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Dr.PMT
Dr.PMT, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 338
Experience:  Hospital Medicine, Internal Medicine, interest in Palliative Medicine
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How can you tell the difference between a spider bite or

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how can you tell the difference between a spider bite or maybe an infected mosquito bite and staph infection? I noticed what I thought was some sort of insect bite on my shoulder two days ago. This morning I woke up and it was red and about 2 inches in diameter with a small pus filled center. I sterilized a pin and pierced the center, releasing some of the pus. It has been about 12 hours but the bite/infection has remained relatively the same (about 2-2.5 inches in diameter.) The wound does not itch. It is slightly warm and sensitive to the touch. I took my temp and it has ranged from about 98.8-99.3 degrees. How do I know when to see a doctor about this? You sometimes hear about MRSA and how those infections look innocent and then they suddenly kill you. How do you know when to worry?
thanks
hi thereCustomer would like to help you... the answer to your question is.. you will not know the difference. I will tell you for certain though that anything that's red, warm, swollen and has pus in it is definitely infected... and sometimes what you see is only something superficial, and something deeper may have to be drained. Also, if you are risk for getting CA-MRSA (community acquired MRSA)... as the following:
¦Young age. CA-MRSA can be particularly dangerous in children. Often entering the body through a cut or scrape, MRSA can quickly cause a widespread infection. Children may be susceptible because their immune systems aren't fully developed or they don't yet have antibodies to common germs. Children and young adults are also much more likely to develop dangerous forms of pneumonia, which can result from CA-MRSA, than older people are.
¦Participating in contact sports. CA-MRSA has affected sports teams. The bacteria spread easily through cuts and abrasions and skin-to-skin contact.
¦Sharing towels or athletic equipment. CA-MRSA has spread among athletes sharing razors, towels, uniforms or equipment.
¦Having a weakened immune system. People with weakened immune systems, such as those living with HIV/AIDS, are more likely to have severe CA-MRSA infections.
¦Living in crowded or unsanitary conditions. Outbreaks of CA-MRSA have occurred in military training camps and in American and European prisons.
¦Association with health care workers. People who are in close contact with health care workers are at increased risk of serious staph infections.

YOu have to see your physician, or at least to an urgent care facility so that the appropriate antibiotics may be administered.

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Always consult your physician for diagnosis/treatment. Use of this service does not create any doctor-patient relationship.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
You say that sometimes "what you see may be only superficial and something deeper may have to be drained"... How does the doctor know that there is a deeper infection that must be drained?
it really depends how big your lesion is and where it is situated... if it's on your shoulder, then I wouldn't worry about it, but if it's in an area like your stomach, or thigh... where you do not have muscle to delineate the spread then it's worrisome.. you also have to remember, that even though it's not deep, it can spread from your skin to your bloodstream, so if you notice fever, chills, non resolution of the redness in 24-48 hours (you drained it so it has to get better somewhat), then you should see a physician.

If you are satisfied with my answer hit ACCEPT, so that I may continue helping other people as well. Please feel free to ask me anything if you feel like you need more info/ clarification. I would really appreciate a bonus or a feedback from you! Thank you!

Always consult your physician for diagnosis/treatment. Use of this service does not create any doctor-patient relationship.
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