One of the most common bacteria residing on the skin is Staphylococcus aureus. Normally, we can co-exist with this microorganism without endangering our health. However, due to numerous factors, microbial overgrowth may occur causing several problems such as a staph infection in the nose. This medical condition is common, curable, and preventable. However, a serious condition may develop if this microbe enters the body and infect the bloodstream, heart, and lungs. This can be life-threatening if immediate treatment is not administered. For this reason, it is vital to learn and understand everything about staph infections and the ways to treat and prevent it.
What are the Symptoms?
Depending on the severity of the infection, you will notice the following symptoms:
- Local Symptoms
Nasal infection develops as a secondary infection when the defense system of the nasal passage is weak, like in cases of respiratory infections such as the flu and common colds, or an injury to the nasal cavity.
The local symptoms of staph infection in the nose are nasal congestion, the presence of green or yellow mucus, sore throat, cough, pain, and swelling. As the condition gets worse, additional symptoms will include a sinus headache, chills, and fever.
- Distant Symptoms
Staph aureus can also affect the skin causing distant symptoms, which includes pimples, boils, impetigo, carbuncles, cellulitis, and abscess.
Pimples and boils have a similar appearance, which is a small bump filled with pus or fluid. However, boils are painful. Carbuncles are clusters of boils or pimples that cause necrosis or cell death in the cells surrounding the infection. Cellulitis is an inflammation of the connective tissue, which leads to the development of sores or abscess.
- Invasive Disease Symptoms
Invasive disease symptoms will appear once the Staph aureus has already spread and invaded the other organs of the body, leading to medical conditions such as pneumonia, scalded skin syndrome, endocarditis, and sepsis.
When the staph infection reaches the lungs, it is pneumonia. The common symptoms are a cough and fever. Scalded skin syndrome is characterized by the formation of red blisters that looks like a scald or burned skin. Endocarditis is the inflammation of the heart’s inner lining with symptoms such as shortness of breath and night sweats. Finally, sepsis is a lethal condition that occurs due to the overreaction of the immune system in response to the infection. The symptoms will include an increase in respiratory and heart rate.
Treatments of Staph Infection in the Nose
It is crucial to treat this infection before it spreads and causes havoc inside the body. The common treatments include the following:
The most common method to control bacterial overgrowth is to take antibacterial medications in the form of ointments, oral preparations, or injections. Typically, the doctor will prescribe an ointment such as mupirocin (Bactroban®) for skin infections. He may also prescribe an oral antibiotic like cephalosporin for a staph infection in the nose. In some cases, an intravenous vancomycin is necessary because some strains of bacteria have developed antibiotic resistance. Thus, a more potent drug is the best treatment option.
- Surgical Drainage
If there are boils inside the nose or on the skin, another treatment option is to drain the pus. The doctor will make a small incision to drain the fluid. He will also prescribe an antibiotic ointment to prevent aggravating the condition.
- Medicated Honey
Some doctors will prescribe medicated honey for chronic staph infections. Marijuana or cannabis-infused honey can help inhibit the overgrowth of Staph aureus. Thus, it can help prevent the infection from reoccurring.
Home Remedies for Staph Infection in Nose
Several home remedies can also help control bacterial overgrowth. The following natural treatments are effective against Staphylococcus aureus.
- Oregano Oil
Oregano is known for its antimicrobial compounds such as thymol and carvacrol. Furthermore, it can also help reduce swelling. Oregano oil products are concentrated. Thus, it is imperative to dilute it before applying it to the infected area to avoid irritation. You should always follow the instructions indicated in the package to minimize adverse reactions.
- Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has various compounds such as terpinolene that have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. To use this remedy, you can mix tea tree oil (1 teaspoon) with honey (2 teaspoons) and apply it on the infected area.
- Eucalyptus Oil
Another essential oil with antimicrobial properties is eucalyptus. It can also help relieve nasal congestion. You can use this remedy by dropping a few drops in warm water and use it for steam inhalation. If you have a food-grade oil, you can make a eucalyptus tea by mixing 4 drops of oil in a cup of hot water.
Because of its sulfur compounds such as allicin, garlic is also an excellent remedy for treating and preventing the staph infection in the nose. To use this remedy, you can place some crushed garlic on the infected area. You can also add garlic in your daily meals to reap its healthful compounds and antibacterial properties.
- Bitter Melon
Bitter melon can help treat and prevent a staph infection by strengthening your immune system. It also has anti-bacterial properties. You can use this natural treatment by extracting its juice and applying it on the infected area. Juicing is another method you can use to get its healthful compounds.
Preventions and When to See a Doctor?
It is a typical scenario that a person may develop a staph infection in the nose several times. You can prevent this from happening through the following methods.
- Good Hygiene
Staphylococcus aureus resides in the skin. A good hygiene will help prevent bacterial overgrowth. Proper hand washing is one of the best practices to avoid transferring the bacteria from one place to another. You can also use a disinfectant or hand sanitizer if you cannot wash your hands.
- Taking Care of Personal Items
A staph infection is contagious. Furthermore, the disease-causing bacteria can also thrive and reproduce in other objects such as beddings. It is highly recommended to avoid sharings personal items such as towels and clothes to avoid spreading the bacteria or the infection. Washing your clothes, beddings, and towels in hot water will also help kill harmful microorganisms.
- Strengthen your Immune System
The best preventive measure to ward off any infections is to boost your immune system. A balanced and healthy diet can provide essential nutrient that can help strengthen your body. You should also exercise regularly and choose healthy lifestyle choices for optimum health.
When should you visit a doctor? It is essential to seek medical attention to get appropriate medications. A fever is a definite sign of an infection. It is imperative to visit your doctor once your body temperature is above 98.6 °F or 37°C. Other notable signs and symptoms are the presence of blisters or boils with pus and severe skin irritation.