question for eibren on staph bacteria and excema

novice_2009(zone 6b)May 15, 2009

Posted by novice_2009 zone 6b (My Page) on Fri, May 15, 09 at 12:53

eibren, i was thinking over your mention of staph bacteria. Before we got married, my mom was in a bad car accident. She had many broken bones, in addition to internal injuries. All, yes, all of the bones in her right arm were broken. She's left handed like me. But anyway, they put some metal in the arm. While in the hospital, she was there for a long time, there was a staph infection in the bone of that arm. They called the CDC and everything.

I would go to visit her on my days off, and took her to my grandparents house when she was finally released(she had minor brain injury and couldn't be by herself). So, if I was exposed to this staph, and exposed my now husband to it, do you think the excema could be the result of his immune system attacking it? I'd assumed it was a hereditary immune system thing, since his brother has psorasis. What are your thoughts on this?

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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

Since this is a forum, I'm going to reply. One out of three people already carries staph around with them at all time, it colonizes the nasal passages. The infection being inside of a closed wound means that you aren't being exposed to any of it. So you do get exposed all the time, but you were not exposed from that infection.

Eczema is a broad variety of conditions, and it can be caused by an immune response to infection, but to my knowledge that it typically a short lived condition.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 2:10PM
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From the evidence I've seen, Staph aureus (including MRSA) is not considered a significant trigger of eczema, but it can secondarily infect people with eczematous skin lesions. In fact, having broken or traumatized skin for any reason can up your chances of getting Staph infections, whether in or out of hospitals (i.e. "community-acquired" Staph infections). This includes athletes, people who've gotten tattoos or who are intravenous drug abusers, been in accidents etc.

There are all sorts of different environmental triggers for eczema, and an inherited predisposition for this problem exists. The bottom line seems to be an abnormal immune response to various triggers. More info here.

By the way, personal messages can always be directed to the e-mail of a specific poster.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 3:08PM
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I would tend to defer to Brendan and Eric on medical matters, because they appear to have more medical training than I do.

There is a skin cleanser hospitals often use for people who have staph wounds, called Dakins Solution. It is a mixture of plain Chlorox Chlorine and a buffer (Epsom Salts, I think). You can purchase it over-the-counter in some drugstores, although it might have to be special ordered, and there is also a recipe for it on the internet somewhere.

Anyone who suspects they might have a staph skin infection could cautiously use that on a small lesion or two to see what happens. If it heals up, it can be used on other spots.

If acne is a problem, Cetaphyl skin cleanser is non-comedonic. It is also gentler than soap on healing skin, and can be partially left on as a moisturizer. A lot of dermatologists recommend it. Most drugstores have it, and BJ's (and probably Sam's club) sell it in larger quantities maybe a bit cheaper. You have to be gentle with skin. If you scrub it too hard with harsh things, you can make a suspected infection worse, or cause one that wasn't previously there. The "acid mantle" it forms to repel germs should not be removed by over-washing.

I read somewhere that doctors used to think that the bacteria on peoples'skin stayed pretty much the same, but they are beginning to believe that it shifts and changes just like any other ecosystem. How much sleep you get, what you eat, where you go, what pets you have, and what you do all affect skin health.

I knew a woman with terrible eczema who lost all of her eczema after she married.

Apparently, though, you can carry a particular form of staph for at least a year, because if someone comes down with indications of MRSA (a tough variety of staph) within a year after an operation, the hospital where the person was operated on tends to be assumed to be the source.

We have lots of bacteria on our skin, and much of it is probably neutral or beneficial, protecting us from worse things. One of the problems with antibiotics is that we lose much of our good bacteria, internally and externally, when we take them. It is always a good idea to be especially attendant to hygeine and avoidant of places with a lot of unfamiliar bacteria (such as public pools, etc.) for awhile after undergoing antibiotic therapy.

Some people with bacterial problems find taking things like yoghurt and buttermilk to be helpful.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 11:46PM
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novice_2009(zone 6b)

The reason I asked is because you mentioned shaph, and I'd never heard of the connection before. Also, I thought MRSA was due to the overuse of antibiotics?
Yes eric and brendan, it's a forum. Thanks for your input, very helpful. I couldn't post another time in the excema thread, and I thought it would be okay to put it out here. Glad I did, because your responses were right. But we can't just post and let it go can we fellas?

    Bookmark   May 17, 2009 at 3:02PM
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Glad you found the responses helpful.

"I couldn't post another time in the excema thread"

You should be able to post as many times to a thread as you like. It's possible you were blocked from posting two messages within a very short time span that had the same heading (you can change the heading a.k.a "Subject of Posting" if this is ever a problem).

    Bookmark   May 17, 2009 at 4:03PM
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Curiosity concerning superficial bacteria on the skin.
Both hands have many strains (I think can be over 100 varieties on each hand) of bacteria colonizing them.
The real curiosity is that left & right hands of the same person do not even have the exact same strains (common strains the 2 hands share find ratios are different).
Let it be known, women get the award for more variations (& I think more numerical totals of strains.)
"Girl power", I guess one could say.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2009 at 6:48PM
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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

MRSA is due to the use of antibiotics, which select for resistant strains. Overuse increases the selective pressure and makes the problem bigger faster, but if you only use antibiotics in the people gravely ill with bacterial infections you will eventually see resistance.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2009 at 3:19AM
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novice_2009(zone 6b)

VERY fascinating gringo. Being left-handed, I wonder if I would have more strains of bacteria on that hand? I'd guess women have more strains and variations because we wash dishes, do laundry, clean house, and generally expose ourselves to more germs this way? Interesting, but I'd like to know why! Thanks- you learn something new everyday.
There is extreme overuse of antibiotics. I know a lot of people when they get sick (9 times out of 10 it's a virus) go to the doctor and demand antibiotics. They aren't effective against viruses. These people argue they feel better after taking them, which is probably due to the fact that by the time they finish them, the virus has already run its course. Only the elderly and very young or those already having some severe health problems need the antibiotics to prevent secondary infection or complications. They are overused. What are your thoughts on this? I know you have some!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 11:59AM
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