Part of our foundation’s goal is to raise awareness, and this page is dedicated to doing just that. Read all sections of this page and visit the links at the bottom to obtain a better understanding of what MRSA is, and how to help detect and prevent it.
What is MRSA?
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is an infectious bacteria that harbors in the mucous membranes of the body—especially the nose and anus. The MRSA bacterium is invasive; thus, whenever a cut or wound surfaces on the infected person’s body, the bacterium will travel from the mucous membrane where it lies dormant to infect the sore. Upon infecting a sore, the bacterium breeds, creating more bacteria and inflaming the sore. The sore will appear red and swollen like a large pimple or ingrown hair (see picture below). After the sore becomes extremely painful and inflamed, it will burst thus releasing the freshly-bred MRSA bacteria. The bacteria will innervate the body unless they are treated with medicine and removed. Assuming MRSA innervates the body, the prognosis is poor since it then attaches to internal organs and causes death. Over 18,000 people die each year from this type of outcome. But, if medicine is applied swiftly and the wound is drained, MRSA can be eradicated from the body and the victim can lead a normal life thereafter. The major issue is, however, that MRSA is highly resistant to common medications and can even develop resistance to new medications due to its swift breeding cycle.
How Can You Get MRSA?
There are a few common ways people get MRSA:
Hospital visits are often the most common way since the MRSA bacteria can lie dormant on surfaces, which are cleaned using antibiotics that MRSA is impervious to.
Gyms and locker rooms are another common way, putting high school students at a greater risk. Sharing towels with family members can also spread it, assuming one family member is infected or a carrier.
Other common areas include health clubs, armed-force living quarters, professional sports locker rooms, spas, and retirement homes.
If you cannot avoid some of the above-mentioned areas where MRSA is found, there are ways to prevent becoming infected. To avoid getting MRSA, use good hygiene, minimize time in the at-risk areas and buy the over-the-counter product Hibiclens (more information on our Products page) to wash cuts and wounds so that the wounds do not act as breeding zones for dormant MRSA.
Do I have MRSA, and What Should I Do?
Diagnosing MRSA is not always easy, but here are some simple questions to ask yourself to see if you may have MRSA and to know whether to contact a doctor:
- Is the protrusion fast growing?
- Is the protrusion red and painful to the touch?
- Is the protrusion difficult to pop–unlike a normal pimple–or extremely painful to squeeze or touch?
- Does the protrusion grow at a quick rate, each day seemingly getting harder, bigger, and more painful?
- Is the area of the protrusion surrounded by smaller protrusions with similar characteristics?
- After two days, is the protrusion still as insidious as it was at onset—in other words, is it continuing to grow, rather than decreasing in size?
If you answered yes to three of these or more of these questions, please consult a doctor—or two—and ask them to “swab/culture the area and test for MRSA.” If your doctor seems unfamiliar with the disease, seek another doctor immediately!
Can I Prevent, Cure, or Treat MRSA?
Treating MRSA is difficult. Many medicines are ineffective and many doctors do not know what MRSA is. It is important to try the normal medical-route first: seek a doctor, allow them to prescribe medicine, and take the medicine to completion. However, for many people—including two of the founders of MRSA Foundation—medicine is simply ineffectual. Here are some steps that may help take care of MRSA, and may not be brought up by your average clinician:
- Buy Hibiclens at your local supermarket or drug store and apply it to the affected area twice daily; also apply it to any area where you shave or scrub (thus avoiding future infections).
- Take showers and use new towels each time you bathe in order to prevent further infections and/or worsening of the infection.
- Consult a dermatologist and ask for an incision and drainage instead of medication—although painful, draining the sore is one of the best ways to rid the body of the inflammation and breeding bacteria.
- Upon a doctor or medical professional’s recommendation, try some of the items featured on our Products page. While we do not endorse these products, they have been reported to us as being at least partially effective in keeping MRSA at bay.
Where Can I Read More?
Below are some links to important sources of information on MRSA: