Staph infection is a common name used to describe various types of infections instigated by various species of the Staphylococcus bacteria. The common culprits include the staphylococcus aureus and staphylococcus epidermidis. Take note that both of these bacteria are actually present on the skin as normal skin bacteria and do not trigger any infections.
It is sad to note though that they can oftentimes trigger infections that range from mild skin lesions to severe skin infections and even toxic shock. In most cases, teenagers often end up with recurrent staph infections due to certain factors such as physiological changes that occur at the start of puberty, social activities and hygiene.
Entry point for bacteria
The usual staph infections of the skin occur in the hair follicles and sweat ducts. The bacteria can thrive well in these locations especially if the skin is not cleaned regularly. These types of infections can develop as mild pimple-like lesions that contain pus or other fluids along with the bacteria. In severe cases, the sore pus-filled boils or lesions develop that can lead to severe discomfort and scarring.
Among teenagers, these types of skin infections often develop due to wounds from scratching or picking on pimples especially in the face. Take note that scratching and picking on the skin can lead to abrasions and cuts that are more likely to become infected with staphylococcal bacteria since they are already present on the exterior skin surface. In addition, puberty is also a period when both female and male teenagers experience an increase in the production of body hair. As a result, teenagers usually experiment with shaving and can cut themselves and transfer the bacteria to the open cuts.
Teenagers are regularly exposed to staphylococcal bacteria due to physical contact with others during sports or by using shared equipment and objects such as towels during practice. The sports equipment and towels are easily contaminated by staphylococcus bacteria and can spread if used by another player if it was not disinfected. Wiping the skin using a soiled towel that was used by another player during practice can also spread the infection.
Contact sports can also cause abrasions and cuts that serve as entry points for the bacteria. Since these types of activities reoccur, teenagers are often exposed continuously to the bacteria and can end up with recurrent staph infections.
Most cases of staph infections can be reduced by observing good hygiene. This includes washing of the body, especially the face on a daily basis. Teenagers should shower and cleanse their skin regularly when engaged in physical activities with others.
Proper disinfection of sporting equipment and designated clean towels for every player can help minimize the risk for acquiring recurrent staph infections. Teenagers must also check themselves for any cuts and abrasions and ensure that these are covered with bandages to avoid infections.
In severe cases of recurrent staph infections, they are treated with antibiotics. There are some strains of staphylococcus such as the methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) are difficult to manage even with antibiotics. On the other hand, strains such as MRSA do not trigger the common staph infections that most teenagers experience on a recurrent basis.