Some people panic when they hear the term “staph infection.” Staph infections may be minor, resolving with home treatments, or they may become dangerous, such as MRSA.

Keep reading to learn more about identifying staph infections and when to visit urgent care or the ER.

Causes of Staph Infections 

The bacteria called Staphylococcus is the bacteria causing staph infections. It is found on the skin and in the nose of healthy people. It becomes an infection when this bacterium goes below the skin. It can occur in the heart, lungs, joints, bones, or bloodstream. 

Preventing Staph Infections

There are some habits you can practice to keep staph infection away. These habits include:

  • Practicing good hygiene, like showering regularly and cleaning your hands well. 
  • Keep food areas sanitized. 
  • Follow good food safety practices. 
  • Don’t share your personal items like makeup. 
  • Wash sheets and clothes often. 
  • Change tampons every couple of hours, and use sanitary napkins when you can. 

staph infection fever

Different Types of Staph Infections and Their Symptoms

Depending on where the infection occurs, you can get a range of staph infections. Some of the more common are as follows:


This is when an infection goes below the skin’s surface and is called cellulitis. The symptoms often include oozing sores and red, tender skin. 


This is a staph infection of the hair follicles or oil glands, causing them to develop pus pockets. The symptoms of boils are raised, red skin filled with pus. 


Impetigo is one of the most contagious forms of staph infection. It appears as a skin infection. Patients develop leaking blisters that form a yellow crust over them. 

Staphylococcal Scalded Skin Syndrome

Staph bacteria release toxins that cause staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome. This is more common in babies and children. The symptoms include blisters, fever, and a rash. 

Food Poisoning

Some cases of food poisoning are caused by staph bacteria. This is due to spoiled or old food being consumed. Symptoms include diarrhea, dehydration, vomiting, nausea, and low blood pressure. 

Toxic Shock Syndrome 

Toxic Shock Syndrome is closely associated with tampon use but can be linked to some surgeries. The symptoms include stomach aches, muscle aches, diarrhea, and fever. There may be confusion and rashes on the hands or feet in some cases. 


This infection occurs when staph enters the blood. Symptoms are fever and low blood pressure. These infections include meningitis, endocarditis, and pneumonia. 


Symptoms that require you to make an immediate trip to the ER or urgent care include:

  • Rashes are passed from one person to another in the house
  • Painful skin rashes
  • Blisters that are leaking fluid
  • Fever

Treating Staph Infection

The most common staph infection treatment is to clean the area thoroughly and prescribe antibiotics. Doctors may prescribe nafcillin, daptomycin, linezolid, oxacillin, cefazolin, and others. It is essential to take the antibiotics as prescribed and to finish the entire dose. 

Some staph infections won’t respond to common antibiotics. When this happens, your doctor may need to prescribe something else or administer an IV. 

PRESNow Urgent & Emergency Care

Get Diagnosed and Treated at PRESNow 24/7 Urgent and Emergency Care

Unlike most ERs or urgent care centers in the area, PRESNow 24/7 Urgent and Emergency Care in Albuquerque, patients are only billed for the level of services they need. The ER and urgent care are open 24 hours a day, every day. No appointment is required for in-person visits.

PRESNow 24/7 Urgent and Emergency Care has four convenient locations:

  • PRESNow 24/7 Urgent and Emergency Care Paseo/San Pedro is located at 6400 Paseo Del Norte Blvd. NE, Albuquerque, NM 87113, and may be reached at 505-596-2100.
  • PRESNow 24/7 Urgent and Emergency Care Coors/Western Trail is located at 4515 Coors Blvd. NW Albuquerque, NM 87120, and may be reached at 505-596-2200.
  • PRESNow 24/7 Urgent and Emergency Care Isleta/Rio Bravo is located at 3436 Isleta Blvd SW, Albuquerque, NM 87105, and may be reached at 505-596-2300.
  • PRESNow 24/7 Urgent and Emergency Care Menaul/Pennsylvania is located at 7400 Menaul Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87110, and may be reached at 505-596-2400.