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What does skin with a staph infection look like?

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Quick Answer

Skin with a staph infection may be red, swollen and warm to the touch, according to WebMD. Other types of staph infections may appear as blisters, boils or rashes on the surface of the skin.

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Full Answer

The symptoms of a staph infection vary depending on the severity and location of the infection. Staph infections occur when staphylococcus bacteria enter the bloodstream or deeper layers of skin, often through a minor cut or scrape. Around 25 percent of people naturally carry staphylococcus bacteria in their noses, mouths or other body areas, according to WebMD. A yellow crust over the skin around a small wound may characterize the early stages of a staph infection.

Staph infections commonly manifest as boils on the surface of the skin, notes Mayo Clinic. A boil is a pocket of pus that develops around a hair follicle or oil gland. The skin surrounding the boil is usually red and swollen. A staph infection deep under the skin's surface causes a condition called cellulitis, in which the surface of the skin becomes red and swollen. This condition most often affects the legs and feet.

Babies and children are more prone to staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome, a condition in which toxins produced by the staph bacteria cause damage to the skin. This condition causes a severe rash and may appear as if the child has suffered a burn, according to Mayo Clinic.

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