What Does MRSA Look Like

Sometimes things are not what they seem. A visitor commented that he thought his wife had been bitten by a brown recluse which looked just like a bite, but instead, it turned out to be an MRSA Staph Infection.

Here is information on this infection that can mimic a spider bite. Want to see what happens when a bite gets infected? Then check out our section on Staph Infection.

So, what is Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus?

This is what MRSA looks like after healing.

This is what MRSA looks like after healing.

Staphylococcus aureus (staph) is a bacteria (germ) found on and in healthy people’s skin and nose. It also grows in wounds or other body parts, sometimes causing an infection. For example, staph is one of the most common causes of skin infections.

They used to prescribe Penicillin for the treatment of staph infections. However, over time many staph bacteria have become difficult to treat with Penicillin and antibiotics related to Penicillin.

These new or resistant forms of Staphylococcus aureus are called methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA. The illnesses they cause are the same as those caused by other staph; the difference is how they are treated.


MRSA looks like a normal staph bacteria in the early stages and usually doesn’t cause disease until it enters an opening in the skin. Some people are at higher risk of carrying MRSA or becoming infected with this type of staph.

MRSA more often occurs in people in hospitals and healthcare facilities. It can also happen outside the hospital in people who receive multiple antibiotics, as well as in people who have close contact with a person carrying the germ or by touching objects contaminated with MRSA (e.g., clothes, towels, bedding, athletic equipment, benches in saunas or hot tubs, bandages).

Staph bacteria (including MRSA) are most often spread by close contact with infected people or the things they touch. It is not spread through the air.

Many people don’t realize they carry staph bacteria on their skin. A MRSA or other staph infection’s symptoms depends on the infection’s location. The most common are skin infections, and can cause symptoms such as redness, warmth, pus, and a wound that does not heal.

Your doctor may refer to these infections as boils, furuncles, impetigo, or abscesses. Infections can also develop in the blood, bone, bladder, lungs, and other sites. Symptoms there will depend on the site of infection but include fever and pain at the site.

Think you have MRSA?

Do you have MRSA or other staph infections? If so, you should see your healthcare provider. It can be hard to tell what MRSA looks like, and tests are the best way to find out if you need treatment, but don’t wait!

MRSA and other staph infections are treatable! Some staph skin infections can be treated simply by draining the sore and keeping the wound clean. For more severe infections, antibiotics can be used to treat these infections.

If your healthcare provider prescribes antibiotics, it is crucial to finish taking all the pills and call your doctor if the infection does not improve.

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  1. Monica says:

    A Hope, can u give me the dosages you took? You cam email me at billyp514 (at) yahoo.com. My husband got it while in the hospital years ago & I got it from him. Several months ago it came back in both of us & our 2 year old. I think I have it again. I am so frustrated that it keeps coming back. Thanks to anyone who can give me any all natural treatment suggestions.

  2. MRSA survivor says:

    I’ve had MRSA problem several times in my life and I’m under 30. I’m sharing this because I’m appalled by the people who are not taking it seriously, cutting the lumps/infections out of themselves, ignoring the problem or trying to save money and treat it with weird home remedies.

    My left thigh had to have 3 big surgeries to cut out the infection. The doctor literally cut a hole in my leg and took out bad tissue. Its sounds gross and medieval but they saved my life and my leg in doing so. All this was due to MRSA.

    Basically my leg would get sore, red and id go to the hospital within like 48 hours I develop 105 fevers, they do surgery, remove tissue and about 2 months later the hole in my leg would close and id be good as new. Three or two years later it would happen all over again. I didn’t have a bug bite, or an ingrown hair, or pimples, or a rash or any of that stuff.

    My advice to u is once u have a MRSA infection on your stomach or leg be careful it’ll come back it always does. Look for unexplainable soreness, redness, fever, a boil/pimple forms in the area, it smells bad, it has pus. Go to a hospital where they have a wound care facility and understand MRSA, staph, abscess, cellulitus etc.

    Best of luck to you all.

  3. Marinemom says:

    I developed an open wound on my lower abdomen about a month and a half ago. I finally went to the doctor last week because it wasn’t getting better and I was starting to feel shaky, hot/cold, sick to my stomach. This wound oozes pus non stop. I went to an urgent care and he said it wasn’t a spider bite so he said it must be a staph infection. I went to another doctor the next day and he also said staph.

    Sunday night it started bleeding and I knew something wasn’t right. Went back to the doctor and was told it was not staph. Sent to an infectious disease doctor who agreed it wasn’t staph and he sent me to a dermatologist for a biopsy. They are testing me for lupus (I have had lupus type symptoms for years but never had lupus).

    My question is if it’s not staph, not MRSA, not a spider bite, what the heck is it. No one seems to know. I woke up one morning with a huge red oval on my stomach which started to shrink and once it started shrinking the skin came off and it’s been this way ever since. Has any one experienced anything like this?

  4. stark says:

    To A Hope:

    I am going to the dermatologist today for confirmation about a staph infection I am sure I have (I have all the symptoms – red, oozes, warm to touch) possibly MRSA because I have been on antibiotics for a week now and it has only proceeded to get worse. I do want to try the natural medications that you mentioned within your posts. If you could provide more specifics to me I would greatly appreciate it. You may email me at kstarr [at] mines.edu, or for others, it may be useful if you post the regiment here. Thanks Again!

  5. a hope says:

    Ok, read down the page and you will see I left natural medicine instructions for anyone who has MRSA. I have taken this medicine and so has my teenage daughter. Neither of us has any symptoms at all anymore. I did up my dosage after i got the symptoms under control. I doubled everything for 3 days. Took one pill away from each type of med and each dose the next two days, went to normal dosage the next 2 days and went off all meds for two more days.

    I did this to teach my system to fight the MRSA and it worked. I am no longer sick and I can even shave my underarms again. If you need specifics let me know and I will write each type of natural medicine down with each dose and how many days. You can fight this and WIN!

  6. Laura says:

    I was diagnosed with MRSA 08/2011, with a large MRSA wound, after what everyone thought was a spider bite on the same leg coincidentally I had just had a knee replacement on just a couple months prior to the wound appearing. I was extremely ill from the time I had the knee replacement with actually coming home from the hospital with a shingles outbreak on my face. Maybe MRSA? I will never know.

    I then battled a very itchy rash on my leg and then finally the huge MRSA wound on my upper thigh. During all of this time I was given huge doses of antibiotics but without any relief. I then developed shortness of breath extreme fatigue, depression and really began to think my time on this earth was limited at best.

    I was finally admitted to the hospital in kidney failure and very low white blood cell count. Saw several specialists while in the hospital for 7 days and was given a shot of neupogen in my stomach to raise my white blood cell count. It was decided that I had a severe reaction to Bactrim and it was discontinued.

    That was in August of 2011 and January 2012 I am still battling extreme fatigue and joint pain among other symptoms. I just saw an endocrinologist and we have now discovered I have Hashimoto’s Disease which is an auto-immune disease. The Dr believes that I have acquired this disease due to how extremely sick I was last year. My system is now attacking my own thyroid and now we are having to adjust medications to hopefully get me back on track.
    All of this because of MRSA.

    Everyone please watch the signs and do not take the medical personnel dismissing what could be a very serious medical situation.
    Wishing everyone good health and speedy recoveries.

  7. Tracie says:

    I live in Florida all there is, is woods around. one morning I woke up to red spots on me so I watched them for a couple of days and they got bigger went to doctor and he said it was cellulite. well it got worse it was MRSA and now I have it again, my husband has it in his nose. we have purple spots on us from the MRSA now, does anyone have them too.

  8. Rene Ralston says:

    I live out in the “boonies” here in Florida. On Christmas Eve (night time) I went out to get the mail. I felt something hot hit me on my left calf. I went inside, and within an hour started vomiting and had diarrhea. I thought I had just had too much fast food. On Sunday after Christmas dinner and all had left, I ran a hot bath, sat and soaked in it for maybe 15 minutes. I thought I had sciatica cause I hurt all over, no fever, no chills.

    When I looked down at the leg that had felt hot on Christmas Eve I saw some bright green puss coming out of a small pimple. Also what looked like a straw or stinger with an empty bag on it. Like a bee stinger or a snake bite. It looked mostly like a snake bite on my leg. I put it on wax paper and stapled it shut. Went to bed and by 7:00 am it was swollen and hot. I had a dark almost black spot the size of a dime where the thing had pushed out. Dressed and drove immediately to the emergency room at local hospital.

    I gave the doctor the wax paper with what appeared be a stinger or fang. He said “what the h…. is this?” I told him it came out of my leg. Anyway he looked at the exzemia I had on the back of my leg and told me I had cellulitis infection. Not a snake bite. Gave me antibiotic prescription and a shot of a broad spectrum antibiotic. Sent me home. Used warm packs on it as instructed and did not cover it.

    The doctor totally dismissed the snake bite theory. I did not see the snake, but the symptoms were the same as snake bite. That was on Monday morning. By Wednesday morning I was in big time pain and the spot on my leg had seeped watery blood, and huge amounts of yellow puss. I covered it and headed back to ER. By the time I got there it had grown in size and had two large abscesses draining on to the floor from under the bandage and when they pulled off the bandage it had long strings of something like puss coming out of it. Smelled really bad.

    They cleaned the wound, packed it with medicine, and started me on another antibiotic, took a culture of it. Sent home. Went back Friday to have packing taken out. Culture said MRSA. I am on heavy duty antibiotics. Thankfully I have not had to be hospitalized. If you get MRSA I will tell you it is very painful. I still think I was bitten by a snake since I live out in the woods. No other homes for several miles. The nausea and vomiting and bowels problem with in that short amount of time is classic symptoms. The doctors told me if it really was a snake bite that the snake had MRSA bacteria in the fangs! Still though they dismissed the whole idea.

    Thanks so much for reading this. Rene

  9. Dellarun says:


    I had a bad case of the MRSA in the nose and which was highly resistant for any treatment finally we have a solution for this one” a ointment called as T bact which contains mupirocin ointment when applied on the infected area for 3 to 4 days , seems that 100% cure and no more infection reoccurring for ever !!!!!

    Arun kumar

  10. Burse says:

    Just learned today I have MRSA, I have a abscess on my stomach, the lump is about the size of a half dollar and it had a tiny hole at the top, the doctor opened up the hole so he can pack the wound, I’m currently on bactrium antibiotic, and today i am also starting to take probiotics, (you can take probiotics 3 hours before or after you take antibiotic), I’m hoping the probiotics will restore the good bacteria getting killed by the bactrium and boost my immune system, i believe i got my MRSA from a co worker which sucks because i wash my hands like crazy, don’t know how it ended up on my stomach but who knows, i originally thought it was a spider bite. I’m researching like crazy for ways to prevent another infection in the future, i will keep checking back to this site to read the updates from you guys, maybe we can come up with something to beat this thing.

  11. jessica harrison says:

    OK, so I woke up one morning with what I thought was a bug or spider bite. Not a big deal right? Well, 2 days later it was still there it itched a lot, had a big red ring around it and a weird looking black scab in the middle and it would not pop. The bump was really hard so I went to the medical facility on our army post (We only have one real doc and she is a pediatric doc) and she said it was a spider bite and gave me cephalexin (keflex), the next day it was worse and was turning a bit purple and the red ring spread further on my arm and was really hot.

    I went back to see her and she had another doc on call come look at it and he said the antibiotics should kick in about 48 hours later and it had only been 24. So I waited another day. Again, the redness spread, the knot was bigger and it was still hot and itchy. I went back and they still did not run any tests, told me it would heal up and I told them they could cut it out because I wanted it gone. They did take a needle and open the top up and then squeezed all the puss out. Keep in mind it was a hard knot so this stuff was not easy to get out and it hurt like hell but i suffered through it and they finally said they had it all. The doc left and while i was waiting for the nurse to come back in and clean and wrap it up the redness had spread more and it was on fire and the knot was back but I requested the doc to come back and look at it again and they told once again it was normal…

    I’m not a doctor but this is crazy…. well all of that happened yesterday and I am still taking my meds, I woke up this morning with a new itchy bump on my shoulder so I am freaking out it may be the same thing and my son has to things that look like bites on both his wrists and I cant have him going through what i am so everything is freaking me out because I believe it is mrsa and it is still draining today and totally disgusting I want to add…. I don’t know if it is a spider bite or mrsa but I do know that it is gross, hurts, red, hot, swollen, itchy, and started off looking like a little pimple.

  12. Kris T. says:

    OIL of OREGANO folks!!

    I am not sure what I have just yet. I have had multiple abcecces on my body. I thought it was just a spider bite the first time. The infection swelled and made about an inch circle of my skin real tight. At first I thought it was either a pimple or in grown hair so I attempted to squeeze the puss out of it. but by the third day it hurt worse than ever and no puss was really coming out.

    At that point I decided to leave it alone, just clean it with hydrogen peroxide and then cover it with a band aid. The next couple days the pain worsened and felt like pressure was building underneath, there seemed to be a whiteish “head” on it so a attempted to squeeze out the puss again. This time a lot of puss came out along with some blood. I noticed that when cleaned it looked as though it was a hole in my body. and there was still white stuff in the middle. I took tweezers to pull that out. it was slimy and hard to get because to me it just seemed like dead or infected tissue. after another two or three days of that it finally started to heal. I just cleaning it and a band aid on it. Well this has happened 4 times since then. My girlfriend has had the same types of sores. So with research I believe in understand it to be mrsa.

    Note: I have not gotten a colture test to verify if it is mrsa, but my information is noteworthy.

    this last time while doing research I learned a lot. First MRSA is not fully treatable by antibiotics, and resistant strands are impervious to even the strongest antibiotics like vancomycin which can cost you 40,000 dollars for the treatment. (It has to be done intravenously) Second, I am taking Oil of oregano and WOW. I have only taken it for 4 days now but it prevented a sore that i had started to get and it has substantially diminished my girlfriends two open sores. Please understand we are clean and healthy people. we are both in our twenties with what we thought were good immune systems.

    But alas, O only believe that the oregano is capable of killing the infection topically. You see in doing research you find that MRSA can hide in Biofilm. A slime substance that the chemical nature of oregano cannot penetrate. that brings me to the third point. Silver sol. After alot of research i am going to be purchasing this stuff after the new year (when I have the money) This stuff can break through the biofilm and can MRSA. This stuff can actually do a lot!!! but anyways if anyone has read this and is interested in how the stuff works for me I will post again after my colture test next week and after i use silver sol.

    otherwise feel free to email at tekrodrigo [at] yahoo.com

  13. Dee says:

    I have just battled my fourth MRSA infection on my breast. This time I went to an infectious disease doctor. Did the Hibiclens for 5 days, Bactroban up the most for 5 days. Clyndamyacin for two weeks and Bactrim for 3. Now I am on a 3-month course of Bactrim once a day. When I go back to see him I will have a blood test to check the liver and should be cut down to 3 times a week. Even six weeks later the area is a light purple color and itches but this flare up was terrible. Hope everyone gets better on here.

  14. a hope says:

    By the way have almost no symptoms on these meds and at the most I get on lil bump now that goes away in 3 days. I still itch but not like I did. Hope this helps everyone out there!

  15. a hope says:

    OK, I have not been tested for MRSA but am sure I have it because my symptoms are the same. “Spider bite” on the inner thigh and doubled the size of the inside of my thigh. Flu like symptoms. After that like 2 months later my underarms got some painful bumps and I just felt really sick. Went to doc and he gave me antibiotics without testing. Got them 3 more times and felt sicker and sicker each time adding dizziness and forgetfulness to the symptoms. My hubby works in a store that sales natural stuff so he started working on the problem cause by now we figured out what I have.

    After much trial and error this is what has helped me and the least expensive way to deal with it. (by the way my husband does not sale this brand but it helps). Swanson brand for all of them…..Magnolia Bark 2 at night only(can make you tired), Olive Leaf Extract 2 twice a day, Meriva 2 twice a day. Now this is natural so you have to build it up in your system so if you are sick with it now, get your antibiotics and start this too. It usually takes 2-3 weeks for natural meds to get into your system. I know I still have it and we are looking for ways to enhance the immune system to kick it but have not found it yet.

  16. Francis says:

    Eunice, I have a similar story (dad/hospital –> recurring staph infection every 3 months for about 5 years now). After retreated attempts to battle this stuff with antibiotics alone, I’ve found a preventative cure in showering with benzoyl peroxide every day. Washing with this stuff daily for the past two years, and I’ve had only one major outbreak on my lower leg (and I blame that on an overnight trip to the beach when I forgot to bring the benzoyl peroxide). I’ve also had a couple minor outbreaks in my nose and the lobes of my ears over the past two years, which I think are pre-cursors to a large infection if left untreated and stamped out (the benzoyl peroxide will contain / knock those down within a few days).

    Two common products you can find at most pharmacies are Oxy Maximum Wash and PanOxy (both 10% benzoyl peroxide — both are acne washes). And if you find this treatment works, Amazon sells multi-packs of Oxy Wash for under $20 (making for a pretty inexpensive ongoing preventative treatment).

  17. Eunice says:

    After reading the comments, I decided to share my battle with MRSA. April 30, 2008 is when I first contracted MRSA. My father was very sick and in the hospital. I was going out of town that day for work and decided to visit him before I left town. I was at the hospital for nearly an hour. This is how I contracted MRSA, from the hospital (my father did not have it).

    I traveled nearly 3 hours away from home to attend a 2 day training for work. I was in the hotel that night and began to have pain and discomfort while swallowing. I went to bed just thinking I had a sore throat. Within hours I awoke and my throat had swollen and was red with white bumps on my tonsils. I was sweating and chilling. I knew I had a fever. I put a cold washrag on my forehead and went back to sleep. I awoke again to pain in my throat and body aches. I decided that I should go home and to the doctor. It was a struggle to take a shower and pack my clothes that morning. I checked out of the hotel and drove the 3 hours home. I do not remember my trip. I realize now how lucky I was not to get in a wreck. I was so sick that I would drive with one eye shut while holding a cold water bottle on my forehead.

    I went to the doctor as soon as I arrived home. I had a temp of 102.7 and my throat was nearly swollen shut. The doctor took one look at my throat and diagnosed me with strep. I was given 2 rosephine shots in my hips and told to go home and rest. I stayed home for over a week. I had major body aches, fever and trouble swallowing. I finally got over my ‘strep.’

    In late July, I noticed white sores on my tonsils again and redness. I went to the doctor and the strep swab was a negative. The doctor swabbed my tonsils for a culture to confirm that it was strep type b. He gave me antibiotics to treat my ‘strep’ and sent me home. Three days later my doctor notified me that MRSA was on my tonsils. He prescribed me a stronger antibiotic. After a few days I was healed. Or so I thought…

    For nearly 2 years I battled MRSA on my tonsils. I had tonsilitis and strep 9 times. Finally a specialist suggested I have my tonsils removed. So, on May 11, 2010 I had a tonsillectomy. My surgeon was astonished at how pitted and scarred my tonsils were. He had to cut very deep to remove all the scar tissue the MRSA had caused. I was 29 years old the time of my surgery and I was under great risks. Luckily, I had no complications. I was off work for 3 weeks. It was the worst pain ever. I had to sleep in a recliner and constantly drink water. If my throat became dry the pain was unbearable. I couldn’t take my full dose of hydrocodone because if I was knocked out I slept with my mouth open and my tonsils became dry. I couldn’t talk for 12 days after the surgery and when I did regain my voice; I could only say a few words before I would be in pain. I was happy to have the MRSA out of my body. Or so I thought…

    I soon discovered that once you have MRSA you have it for life. I am now battling a abscess infected with MRSA on my inner thigh near my privates. The boil popped up last week and after tripling in size popped and drained on its own. A lot of pus drained from the boil. A few hours after the boil popped I had to go to the doctor. There was a hole big enough to stick the tip of my pinkie finger in it. The doctor swabbed and did a culture of the pus. They packed the hole and gave me Bactrim (with my history, they treated as if I had MRSA) and Bactroban ointment to apply around the wound. I have to go back to the doctor every 2 days to have the wound repacked. The culture confirmed that it is MRSA yesterday. I hope it heals quickly.

    MRSA has affected my life tremendously. I am now a germaphobe. I will not enter a hospital or clinic without a mask, kleenex’s to use when opening doors and pushing elevator buttons, lysol spray and antibacterial liquid. Many say that I am overreacting, but they have never had MRSA. I encourage everyone to take every precaution necessary to avoid contracting MRSA!!

  18. the best treatment I have found and cheap says:

    It may sound old school but I was searching for a simple cheap alternative to fix my problem.
    I went to a fishing tackle store and bought a container of leeches and it only took one day two leeches and it was gone. I used a different leech both times so I wouldnt re-infect. Took out the infection and the natural Anticoagulant given off by the leech got rid of the hard mass under the skin.

  19. coleynyc says:

    Laura DeGaetano – good thing he’s your ex and that you were smart enough to get help. Glad you’re ok!

  20. Ray says:

    Thought I’d share my story. I worked in a hospital laundry facility for 6 weeks before I found another job. Following the 5th week, I began to get large, hard, painful boils on my thigh and buttocks. I went to an outpatient facility, where they told me they were suspected spider bites, and told me to apply a compress a few times a day. I was to stop back in 1 week. I stopped back in 1 week, but by that time they had burst (and felt much, much better). I had never seen so much pus from sores in my life. At the 2nd appointment, the nurse mentioned that perhaps they should have run a MRSA test. I didn’t know what MRSA was, exactly, at that time. I moved for the new job, and a week or 2 later I had more boils.

    I knew they couldn’t have been spider bites at that point, so I went online and found a pic of MRSA that looked exactly like what I had. I went to an ER, and the doctor told me that they are trained to treat all boils as MRSA to be on the safe side, and that spider bites are extremely rare. They took a culture, and MRSA was confirmed. I was pretty upset, especially because I had thought they were spider bites and tried to let them air out somewhat, thinking that would help them to heal…what I was actually doing, though, was allowing for a possibility of it to spread, since the pus is extremely contagious.

    I’ve since been told that once you have it, your body is “colonized” by the bacteria, whether you have another outbreak or not. I took bactrim, mupirocin, and tried using hibiclens while showering. The hibiclens dried my skin out, and brought on a mild eczema breakout. 2 of the eczema patches (on my shins) were not healing. I stopped using the hibiclens. The eczema itched terribly, and I’d often break them open by scratching in my sleep. After 2 months, I had a terrible eczema outbreak (not sure what brought it on). Blisters on my hands and feet, small patches all over the body. I got a prescription that seemed to help the small patches, but not the large ones on my shins, and more patches kept coming in as older ones healed. I finally got a steroid cream that works well on all the eczema with a prednisone prescription, but now the MRSA has returned, and I’m left battling both.

    Eczema on the hands, feet, and shins (primarily), and MRSA on 1 wrist and both ankles. I’m not sure if anyone truly ever “beats” MRSA. I hope that something is found that eliminates it, though, because it causes a lot of stress and worry (for fear of spreading it to others), in addition to the pain/discomfort. I’ve spent a lot of money on gauze, bandages, and anti-bacterial cleansers, I’ve been washing clothing and towels after a single use, etc., etc. Seems like a losing battle that I’ll just have to live with every few months.

  21. cassandra kasper says:

    Hello. I have a 2 year old son who recently came down with mrsa. I am getting frustrated because this is his 3rd time getting it. He was a 24 week premature baby. He only weighed 1 pound 9 ounces. I have heard of mrsa being fatal in some cases. I am afraid that if it keeps coming back that it will become fatal to him. Should I take him to see a dermatologist?. Will my 1 year old come down with this too? Are they any home remedies for me to help out my 2 year old with mrsa? Is there any homeopathic stuff out there I can try? If anyone has any feedback please I am at wits end with these doctors. Thank you all so much!!!!!!!!

  22. Laura De Gaetano says:

    Not sure how I got MRSA….a Wednesday I noticed something appearing to be a spider bite on my right hand..I got some medicine from the Pharmacy and went on my vacation to Big Bear…By Friday it was swelling like a balloon, my now ex tried to pop it thinking if we get the venom out it would heal…felt a little better…Saturday it was more swollen as was my wrist & still hurt but I thought just cuz we messed with it…Sunday I felt sick and the swelling shot up my arm…my ex thought I was faking so I managed to get a stranger to take me…they said I had to be taken via ambulance to Loma Linda or I would lose my hand….found out it was MRSA…and had I waited one more day, I would have lost my right hand…and with the swelling going past my shoulder, I risked it going into my blood in which case they said I would have died. Thank God they cut my hand opened and got the meds in me before it came to those 2 things…worst pain of my life…took 2 months for my hand to heal…scar still hurts and itches 6 months later.

  23. Marie says:

    I got MRSA for the first time last year, and I thought I was bit by a spider, and i went to the doctor and of course it was MRSA. It took a month to get rid of it. I’ve never been in so much pain in my life. Dec 2010 I got it again but this time i caught it faster and the antibiotics didn’t work, and it buried its self into the tissue in my stomach. The doctor had to lance it open and pull the puss(cause it was attached to the tissue) outta the hole. I wanted to die, it was the worse pain imaginable. They even gave me a stuff to numb it. I’ve only had it twice but I have a weak immune system due to cervical cancer, so the doctor said it will probably come back every 6 months. I never thought this would happen to me. Living with MRSA gave me a bad rep also, people are to judgmental and have no idea what I’m going through.

  24. Mike Calo says:

    I got MRSA from a scraped knee. I had fallen on the ground while carrying out 16-pound cat and,
    instead of letting go of him I held onto him so he wouldn’t get hurt, and I ended up sliding across
    the lawn and dirt – in shorts. I immediately went inside, washed it with peroxide, then with soap
    and water, put ointment on it and put a band aid over it. I thought I was good to go.

    In four days my knee hurt so badly that I couldn’t kneel down on it; I ended up going to a night time doctors’ office. They said it was
    definitely staph, but weren’t sure if it was MRSA. So they pulled the scab back – without any pain meds – and jammed a long culture swab into the center of the injury. I Almost went through the ceiling, and I WAS crying from the pain. They prescribed something for me and said that if I had come in one day later they would have had me admitted to the hospital immediately.

    I ended up taking a medicine called AVALOX (my primary care physician called me and said that it was indeed MRSA and that it only responded to AVALOX.

  25. Jay says:

    I dealt with staph (early stages of mrsa) with my son involved in sports at school. It was going around and I knew that he would have a chance on getting it so a kept an eye out for any marks. When he came to me and showed me his bump I knew right away and went to his Drs. I can tell you from experience in dealing with this you are in for a fight. All I can say is that when dealing with that you have to sanitize tremendously. Every time he got in the shower I was bleaching his towel and drying it on high heat for at least an hr. Keep it covered with meds given by your dr. Clean it at least 3 times a day put new band aid and ointment each time you clean it. Try your best not to let other members of the family exposed to it. Lots of bleach. Bleach tub after each use. Don’t share towels. That’s a big no no. Before I knew it, it was gone. About 10 days.

  26. Kathy says:

    Thanks for all the stories and advice. I am recovering from MRSA on my outer upper thigh. I think I got it when I got a scratch playing with a friend’s dog and then I used a public toilet at an airport without using the paper seat liner. It started just as you said, a small pimple, thought it was a spider bite.

    The doctor dug it out, gave me Bactrim, and said I should stand in the shower and scrub the wound until it bleeds three times a day to keep it clean. A different doctor told me to wash the spot with hibiclens. The bottle says for external use only and this hole is over an inch deep. Anyone know if I should use it on the wound?

  27. rainny says:

    i was training again for stna because of time ran out. OK i went to my clinicals at a nursing home and went in to service a pt there was no warning sign on door?? to wear protective mask gloves gown?? it was removed. a girl training with me asked me? did u just come out of that room? i said yes why?? she had been there the day before.she told me that man just got over mrsa!! i was never ever warned of this? as a new trainee.what? i immediately i ran to wash my hands face and clean up. i went home told my husband what happened he said they r gonna be responsible if u get mrsa? i have since broken out with sores on my skin! my doctor said its insect bites??? i don’t buy that! should i contact medical board where? how? help!!

  28. Frankie says:

    In the article it stated that MRSA is “NOT SPREAD THROUGH THE AIR”. I got extremely ill in July 2007. I thought I had a head & chest cold, because my older daughter (who was 8 months pregnant at the time) & her boyfriend (Ashley & Levi) were living with me at the time and that’s what they had. So when I came down with the symptoms, I figured I’d feel better in 4 to 5 days, because that’s how long it was for them.

    I nearly killed myself waiting out this alleged head/chest cold. My younger daughter, Krissy, started asking me to let her take me to the ER about day 3. She truly felt I was sicker than I should be for a cold. I, of course, refused. Like everyone else, I hate the ER!

    On the 5th day, i had progressed to the point that the task of simply STANDING UP from a seated position in a rocking char TOOK MY BREATH AWAY to the point I literally felt starved for oxygen! It terrified Krissy and me, especially given my Ventolin (inhaler for asthma) didn’t help at all. I finally gave in and went to the ER.

    As I walked in, I must have looked really bad! I couldn’t breath because I had walked the 30ft from the car into the ER and the gal at the desk freaked out and called the Dr’s and RN’s to the lobby for me.

    I ended up being admitted for 5 1/2 days with PNEUMONIA caused by the Pneumococcus Bacteria, and MRSA. I was quarantined for 3 days because the MRSA was in my lungs, and therefore it was AIR-BORN and I was extremely contagious.

    The Dr’s were preparing my family on days 2 & 3 for my death. They were fairly certain that I would not survive, because I had got to the point that I couldn’t even TALK without losing my breath. Fortunately I won the battle and got better! I was released the evening of the 5th day.

    The MRSA damaged my lungs to the point that I was diagnosed with COPD 2 months after I was rid of the pneumonia.

    I just wanted you to know that MRSA is HIGHLY contagious, even through the air in some circumstances.

    I had what they called Community Acquired MRSA. I have no idea how I initially got it. Perhaps Ashley & Levi had it also but they were able to fight it off, but not before spreading it to me? Krissy never did get anything at all, Thank God!

    If you need me to document any of this, particularly the airborn transmission ability of the MRSA I would be happy to provide you with my records from that time frame.

    Thank You for hearing me out!



  29. Rose says:

    I had mrsa about 3 yrs. ago.I had cut my leg open on the foot plate of my wheelchair. Had to have eight stitches. It healed up, but about a year later I noticed my leg by my ankle was turning red. About midnight it had traveled about half way up. I called my daughter and told her what was happening. she said to give it a little longer & see what happens. A couple of hour’s later it had spread almost to my knee. I called her back & she took me to the e.r. The doc. there described it as mrsa & admitted me to the hospital right away. By the next day the whole back of my leg was broken out in big blisters and were draining. All the nerve endings were at the top of my skin.

    I couldn’t lay my leg on anything & no one could touch it. I was in the hospital for 3 wks. and it didn’t show any sign’s of healing. So I went to a bigger hospital that was better equipped for this infection. They gave me medication’s by IV. As soon as 1 was empty they hung another. After a wk. of this I was finally healed. Somehow the germ had entered into the cut I had on my leg a yr. ago. It lay dormant there all that time until it finally broke out. The back of my leg looked like flesh eating bacteria and was more painful than anything I could ever have dreamed of. So far I have not had anymore outbreak’s but still live in fear of another 1. It left my leg a dark purplish red from my ankle to my knee. The doctor said I came close to dying from it.

  30. brittany says:

    I got a small itchy bump on sat and thought it was a mosquito bite and then the next day it became swollen and red and got so bad I couldn’t walk on it or put any pressure on that leg. I went to the emergency room and the Dr told me it was a bee sting and gave me antibiotics “just in case” and sent me on my way. Well it is Thursday and the pain has not subsided and i am feeling pain in my muscle the swelling has gone down some and it has a black spot in the middle. Was wondering if this was a spider bite or staph because my boyfriend just got over a staph infection on his leg that kept spreading and we originally thought was a spider bite too. I want to go back to the doc but don’t wanna waste my time if im gonna get the same response from before. HELP PLEASE! :)

  31. Shayla says:

    Just recently i spent over a week in the hospital. i got bitten at work and thought it was a spider. i had a red ring on my stomach and it hurt and was warm. im a security guard and i work in a booth near the woods. after going to my moms and rolling around in pain and crying in my sleep she finally called 911. my temp was 106 i had chills and a fever, aches and pains, a headache and i was dizzy. soon as i got to the hospital they thought i was in shock. after 2 hours i was put in a room and spent a week with an iv and fluids, pain meds and antibiotics. finally they said it was mrsa. i was floored. i caught it early thank goodness. please get checked. don’t assume its a spider bite. GO TO THE HOSPITAL.

  32. mysti oprandi says:

    My 2 yr old popped up with a bump on her bum about 7 months ago and I noticed it and went to rub it and it popped out on its on so I took her the her doc the next day thinking it was a spider bite as did the doctor so she put her on some antibiotics and it cleared up, about 3 months later she had another one pop up on the same side almost in the same spot, it was not at a complete head yet so I took her to the E.R and the mashed it and got all the pus out and a culture and gave her some more antibiotics. About 5 days later the culture came back and of course it had to be MRSA I was scared to death for her and my other child and I also work in a retirement home as a care giver so I was scared I would somehow give it to one of my residents…

    well it cleared up and about 4 months later she came up with another one same spot so I took her back to the E.R and he barely lanced it just enough to get a culture and said it should drain thought the night well it didn’t so I took her to her regular doc the next morn and she didn’t wanna lance it til it came to a complete head she gave me head packs to put in her diaper and some bactrim antibiotic cream and by the night it came to a head and i just drained it myself because she was in so much pain from all the pressure and by the next day she could sit without screaming…. they have a soap called hibiclense that you wash the infected area with and it seems to be helping you can get it at a pharmacy or walmart….It is a terrible thing for anyone to go through especially a child it has been the most scariest thing I think I have ever been through.. good luck to anyone else going through it god bless.

  33. Jean says:

    I was diagnosed with MRSA in September 2009. I never had the large painful bumps associates with MRSA. I would get tiny “knots” under my skin on my underarms. I would squeeze them and unbelievable amounts of pus would come out. Sometimes nothing but regardless the “knot” remained. I saw the doctor because a clear liquid started to come from my left nipple. That’s is what tested for MRSA. I have to go back to the doctor now as my left nipple has begun to when squeezed produce a green/brown liquid. I’m really nervous. I have 2 kids and think I am pregnant with my third. Waiting on the clinic to call back and confirm my appointment, any similar stories?

  34. jackie says:

    Can it be like a ton of pimples?? I have a bunch on my abdomen, legs– they have told me its not scabies, chicken pox or shingles, and cultured it yesterday. Waiting for results. They itched for a day and now hurt really bad. Everything I have read about MRSA, it appears as only one spot. I have had the rash for 3 days now… and am on Cephalexin and Mupriocin cream.. plus have to wash affected ares with Hibiclens.. but still spreading!! Any advice or help??

  35. Patrick says:

    I have been fighting mrsa for the last FIVE yrs. yes that’s 5yrs.It comes back every three months except this time it came back in two weeks.some times i can get rid of it just by zyvox if i get it in time.This last time I needed Vancomycin. I would like to know if there is anyone that knows what i can do.I usa hipaclens twice a week.


  36. Ms.white says:

    hello, i have a little hot,red, kinda itchy area with a little white bump in the middle. i popped it and nothing came out, it’s close to maybe a inch or more under my right boob, i am getting scared and i dont know if it’s a type of bite. or .. maybe it could be merca? please help me i am very scared. i have been putting this cream on there, and i put alcohol on it also, i’ve only had it today (3.6.10) but i really want to know what it is because i have a daughter, and i am worried. please help.

  37. MRSA FOR TOO LONG NOW! says:

    I’ve been dealing with MRSA for over six months now. I’ve been washing with Hibiclens every day–per my doctor. I noticed more red spots on my skin which is always the beginning of the MRSA. I grabbed a Q-Tip and the Hibiclens. I dabbed some Hibiclens on the red spots and within a day they went away. Washing with the Hibiclens and also leaving it on my skin has stopped the MRSA. I have extremely sensitive skin and my skin is fine with having the Hibclens left on my skin. I have also had work order Saniguard spray from Allimed (they also have foggers). Saniguard is used at the gym I go to and there have not been any reports of MRSA there. Hope this helps!

  38. ryan says:

    to some of you who think you’ve been bitten by a spider you had what looked like a spider bite but all along was MRSA, a spider didn’t give it to you.

  39. unknown. says:

    glad I found this site.. soo much information about this topic..

    I’ve had mrsa for 2 yrs now. had 5 bumps in the 1st year. last year I had non. I take a bath with a special soap, wash my bedding wit bleach, and wash my hands. its a horrible experience. and u break more if u get surgery.

    god bless u

    &melanie. life goes on. I did wat u did and got so depressed I felt like nothing but u gotta get up and keep ur head up .


  40. Pat says:

    In my rose garden on Nov. 8 my middle finger was stung by a pus a caterpillar. Allergic and went to hospital for steroid and antihistamine. Three weeks later a biopsy was done and the area had staph. Four antibotics later, I still have the red tissue and some swelling. How do you know when the MRSA is gone? It was under the skin where you see the outline of the asp.

  41. Dave says:

    It is heartbreaking reading all these horror stories. I have had sever spider bites also….could also be MSRA. none too serious so far. I started taking2000 units of vitamin D3 each day , i believe this has greatly improved my immune system ,as i no longer have as many aches & pains (i’m 59 yr old male) and my gout is MUCH improved, and arthritis is better too. it has also improved my winter time blues a bit also. my knee is no longer a good weather predictor. if this helps anyone, that would be great.

    thanks, Dave

  42. steven says:

    i have merca and it is a deadly infection and is highly contagious and should be treated with care….my mom think i have had it from a dirt bike wreck 6 yrs ago but it appeared on my big toe….the doctor numbed and cut it open and found merca in my blood it is not curable….it lives in your body.

  43. Phyllis says:

    It is Dec 4 2009 and I am dealing with MRSA now for three weeks.

    I started out with one boil and went to doc who said to put bacitracin cream and a band aid. That went away. Then a few mos. later there were two more, which started out like a pimple. Again I put bacitracin and a band aid. Three weeks ago I went to take a bath. I had not been feeling well, a slight fever, but chocked that up to grandkids all having flu and coming around me. I went to the bathroom and lifted my clothes and the whole underside of my belly was full of pus and blood and there was a hole the size of a half dollar, the skin around it had turned black and the surrounding area of that was a horrid yellow and red…about 5 inches in diameter. My daughter rushed me to the ER *three weeks ago*. It wasn’t until yesterday that my doctor told me it was MRSA as I had found two more spots and went to him to check it out.

    He and the hospital told me they were Diabeticsores as my sugar at the time was 400. Little did they know. For two days they worked on lowering my blood sugar and pressure and didn’t give much of a hoot to the sore. The surgeon lanced it and that has healed, but now I have two more. I was put on Bactrim again. I read about Tumeric and eating yogurt, so I started that on my own. This sure has been a pain. I haven’t been able to sleep from pain in one of my legs. I have never ever had problems with my legs. I believe its because of all this medication, but the doc insists it is not and wants me to have a Catscan and MRI. I refused until I get this MRSA under control. I think these doctors and hospitals don’t know what they are doing…and just experiment with you and hope you get better. I certainly didn’t have diabetic sores ….!

    The doc packed the first one and that was changed daily for five days… I was told to AIR it out after that so it would heal…..well, that is not true…it should be covered in sterile pads and washed with peroxide.

    Don’t think MRSA is a joke..and get more than one opinion.

    God Bless everyone who has it…you are in for a rough ride. Happy holidays!

  44. Nikki says:

    My 2 yr old daughters face suddenly erupted out of nowhere. cold sores the doctor said. but 2 days later it was worse so I went back. Golden Staph. 2 types of antibiotics have not helped. MRSA.

    I have been to 5 doctors now, but doctors don’t seem concerned because she is not feeling unwell. and it doesn’t seem to be bothering her. But I am concerned. Will her face scar? How long will it take to heal? I need her to get better so she can go back to day care before I lose my job… and my mind…. I feel terrible taking her to the supermarket, to my other kids’ school and kinder, but I dont have a choice. Some people say its very contagious, some say not…

    And Where did it come from? I have never heard of staph…..only I do get pimples and boils on my bum and have done for 18 yrs – since I was 6….. have seen possibly 50 doctors / natropaths etc about them over the years. None have ever mentioned staph…… but now I am wondering if that has been my problem for 18 yrs….The only treatment that has ever worked for me is not eating any fruit.

  45. Melanie says:

    I have was diagnosed with MRSA since March of this year. It is horrible and painful. I have no clue where I got it from. I have been on Bactrim on and off and it doesnt seem to work. I walk a lonely path because I do not want to infect anyone else. As a result, I do not date, go out with friends and stay far away from my family. It was dormant for two months. Low and behold I had 5 spots with into days. What really sucks is that I got this because I have eczema and its itchy leaving open wounds. So imagine having both in the same area.

  46. shannon says:

    I have been getting these (boils?) for over 5 years.They are really painful and they look exactly like the photos above.I only get them on my upper thighs and in my armpits…anyone know what i can do?Maybe im crazy but i squeeze and pop them all the time,and it hurts.I am not the hospital type of person,i prefer to deal with things on my own and let my body do the work,should i go see a doctor?

  47. Margaret says:

    Sorry, I don’t have a photo. My daughter is 3 years old. Exactly where a baby diaper leaves a crease in the thigh, she got a tiny, pin head pimple. I though, that’s odd, a baby getting a pimple. So, I watched it. By night, it got a head on it, and a raised red area around, the area of an eraser head. I said to my husband “If that gets bigger by tomorrow, I’m taking her to the doctor.’ Sure enough, the next morning, I said ‘Spider bite, for sure!” The white head was bigger, and the surrounding red area had spread out to silver dollar size, and you could see fine little veins, and it felt hot. She was sore. The doctor nicked it with a sterile scalpule for culture, put her on bactrim cream and liquid (which I was nervous about because my cousin got sjs from taking it).

    Doc said : was her at bathtime with disinfectant hand soap, not baby soap…unless it irritates her skin, then use the strongest thing that will not irritate her. You should just wash all the kids with this soap, he says. Wash her hands often through the day. (Mean while I’m freaking out.) He calls me back 3 days later and tells me she has MRSA from an infected insect bite of unknown origin. Don’t share her towels. Don’t let her swim in unclorinated pools. Wipe the potty seat with disinfectant wipes. Clean and cover the wound. Do the other kids have bumps? OTHER KIDS? (On and on…my head is swimming.) Mean while, I had just had a hysterctomy. 3 weeks after this, I come down with a weird red (no head on it) bump on my abdomen, next to my freshly healed incision. It’s the size of a penny. Next day, there’s 3 of them, in a raised track, 1/2 an inch high. I have 103f fever. Go to my doc. She puts me on bactrim and percocet, sends me to a surgeon. Surgeon says “I can tell you right now, this is MRSA. ” She lances it, like a sadist , with no numbing agent. MRSA sores, for some reason are extremely, and unusually painful. I want to die. I dug my fingers into my ribs and screamed and cried. She said “The medicine will not work with all of this pus here.” Culture comes back positive for MRSA. I go home with a 5 inch long open incision.

    Clean with peroxide tomorrow, she says. ‘Listen carefully” (Now I’m ready to crap my boots) ‘I want you to put the bactrim cream in your nose to kill the staph in your nose, then scrub in the shower twice a day, every day, with iodine and antimicribial soap, even in your hair and on your face…everywhere…make sure you scrub under your nails. Wash your hands all the time. Bleach your shower and towels. Get disinfectant wipes and wipe all your doorknobs, light switches, and things that everyone touches. This was back in April and I am doing it to this day. MRSA is everywhere. And I am a confirmed germaphobe forever. Everytime I see a pimple…Everytime, I freak out. I clean it out and walk around with dots of iodine on my face. I spend an hour bleaching my bathroom every day. When I’m done showering, I am ready for naked surgery…and I’m not exaggerating. Don’t mess with MRSA

  48. Sarah says:

    So, I live right outside Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base in NC where my husband is stationed and MRSA is a big issue around here with all the Marines. Well, my 18 month old daughter somehow contracted MRSA and I had no idea what it was. I thought it was a spider bite at first because the first abscess I saw was on the backside of her arm, above her elbow. When I rubbed my finger over it, it practically exploded and oozed out a bunch of brown pus and blood. So, I took her to the doctor the next day and they put her on Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim). They advised me to just keep the wound clean and she would be fine.

    Well, about a week later, she had the same thing show up on her bum, so I immediately took her into the Naval Hospital on base and in the few hours we sat there waiting, the area became even more inflamed. By the time we got back to the room, it was very large, very red and very painful for her. It was to the point that I couldn’t even pick her up or touch anywhere near her bum. So, one of the docs drained it by just poking a hole in the area because he didn’t want to actually cut her open because she was so little. And I’ll tell you…I’ve never seen a child scream in so much agony in my life and at the same time be so tired that they are doing it when they are half asleep. And that’s after the numbing. It was absolutely horrible. They put her on Bactrim again and advised me to give her six sits baths a day for at least ten minutes each time to help keep the area cleaned out. After the second day, I had to pull out the gauze packing which was very tiny.

    About two weeks after that, when I was really hoping it wouldn’t come back, I found another one on her other butt cheek. I didn’t even notice anything was wrong because she seemed fine, was sitting on her potty seat fine all day and never whined about anything. Well, at about 7PM, she fell on her butt and started screaming and crying. So, I had a feeling it was back. I checked and sure enough, she had another really warm, really red, really hard area that seemed to appear out of nowhere. It looked different than the other two though. The first two had white “heads” to them. This one didn’t even have that yet. So, I took her into the Naval Hospital again but this time because of how rapidly it was “growing”, they decided to anesthetize her and cut it open. I was told that hardly any pus came out of it at all but there was an enormous amount of pressure which was making her entire butt cheek really hard. This time, a different doc was handling it and he cut a hole in her bum that I could have put both of my thumbs into. It was packed with gauze, they put her on Bactrim once again, told me to alternate Tylenol and Motrin for pain and check up with her PCM. So, the next day, I had to pull the packing out and when I did, she writhed around in pain until the two foot of gauze was completely out. I was astonished at what I saw. This MRSA is nothing to mess with. If you have it, get to a doctor. I hope hers doesn’t keep coming back but I guess that’s the joys of living around a military base. After this was all said and done, I found out there has been an outbreak of MRSA on the base recently….it was really nice that they let everyone know….not.

    MRSA drained

  49. mrs. harris says:

    My 1 year old son had MRSA a couple weeks ago. It started out looking like a mild diaper rash that was spreading down his thighs. One of the red bumps got really bad like described on here. I thought he had a spider bite because I had one on my leg at the same time. Then a second bump became like the first and I called the Dr. He drained some and sent off for testing and gave me an antibiotic. He told me it looked like MRSA and that anyone in the family could be carrying but it wasn’t a big deal.

    Now I got another “bite” on my upper leg/ lower butt and it got really bad. I went to my dr. and he didn’t say whether it was a spider bite or MRSA. He gave me an antibiotic that is commonly used to treat MRSA and sent me on my way.

    After reading some of the posts on this page about spider bites that caused MRSA and severe cases of MRSA, I am completely freaked out!!! It doesn’t help that my mom keeps telling me that I need to find the spider that is biting me because it’s just going to keep coming back to bite me! I was already afraid of spiders, but I am becoming scared to death of them and MRSA now!

  50. Randi says:

    Okay, this sunday (june 7th, 2009) i was at a state park where I had a very bad fall followed by wrapping my foot into a tree branch…… well, we noticed the swelling from what we now know is a severe sprang as the doctor put it and to puncture wounds as well.. neither one was very big nor painful………well, my foot kept swelling and turning almost purple…. but around the puncture wounds it started becoming increasingly red….. so, i went to the hospital to ofcourse see if my foot was broken……… well, they said no but we think you have resistant staph…… now, i have been taking the antibiotic (they prescribed me) called clindamycin for 3 days now….ANYWAYS, now i am having trouble breathing like really bad— yes i am a smoker but I have never felt pain like this ANYWAYS, i see it can affect ur lungs just wanted some info on it

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