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Conditions Necessary

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Staph infection on the skin can occur when the integrity of the skin is compromised. This can happen if the skin is too dry, or if the person has a compromised immune system. Staph infection around the mouth can look like red bumps around the lips and nose, or blisters or draining papules around the nose, mouth and lips. Chapped lips can worsen with a staph infection.


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Staph infection can remain in the skin even after the original infection has healed, and can erupt when the skin becomes compromised again. The rash may reappear as red spots, or blisters with fluid underneath them. The new lesions may occur in the same place as the old infection, or a new spot altogether. The upper lip is a common place for staph infection to occur in children.

Staph on the Body

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Generally, people carry staph in the body, around the mucous membranes and even the feet. Staph may be carried in the nasal passages of up to one-third of the population. The skin is covered with commensal bacteria that protects it from bacteria and other infective agents. When this delicate balance is altered, staph can invade and infect the skin.

Staph Triggers

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Many different things can cause cause the imbalances that infect the skin. Viral infections may invade the skin and break the skin's barrier against the ever-present staph infection. For example, shingles is a common infection in older adults, and if it infects the face, it may allow staph to infect the mouth and lip area, causing redness, tenderness and swelling in the broken skin around the infection. Herpes and colds may trigger staph infections as well.


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Most staph infections are now resistant to penicillin. These resistant bactria are of concern to doctors because they are becoming increasingly difficult to treat. Use of infected linens and close contact may spread staph infection. Writer BA Rogers reports that staph infection was spead by multiple users of the same mobile telephone.