Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, is an increasingly common cause of skin and soft-tissue infections. MRSA has become a common bacterium causing skin infections in people that seek medical attention.
Most skin and soft tissue infections begin with redness, irritation, warmth, and swelling of the infected area. Because community-acquired MRSA is a virulent (aggressive) bacterium, the infection may develop quickly and create a painful, red, swollen bump on the skin. This may be called a furuncle, a boil, or an abscess.
Itching is not one of the main features of MRSA infection. Most skin itching is due to dermatitis -- skin that’s inflamed by non-infectious causes. Allergies, dry skin, eczema, or chemical irritation are some of the most common causes of skin itching due to dermatitis. Dermatitis tends to be mild, and come and go, while often a true MRSA skin infection tends to get steadily worse without treatment.
That’s not to say that an MRSA infection can never itch. For example, skin that’s already irritated and itchy (as from a dermatitis) is more vulnerable to infection by MRSA or another bacterium. An MRSA skin infection by itself might be itchy at first, but it would be expected to become tender or painful as the infection progressed.
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