. Additionally, you may develop a temperature. (8)

Syndrome of Toxic Shock:

Toxic shock syndrome, which occurs when staph bacteria enter the bloodstream and generate toxins, is potentially fatal. Symptoms include the following:

  • A sudden, extremely high fever
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Blood pressure is too low.
  • A rash that resembles sunburn (usually on the palms of your hands or soles of your feet)
  • Confusion
  • Aches in the muscles
  • Seizures
  • Eyes, mouth, or throat redness
  • Migraine


Endocarditis, an infection that affects the heart, may present with the following symptoms:

  • Fibrosis and chills
  • Sweating at night
  • A cardiac murmur that is new or has changed
  • Breathlessness
  • Joints and muscles ache
  • Fatigue
  • Pain in the chest during breathing
  • Foot, leg, or stomach swelling


Osteomyelitis, a bone infection, can cause discomfort in the afflicted area as well as the following:


Swelling, heat, or redness in the area surrounding the diseased bone
Occasionally, this sort of illness produces no signs or symptoms.(11)

Pneumonia Bacterial:

Pneumonia causes inflammation and a buildup of fluid and pus in the lungs’ air sacs. Staphylococcus is one of numerous bacteria that are capable of causing pneumonia.

Bacterial pneumonia can manifest itself in the following ways:

  • A persistent cough with the production of phlegm
  • When you breathe or cough, you may have chest discomfort.
  • Fatigue\Fever
  • Chills caused by sweating or shaking
  • Perplexity (especially in older adults)
  • Breathlessness
  • Vomiting, nausea, or diarrhea
  • An abnormally low body temperature (especially in older adults with weak immune systems)

Poisoning by Food:

Food poisoning symptoms caused by toxins generated by Staphylococcus aureus bacteria typically manifest rapidly — within hours of consuming contaminated food — and subside swiftly as well.

If you consume food contaminated with these chemicals, you may suffer the following symptoms:

  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dehydration
  • Blood pressure is too low.


Pyomyositis, an infection of the skeletal muscle, can manifest itself in the following ways:

  • Tenderness and pain in the vicinity of the afflicted muscle
  • Fever A skin abscess or lump


To accurately identify staph infection, your doctor will take a complete history of your symptoms and thoroughly check any apparent signs or symptoms.

Additionally, your clinician may take a tissue sample, nasal discharge, or wound secretion for staph bacteria testing.

Internal infections may require a blood sample for testing, and in certain circumstances, an X-ray or other imaging test may be performed to find the infection inside your body.

Given the severity of a staph infection, it is critical to consult a physician if you suspect you have one.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What are the common symptoms of a staph infection?

  • Staph infections can present with symptoms such as skin redness, swelling, pain, and the formation of pus-filled lesions. Systemic symptoms may include fever and a general feeling of illness.

2. How do I recognize a staph skin infection?

  • Staph skin infections often manifest as boils, cellulitis, or impetigo. Look for painful, red lumps, swollen skin, or sores that may burst and form a crust.

3. Are there specific symptoms for different types of staph infections?

  • Yes, symptoms can vary. For example, a staph wound infection may cause localized redness and swelling, while toxic shock syndrome (TSS) can lead to high fever, a rash, and low blood pressure.

4. When should I seek medical attention for a potential staph infection?

  • If you notice persistent or worsening symptoms, especially with signs of systemic illness such as fever, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional promptly.

5. Can staph infections affect internal organs?

  • Yes, in severe cases, staph infections can spread to internal organs, leading to conditions like pneumonia or infections in joints.

6. How are staph infections diagnosed?

  • Diagnosis often involves a physical examination, review of symptoms, and may include laboratory tests such as blood cultures or sampling from the infected area.

7. What is the typical treatment for a staph infection?

  • Antibiotics are commonly used to treat staph infections. The specific antibiotic and duration of treatment depend on the type and severity of the infection.

8. Can I treat a staph infection at home?

  • It’s crucial to seek medical advice for proper diagnosis and treatment. Home remedies, such as warm compresses, may help with symptoms, but professional medical guidance is essential.

9. How can I prevent staph infections?

  • Practicing good hygiene, including regular handwashing, keeping wounds clean and covered, and avoiding contact with others’ skin infections, can help prevent staph infections.

10. Is a staph infection contagious?

  • Staph bacteria can be spread through direct contact with infected skin or surfaces. Practicing good hygiene can reduce the risk of transmission.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

World Health Organization (WHO):

Infection Control Today:

National Institutes of Health (NIH):

These sources provide valuable information on Staphylococcus infections, antibiotic resistance, and infection control measures in healthcare settings. Staying informed about these topics is essential for promoting public health and preventing the spread of infectious diseases.

Medically Reviewed by:

Name: Ezire Lilian Chinwe

Description: A highly motivated and licensed biomedical scientist with over 7 years of experience, dedicated to advancing healthcare through innovative research and analysis. Expertise includes genetics, microbiology, and immunology with a commitment to staying at the forefront of scientific advancements.

Link: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lilian-ezire-3ba4b2215/


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here