West Houston Dermatology

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Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)

Skin conditions - MRSA

What is MRSA aka “The Super-Bug?”

MRSA is a form of staph infection that is resistant common antibiotics, making it exceptionally difficult to treat. Staph infections including MRSA have primarily been hospital borne infections, but in the 1990s, a type of MRSA began showing up in the wider community. Today, that form of staph, is known as community-associated MRSA. MRSA causes skin and soft tissue infections and can lead to pneumonia even death. 


Like other staph infections, MRSA is passed from person to person through direct contact with skin or through contact with contaminated items. The bacteria may live in people’s noses and on their skin, and usually don’t cause any problems. However, young children, the elderly and individuals with immune deficiencies are at particular risk.


Personal Hygiene Tips Wash hands using liquid soap and water frequently, especially after using the toilet and after any hands-on contact with other persons. Alternatively, an alcohol-based hand rub can be used according to label instructions. Visibly soiled hands should be washed with soap and water rather than an alcohol-based hand rub.

  • Dry hands with disposable paper towels or air blowers. Avoid sharing towels.
  • Limit sharing of personal items (e.g., towels clothing and soap).
  • Keep skin lesions (e.g., boils, insect bites, open sores or cuts) covered with a clean, dry dressing.
  • Use a barrier (e.g., a towel or a layer of clothing) between the skin and shared equipment.
  • Shower if there has been substantial skin-on-skin contact with another person.
  • Athletes with active skin and soft tissue infections should not participate in wrestling until wounds are completely healed. Consider using this rule for all contact sports.