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How Long Does It Take for MRSA to Clear Up?

By Kimberlee Leonard ; Updated July 27, 2017

MRSA Defined

MRSA is an abbreviation for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, which is a series of bacterial strains. This is a serious bacterial infection that is resistant to most antibiotics such as penicillin, tetracycline and methicillin. This is not a bacteria that is eradicated completely. Many people carry the strain on their skin and in their noses, and it can be spread rapidly through contact. Those with strong immune systems are able to fight this infection with relative ease, but those confined to hospitals or convalescent homes, or those with weakened immune systems, may not survive the infection.

Antibiotics: Friend or Foe

Antibiotics are used to fight bacterial infections, but those who have used antibiotics extensively over the course of years--such as those suffering from chronic bronchitis, pneumonia, HIV or strep throat--are more susceptible to contracting a serious MRSA infection. The reason is the more antibiotics you take, the more your body becomes resistant to various types of antibiotics. Those who use antibiotics should always follow their treatment with probiotics to replenish the good bacteria in the body.

If you do suffer from an MRSA infection, it is important to clear the infection up quickly with vancomycin, teicoplanin or mupirocin. Consult with your physician about which medication is best for you, and know that MRSA is often treated with either an intravenous antibiotic or a sulfur-based one, which can cause a serious allergic reaction for some. Complete the entire prescription of antibiotics to make sure you prevent the bacteria from multiplying within your bloodstream.

Time Tables

You should start feeling better within 24 to 48 hours of beginning the antibiotics course. If you are not feeling better, discuss this with your doctor to see if changing to a different antibiotic is required. Once you have completed the prescription, you are considered better, but at risk. As mentioned previously, MRSA lives on the skin and in the nasal passage, so it is important to wash your hands frequently. A bath with a capful of bleach will kill any bacteria on the skin and in the rectal cavity. Keep skin hydrated, and use a lotion to prevent minor skin cracking that can lead to an infectious breakout.

Most people are considered safe from breakouts after 6 months, but it may last longer depending on daily contact with others.

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