MRSA is an acronym that stands for methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus. This is the name of a bacteria, which is a microscopic organism that has the potential to infect humans. Bacterial infections cause tissue damage due to the chemicals the bacteria produces, as well as due to the stress of the sheer numbers of bacteria reproduced during an infection. Staphlococcus aureus is a common bacteria that causes many cases of skin and wound infection, as well as internal infections. Normally, this bacteria is easy to treat with common antibiotics. However, this bacteria has several variations that can be resistant to the antibiotic medications that typically kills similar bacteria. One of the variations is resistant to an antibiotic called methicillin, and this resistance crosses over to other antibiotic groups. The name MRSA describes this variation. MRSA has been described in the media as having ravenous, flesh eating properties, or having severe contagious potential. Most of this is simply untrue. In general, the main difference between MRSA and regular staphlococcus bacteria is the simple fact that the antibiotics needed to kill the infection are different. Some strains may be more aggressive, but this is not typical. MRSA has become more common in recent years. It used to be an infection one only acquired in a hospital where antibiotics are used regularly and bacteria could develop resistance. These strains typically were and are resistant to most all antibiotics one could take by mouth, leaving intravenous antibiotics dispensed in a hospital or by a home nurse as the only option for treatment. MRSA is now found in the general community away from the hospital. Fortunately, these strains tend to not be resistant to as many antibiotics that can be taken by mouth, leading to an easier treatment course.
A MRSA infection in the foot is not cause for alarm, as this infection is usually successfully treated. It simply requires a more careful approach to ridding the body of the bacteria. Our physicians are well experienced in treating this infection, and also work with infectious disease specialists for advanced cases.