How to Get Rid of MRSA Staph Infection – Our Story
I got a MRSA staph infection on my face after surgery.
Unfortunately I didn't take photos of the initial staph boil, but this is what my fact looked like for the 6 months I battled MRSA. This is what it continued to look like even while I took antiobiotics.
You can see where the skin looks flaky, that's where I burned my face trying different topical approaches like alcohol, iodine, garlic cream.... and in my most desperate moments even bleach.
How to Get Rid of MRSA Staph Infection – Our Story
In late May of 2011, I had ankle surgery in a hospital. About two weeks after the surgery, my friend, myself, and my son drove to New York to see a renowned immunologist and Traditional Chinese Doctor to help with my son's food allergies, asthma, and eczema. I was on crutches, so my friend drove. While we were in New York, my son had an asthma attack for which we had to go into an emergency clinic. To say that the months of May and June in 2011 were stressful is putting it mildly.
Sometime in June/ July, I noticed what I thought was a sebaceous cyst forming on my face by my ear. It was right where the telephone touches your face when you hold it.
I ignored it, hoping it would just go away on its own.
But it didn't go away. It continued to grow until it was about the size of dime. It wasn't painful, just soft to the touch and seemingly fluid filled.
Then one morning in August, while I was washing my face, the "cyst" opened. It drained pus and blood. To this day, years later, I can still remember using the same wash cloth that I drained the MRSA boil, and not a sebaceous cyst, to wash my entire face. I unwittingly smeared MRSA ALL OVER MY FACE.
Yes. Ignorance is not always bliss.
Over the course of the next couple days, I noticed little pimples and redness erupt across my face until I looked like I had transformed into a mashup between leper and greasy faced acne infested teenager.
It was not pretty. I had just recently started a new job and my face looked MONSTROUS. Going into the office, was super embarrassing. All I wanted to do was hide.
Finally, in desperation I went to see my doctor, a general practitioner. She diagnosed me with cellulitis, prescribed augmentin antibiotic and sent me on my way.
At this point, since the main boil had drained, there wasn't anything for her to sample because the other small pimples didn't seem big enough or pus-filled.
I stayed on augmentin for about 2 weeks, without any improvement. At this point, I decided to see a dermatologist. I wanted to see someone focused on the skin only.
The dermatologist managed to sample some pus (after painfully digging and pricking into my face) and send it to a lab, prescribing clindamycin while we waited for the results.
When the results finally came in, the dermatologist let me know that I had a MRSA staph infection on my face.
She recommended that I continue the clindamycin since my MRSA infection was susceptible to it.
But again, clindamycin didn't really seem to help. The redness continued to grow more apparent and spread. Also, new forming bumps and pustules hurt to the touch - pressing down on them caused the sensation of a thousand needle pricks. The other noticeable thing was intense itching on my face. I can only describe it as feeling as if there were bugs crawling under my skin - it was a tingly constant itch.
I came to recognize this itch as an indicator of whether or not something I was taking or doing was working to kill the MRSA infection or make it worse. I could also tell if any new bump or pimple was a budding MRSA boil by pressing down on it. If it was painful, it was MRSA.
While waiting for the clindamycin to take effect, I decided the best way to handle a MRSA staph infection was to see an infectious disease doctor.
This is extremely important.
The Best Doctor to Treat a MRSA Staph Infection
If You Have a MRSA staph infection, see an Infectious Disease Doctor - Immediately.
Don't just rely on your family doctor to treat it. Get an infectious disease doctor on board.
Infectious disease doctors (ID doctors) treat MRSA staph infections regularly and are well versed on what antibiotics to use, when to progress to intravenous antibiotics, and what other tests to run if need be.
The ID doctro prescribed doxycycline (internally), an antibiotic cream to put inside my nose, and hibiclens soap. He also recommended that I use the same nasal cream on my son.
Once I knew that the infection on my face was MRSA, I wouldn't touch, let alone hug or kiss my son, who was five at the time. There was no way I wanted to give him what I had.
From what the ID doctor told me, my son was most likely carrying the same MRSA staph strain that was on my face. UGH!
He also said that I could have carried MRSA in my nose, prior to the surgery. The surgery and trip to New York could have weakened my immune system enabling the MRSA to take ahold.
I also could have picked it up off the phone in the somewhat shady and cheap motel that we stayed in while were on the road.
Who knows?! Ugh!
Needless to say, once I got this diagnosis I avoided hugging or kissing my son - since I had MRSA rash on my face, I didn't want him near my face.
It took me nearly a full year after I was recovered to feel comfortable enough to kiss my son because I didn't want my nose touching him.
Now that this is years behind us, I feel less panicked because I've worked through it and have a plan. The first part of the plan is really early detection. The minute I notice anything that I think could be a MRSA or staph infection, I kick into high gear.
Living With Someone Who Has MRSA Means Taking Added Precautions!
But at the time, I wouldn't touch my son or anything in the house after touching my nose or face. I'd wash and disinfect my hands first. To this day after I touch or blow my nose or my face, I wash my hands immediately.
I separated my towels and clothes and pretty much bleached everything.
I bleached the tub after my shower or bath. I purchased and tried every known cleaner that marketed itself as a MRSA killer, and even contemplated having our place treated with ozone. In the end, I found bleach to be the most effective, although the worst smelling.
Once You Have MRSA Do You Always Have It?
I know that I continue to carry a MRSA staph bacteria. But then again, so millions of people carry it, or other versions of it, as well. Health care workers in particular are likely to be MRSA staph carriers.
If I get overworked or overstressed, I will get small blemishes that hurt to the touch. This has significantly lessened over the years, but still happens occassionally, like if I go down with the flu or a bad cold.
So in my opinion, once you have a MRSA staph infection, you continue to carry that with you forever.
Once You Have MRSA Staph Infection, There is a High Chance of a Recurrence
The ID doctor mentioned that I have a 50% chance of a recurrence. His paraphrased words were something like, "Half my MRSA patients will spend the rest of their lives on and off antibiotics fighting this bacteria. And most likely, you'll need to see me for antiobiotics again."
I hate those kinds of statements for many reasons, some obvious and some not so. But mostly that kind of statement makes me angry. And when I get angry, I get determined. So I got determined that I would be in that 50% to stay MRSA clean.
And I think I've done a good job.
Rosacea Caused By MRSA?
But back to our MRSA story.
After 2 rounds of doxycycline with the ID doctor, my face continued to be red and have impetigo-like pimples. But at that point, he said that I had some sort of rosacea inflammation and referred me to yet another dermatologist.
The new dermatologist confirmed that it was a rosacea issue, but didn't know if MRSA was continuing to cause the inflammation, bumps, and redness under my skin. I'm not a doctor, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say the MRSA was indeed the cause of my 'rosacea.' Hello - doesn't seem like rocket science to me.
She even briefly thought that it might be lupus because it was somewhat in a butterfly shape, draping across both of my cheeks.
At any rate, the dermatologist suggested that I do doxycycline for another 6 weeks, and potentially longer. At this point, I was so antibiotic'ed out that I took the script but did not take the doxy. The antiobitics had caused the worst yeast infection I had ever had.
Of course, if I saw that I could not get rid of this 'rosacea' MRSA rash on my face I would take the antibiotics and deal with the yeast infection.
So How Did I Get Rid of the MRSA Staph Infection I Had On My Face
Here's what I did and used. I am not a doctor. And this is by no means medical advice, nor should it be taken as such. Please consult your doctor about your medical concerns.
I am simply sharing what I did and what worked and didn't work for me. I share this to inspire other who are infected or with infected loved ones. I also share this because I spent SOOOO MUCH MONEY trying so many products that failed to make a noticeable difference.
I had MRSA boil on my face that once it burst caused widespread cellulitis, mini boils, impetigo, and ultimately rosacea.
Also, I spent about 6 weeks total on antibiotics - and took all of them: agumentin, clindamycin, and doxycycline (the most effective one for me). I did not continue with the dermatologist recommended further 6 weeks of doxycycline for the rosacea and impetigo-like bumps. But the initial 6-week stint on antibiotics halted the infection.
My issue after discontinuing antibiotics with the ID doctor was that the MRSA infection was not gone. I continued to get small boils and have rosacea inflammation across my face.
At that point, I had only two choices. Continue oral antibiotics indefinitely and hope for the MRSA to resolve itself. OR, try to lick this thing on my own.
My approach to getting rid of MRSA was two-fold. I hit it topically and internally.
MRSA Staph Infection Internal Protocol THAT WORKED
- 2-6 grams/daily of lypospheric vitamin C. You can read why we swear by this particular vitamin C here. We have tried dozens of vitamin C products and none are as effective as this one. You can buy what we use here.
- Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang - based on this study. I had my TCM doctor prepare it for myself and my son, but you can buy it here.
- Acne Herbs - again prepared by my TCM doctor, so I'm sorry that I cannot tell you what was in them. You can reach her here.
- EpiCor - for me, not my son, because it has been found to increase IL-10 production which is a Th2 cytokine. You can read about supplements and vitamins that have been found to skew the immune system towards Th1. You can buy the EpiCor I use here.
- 8 ounces of fresh carrot juice daily
- Garlinase (2-6/day)
Once my face cleared, I continued 1-2 grams of vitamin C, 2 epicor, 2-4 garlinase for a couple months.
Currently, if I feel or see a blemish that hurts or I get any rosacea red, I go back on vitamin C and epicor. This will usually resolve any issue within days.
Additionally, I know if I have an issue if eating avocados or mayonnaise causes the MRSA tingle or itchiness. When I had a full blown infection, eating avocadoes or mayo would cause the infection to worsen - increase in itch, pustules, and redness. Olive oil and flax oil didn't cause this, only avocadoes and mayo.
What I Tried That DID NOT WORK on Overcoming My MRSA Staph Infection:
- Allimax - It did not make any effect on my MRSA infection. It did improve my digestion but was ridiculously expensive. I switched to garlinase and had the same positive effect on my digestion at a much cheaper cost. Allimax is $130 for 60 capsules and Garlinase is $22 for 100 tablets. In my experience both products had the same effect on my digestion.
- Oral oregano oil
- Phenomenal Water and B-Phree (topical gel)
- Apple cider vinegar
- Manuka honey
- Manuka oil
- Tea tree oil
- Any of the essential oils (We love and use essential oils. But they did not positively impact my MRSA infection.)
- Colloidal Silver (My brother swears by this stuff. He does not buy the big brands available on Amazon. I'll need to find out what he does buy. But again, this did not help my MRSA Staph Infection resolve.)
MRSA Topical Treatment Protocol Using DMSO:
Topically when my face looked like you see at the top of the page, I used a DMSO doxycycline application that I read about here.
I took a capsule of doxycycline and dissolved the contents in DMSO (buy only glass bottle DMSO, I used this one). I took this mixture and using a cotton ball, applied it to the areas of my face with redness. Within about 3-4 days, all the redness went down. I did this for a total of about 8-10 days. Then used only the internal stuff above.
MRSA Boil Topical Protocol Using Tecnu Gel:
I would hit any boil or pimple that hurt hard and fast.
If I could drain the boil or pimple, I would do so.
Here is how I would drain a boil - and this was told to me by another woman who battled a MRSA staph infection on her leg.
And full disclosure, my original MRSA staph boil was the size of a dime. After that one, because I was super on top of recognizing when any issue was arising, the moment I got any boil, I would attack it. So they never got as big as the first one.
One crazy thing about MRSA boils is that they can grow overnight. One day you're clear, the next morning you've got something the size of an eraser tip or bigger - which is why I used a 2 pronged approach (internal and external).
Ok, so here is my MRSA Staph boil topical approach
This is not my idea. This was told to me by another MRSA sufferer who had battled it on her legs.
Originally, this gel was called staphseptic. But now it's called Tecnu gel - you can buy the one I used here. They were forced to change the name because of FDA issues with claiming that it killed MRSA, which it did for me. Doesn't make sense.
If I got a drain-able boil or pustule, I would disinfect a needle in bleach. Then I would dry it. Then I'd coat the needle in tecnu gel and try to get the pimple to open. Then I would take 2 cotton swabs and coat them in tecnu, and the pimple. Then I'd squeeze the pimple to drain all the junk. Everything that came out would be covered in tecnu gel. After it was drained, I would put a layer of tecnu gel onto it.
Now I'm not in love with the ingredients of tecnu gel, these things are not without issues if you research it further - which I encourage you to do.
I did this early on, for a handful of developing boils, as well as two that lingered even after I stopped antibiotics. This stuff kills the crap out of MRSA in my experience.
Now for MRSA pimples that were smaller, I used benzoyl peroixide. You can buy what I used here. This didn't require me to drain anything. But I also only used it on small pimples, early on in their development. For example, if I woke up and had a small pimple that hurt when I pushed on it. Right away I would use benzoyl peroxide on it. It would take a couple days, but benzoyl peroxide was a huge help topically for pimples that I caught early. Along with my internal protocol, it would make any pimple go away.
My Internal MRSA Staph Infection Fighting Tools
My External MRSA Staph Infection Fighting Tools
This is how I managed to beat a MRSA staph infection on my skin.
If you have any other ways that worked for you in your adventures with a MRSA staph infection, please leave them in the comments below.
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