Eczema and Staph Bacteria

Eczema and Staph Bacteria

Elizabeth Scott

A staph infection is caused by the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus. These germs are commonly found on the skin or in the nose of even healthy people without eczema. Most of the time, in people with a healthy skin barrier, these bacteria cause no problems or result in relatively minor skin infections. Unfortunately, people with eczema have more staph bacteria on their skin and can be more susceptible to a staph infection.

The cracks and lesions in the skin of people suffering with eczema do allow more allergens and bacteria to enter, thus aggravating and inflaming the skin causing the itchy red rash of eczema.  This rash can get infected by staph so it’s important to keep an eye out for symptoms.

If you suspect that you or your child have a staph infection see your doctor immediately.

Go to the doctor if you or your child has:

  • An area of red, irritated or painful skin
  • Pus-filled blisters
  • Fever

Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics or another skin care routine such as bleach baths to get the infection under control. Once your infection is under control it’s important to maintain a good skin care routine to keep your skin barrier in tip top shape.

A good daily skin care routine may include:

  • Bathe daily for 10-20 minutes in warm but not hot water.
  • Moisturize with an alcohol-free emollient/moisturizer such as Vaniply immediately after bathing while skin is still damp.
  • Apply a moisturizer throughout the day, especially if you experience hand eczema.
  • Use gloves or wear clothing with hand covers if you or your child tend to scratch.
  • Keep nails short and clean.
  • Discuss with your physician using wet wrap therapy when needed for added moisture.

Be sure to consult with a physician before using bleach baths or wet wrap therapy, especially if you suspect a staph infection. For more helpful information on staph and eczema visit the National Eczema Association or National Jewish websites.