What is Staph Infection on Face?

Staphylococcus or "staph" is the name of a group of bacteria which can cause many infections and diseases including infection on the face. Staph infection on face is nothing but bacterial infection caused by the Staphylococcus bacteria on the facial skin (facial cellulitis). Staph infection on face should not be ignored as if it's left untreated, it can be very dangerous as the bacteria can spread to the brain, causing meningitis or spread to the eyes, causing vision loss. Common symptoms of Staph infection on face include swelling and redness which commonly affects the skin present on or around the eyes, cheeks or nose. It is imperative to start treatment as soon as possible to prevent the staph infection on face from spreading. Staph infection on the face can be extremely painful as many of the facial muscles are present close to the skin.

What is Staph Infection on Face?

What are the Symptoms of Staph Infection on Face?

  • Staph infection on face can affect the deep tissue layers of the skin causing reddening and swelling of the skin.
  • The affected region of the face feels warm to the touch.
  • The facial pores seem to be dilated and look larger than normal which gives the skin an orange peel-like appearance.
  • The areas of facial skin affected by staph infection are swollen and can be very painful to touch.
  • Patient can also experience itching on the swollen skin on the face.
  • The cervical lymph nodes can be very tender to touch.
  • Some patients who are suffering from staph infection on face can also have a tongue which feels warm, swollen and tender.
  • There can be appearance of bullae (large blisters) on the reddened areas of the face affected by staph infection.
  • If the staph infection on face starts to spread, then red streaks can be seen which are extending from the area of staph infection.

Systemic Symptoms of Staph Infection on Face

Patient experiences fever, chills, irritability, lethargy, irritability, confusion, headache, body discomfort and aches are some of the common systemic symptoms of staph infection on face. Patient also may experience nausea, loss of appetite, and vomiting. Patient has increased pulse rate due to fever (tachycardia). If staph infection on face is not treated and continues to spread, then patient's blood pressure can drop to dangerously low levels and ultimately patient can go into shock.

Eye Symptoms of Staph Infection on Face

If Staph Infection is also present around the eyes, then patient's eyelids can be swollen shut with purple or shiny red color to them. This is a medical emergency, as staph infection around the eye region if not treated can lead to decrease in vision and even loss of vision. Patient feels pain upon eye movement. The eye may also seem to bulge out. Immediate treatment is needed; otherwise it can cause permanent vision loss due to optic nerve damage.

How is Staph Infection on Face Treated?

Antibiotics for treating Staph Infection on Face

Antibiotics are the first line of treatment for staph infection on face. If the staph infection on face is mild, then treatment is done using oral antibiotics. As staph infection can spread rapidly, patients with severe staph infection need to be hospitalized and given intravenous antibiotics. Antibiotics commonly used to treat staph infection on face include cephalosporins, sulfa drugs, nafcillin or related antibiotics and vancomycin. The exact antibiotic which is used for treating staph infection on face depends on the preferences of the doctor and whether the patient is allergic to any antibiotic. There is a good chance of recurrence of staph infection on face after the treatment is done. For this reason, patients are given a longer course of antibiotics to ensure complete eradication of the bacteria.

Symptomatic Treatment for Staph Infection on Face

As mentioned before, antibiotics are the first line of treatment for staph infection on face. However, this infection can cause significant discomfort and pain to the patient, especially if the infection is present in the region surrounding the eyes and the swollen tissue impairs the patient's vision. Conservative treatment for this includes soaking the affected region in warm water to help alleviate the swelling and ease the visual impairment. Other than this, patient can also take over-the-counter pain relievers, such as paracetamol and acetaminophen to relieve not only pain, but also fever. Medicines to relieve itching felt in the swollen areas on the face are also prescribed.

Surgery for Treating Staph Infection on Face

Surgery is done if the patient is suffering from severe staph infection on face; however, it is rarely required. Sometimes staph infection on face can lead to development of an abscess, where there is accumulation of pus under the facial skin. In such patients, surgery is done to drain the pus from affected areas on the face to relieve pain and swelling and to also drain the bacteria out of the abscess.

In severe staph infection on face, there can also be necrosis in the skin tissue, which hinders the healing process. In such patients, the dead tissue is debrided so that the rest of the facial skin can heal easily.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: November 1, 2017

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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