Staph is an abbreviation of Staphylococcus, spherical gram-positive parasitic bacteria that tend to form irregular colonies. This bacterium, Staphylococcus aureus (S.aureus) is the one which causes most of the staph infections. Staph infections can vary from minor skin infections and abscesses, to life-threatening diseases such as pneumonia, meningitis and septicemia.
S.aureus lives harmlessly on the skin, nose, throat, genitals and anus of a person. In some instances it may be found in the colon and urine. Its presence as such does not indicate infection and does not require any treatment. Treatment may actually be ineffective as the bacterium tends to re-colonize again. S. aureus may enter the body through an open wound and form furuncles (boils) and carbuncles (a collection of boils). It can also cause a severe skin disease in children with widespread blister formation. The fluid filled blisters are thin walled and are easily ruptured upon light touch.
S.aureus infections are highly contagious and can spread in many different ways, including the following:
- Contact with pus from an infected wound.
- Skin to skin contact with an infected person.
- Contact with towels, sheets, clothes or athletic accessories used by an infected person.
S.aureus is capable of secreting different types of toxins that are responsible for specific diseases. People with deficient immune system health and prosthetic joints run the risk of extreme manifestations of staph infections such as septic arthritis, staphylococcal infection of the heart valves and pneumonia, all of which can prove to be fatal.
Antibiotic resistance is a major hurdle to be tackled when treating staph infections. Once a particular bacterium is sought to be treated by using the antibiotic alternative there is a possibility that it may develop resistance to the drug. Actually, antibiotics constitute a single compound, which is easy for bacteria to break and then use in their own metabolism. Within seven years of introduction of penicillin, 40% of S.aureus had become resistant to penicillin, rising to an astonishing 80% in the next decade. Despite discovery of more than 100 drugs under the general category of antibiotics that either kill or restrict the growth of bacteria, S.aureus is resistant to many commonly used antibiotics.
Many times the best option is to use natural alternatives that support overall immune health. Most minor occurrences of staph infection go away in time. Proper hygiene can also help prevent the spread of staph infections, especially in schools and hospitals. Herbal antibiotics on the other hand, can be used for treating them.
Many healthy people carry S.aureus without getting sick. A healthy person with a strong immune system will fight disease through natural immune responses. Did you ever wonder what option was available to mankind before the first antibiotic was discovered by Alexander Fleming? Our ancestors relied on herbs for immune system to keep them healthy. An added benefit to natural remedies being used for bacterial infections is that there is no chance of bacteria becoming resistant to these natural substances because of their complex compound structure.