Staph infections are caused by the bacteria staphylococcus that enters the body through a cut or opening, explains WebMD. A staph infection can also develop from exposure through the feet when walking on bacteria-ridden floors. Most people carry staph in the mouth, nose, anal area and genitals but do not necessarily develop an infection.
Staph bacteria can be passed from one person to another or through contact with objects and items that carry the bacteria, such as pillowcases or towels, according to Mayo Clinic. Staph bacteria thrives and survives in dry areas, extreme temperatures and high levels of salt.
Staph infections may include a small boil on the skin that is treated with antibiotics to flesh-eating and antibiotic-resistant infections, states WebMD. The strength of the infection is determined by how fast the staph spreads on the skin and the body and how deep the bacteria has traveled within the body.
People with a staph infection often notice a small area of redness, swelling and tenderness that may begin with an open sore or break in the skin, explains WebMD. A staph infection can cause chills, sweats, additional swelling and a fever. Those who experience symptoms of a staph infection should consult with a medical professional.