When Should You Use an Antibiotic?

CDC – Get Smart: About Antibiotics

Antibiotics are powerful medicines used to combat infections caused by harmful bacteria.

Common cold and flu viruses will not respond to antibiotic treatment and each time you take an antibiotic, the natural bacteria living on and inside your body are more likely to develop resistance.

Opportunistic skin bacteria such as Staphylococcus epidermidis could cause difficult to treat infections if you suffer an injury which breaks the skin, exposing the bacteria to the bloodstream and deeper skin layers.

Methicillin Resistant Staphlococcus Aureus, or MRSA is a type (strain) of staph bacteria that does not respond to some antibiotics commonly used to treat staph infections.

1 out of 4 people are colonized with MRSA in their nose or on their skin, but it does not usually cause any problems or infection unless the bacteria enters the skin through a cut, sore, catheter, tattoo, piercing or surgery.

More commonly acquired in the hospital or health care setting, there have recently been several outbreaks of MRSA infections in the community, involving high school athletes and children in day care settings.

Sharing personal items such as towels, sports equipment, mouth toys and play mats could increase the risk of acquiring MRSA.

A child’s first line of defense against MRSA: A well-informed parent.

Most staph skin infections, including MRSA, appear as a bump or infected area on the skin that may be:

  • Red

  • Swollen

  • Painful

  • Warm to the touch

  • Full of pus or other drainage

If you or someone in your family has these signs, especially with a fever, cover the area with a bandage and call your doctor.

Oil of Oregano is a powerful antimicrobial which can be applied topically to the skin mixed with a carrier salve like Herbal Savvy or Herbal Ed’s Salve.

Best to put a small drop of oil and salve on a bandaid, then apply to wound for the cleanest application.

Remember…wash your hands!


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