Possible staph infection on lip. I am a carrier.

Posted in the Dermatology Forum

Wendy

Charlotte, NC

#1 Jul 6, 2007
I would really like some comments or insight on my problem.

About a year and a half ago, I developed a massive staph infection all over my body that was eventually diagonized as infected eczema with impetigo(staph). I was given two different antibiotics during my treatment, the first failed to do anything but the second paired with a topical steroid cleared it up. I was given an antibiotic cream to put in my nose to prevent it from reoccurring, though I'll admit I didn't use it as often as I should have so it probably didn't help me.

Since the "outbreak", the eczema rashes have come and gone, but always in the location of the original infected rashes. However, none since the initial one a year and a half ago have become infected.

I noticed that on small cuts, such as a cat scratch, they would occasionally form bubbles of fluid just below the cut and become itchy and red, similar to the way the first infectious rash did. They would also refuse to heal for a week or two, but then go away. This made me believe that I may still carry the staph bacteria in my nasal cavity but since I wasn't having problems I didn't worry about it.

Now to my current problem. I got a large cut on my lip where the top layer of skin was taken off. I believe that it has become infected. At first I noticed that it wasn't healing or getting any better and then it started forming the bubbles on the top where the injury was and now on the bottom lip also where there was no injury. They are forming on the bottom where my lip had become chapped. The area has become painful and sore as well as itchy. It is not yet noticible, but I fear it will spread the way the other rash did. I have stopped using my chapstick and started using a q-tip to apply vaseline to them to keep them moist. My dermatologist cannot see me for several weeks because he is "booked for the summer" but I need some type of treatment NOW.

I read that staph is suseptible to bacitricin ointment so I've begun putting it on my lips instead of vaseline as well as in my nasal cavities to kill the bacteria living there. What else can I do?
Penny

United States

#2 Jul 20, 2007
Eeeks! You shouldn't put ointment into your nose because over time you breathe in the molecules and they accumulate in your lungs and give you breathing problems. I forget the name of the disease but it's some type of pneumonia, I think.

It sounds like you could have cold sores or fever blisters on your lips. Zilactin burns like hell but is OTC and works.

However, pleased be advised that people with eczema must be VERY careful with cold sores!! These can erupt into an infection called eczema herpeticum where large areas of your body are covered painful blisters (like the ones on your lips). I speak from personal experience on this! It's NOT FUN when that crap is covering your face. In addition, it can cause scarring.

Also, although it is rare, if left untreated this type of infection CAN be fatal. However, it generally takes 3-4 weeks to run it's course and heal.

You should call your doctor's office and insist that you need to be seen and can they please squeeze you in. If they cannot accommodate you right away they should recommend an alternative physician who can. Because you have eczema you should NEVER let infections go untreated. Although there is a CHANCE they may go away on their own the consequences are simply to great if they don't.

Take care,

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