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Recurrent staph infection :(

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Some of you may remember that my son had a staph infection on his foreskin a couple months ago. We finally got it cleared up on the second round of antibiotics (augmentin) and I was glad to see it go.

Now it's back. It appeared yesterday--redness, sores, and soreness. Looks identical to the previous infection.

We've just moved and our old clinic lied and said they faxed the kids' records when they didn't. Grr.

Since yesterday afternoon I've been alternating calendula and Rx antibacterial cream left over from last time (I know ointment is better, but I'm working with what I have). I've also given him a dose of kids' echinacea/goldenseal tincture to help fight the infection. I'm also headed to the health food store later to see if they have a homeopathic remedy (merc. sol) which is good for balanitis.

So should I call the doctor ASAP or is there a chance of treating this at home? I'm frustrated, because while the Rx antibiotics did eventually clear it up, here it is back again. I'm so scared that the recurrent infections will result in circumcision... How common is this? What else can be done for recurrent infections?

Our preventative measures aren't working. (good hygiene, etc)

Any input much appreciated.
post #2 of 16
Maybe a bath in some water with GSE might help.Have you also given probiotics and sodium ascorbate? Try asking over on the health and healing board too.Does he have a problem(undx.) with his immune system maybe?
Hope you can find the root of the problem.Look over in healthy.net for possible help too with immune boosting.
Speedy healing!
post #3 of 16
I' glad to hear it cleared up and sorry to hear it is back. I suspect that your son is picking this infection up from the environment somewhere. The doctor's office or hospital is the most likely suspect but if he hasn't been to either of those places, you need to look elsewhere. Little ones are going to have their hands on everything and a severe cleaning/disinfecting of your home, car and other places he touches should be considered. Even though you may be the most immaculate housekeeper in America, the staph bacteria can easily be there. Also, do you have pets? They could be the source. Turn every stone to rout it out.

I would recommend getting the prescription refilled and be sure that he takes all of it so that you don't end up with a resistant strain. Circumcision is not the answer. Your son could easily have this infection if he were circumcised.

Also, as your son gets older, his immune system will develop to resist the infection better.

Good luck, Mama!

post #4 of 16
My 18 month old dd is recovering from her second staph infection (impetigo) as well. Heres is on her eyelids and just below the lower lashes- it looks horrible! We are absolutely opposed to having her eyelids removed, as you should be opposed to having your son's foreskin removed because of this problem.

I wonder about the source of these infections too. I thought I read somewhere that when you see a person who has red in the corners of their mouth, that is impetigo. My son tends to have red corners so I'm wondering if he's giving it to her. She's on an antibiotic and Bactroban, I just started putting Bactroban in the corners of his mouth.

As you've probably read, staph infections are very contagious and can spread easily. Any open sores on your son's body should be protected, maybe with a bandaide and some Bactroban. The infection spreads to open skin. It can be difficult to get rid of if not kept in check.

I'd be interested to hear how it goes for you and what your doctor says about it all.

post #5 of 16
Our family has been fighting staph infections for months. We see a naturopath and she said it is a very common problem. The staph bacteria exists on our bodies and in our environment. It mutates very rapidly and adapts to aggressive defenses against it. It is a direct result of this that has necessitated the development and use of progressively stronger antibiotics.

Staph infections and recurrent staph infections or yeast infections or any other type of bacterial/fungal infections do not have anything to do with circumcision or not, so you can rule that out.

If you are feeling badly and somehow taking the responsibility for this to continue hanging around, please stop that line of thinking. (I blamed myself in the beginning, too!). It is INCREDIBLY common and very tough to combat. It is common to feel guilty or feel as though one's environment is not clean enough. THAT is absolutely NOT the case MOST of the time. However, thorough cleaning habits are always a good thing to have. Our doctor/naturopath feels that the aggressiveness of this bacteria is as a result of the overuse of antibiotics.

I wish that I could offer something more substantial by way of methods to use to treat this. Very likely if you call the Dr., they will suggest yet another round of antibiotic, stronger than the last. My son had a staph infection in his penis (non circ) and the ped treated it with an antibiotic (naturopath was out of town and I was panicky about my son's red penis that was sore). When some sores showed up on my husbands buttocks, our naturopath gave him Nystatin (anti-fungal) and recommended wiping of the sore areas several times per day with an alcohol soaked pad. I don't think I would try this treatment for genital areas, though. Homeopathy is a good start and well as taking acidophillus to create a more friendly bacteria environment. Also, cutting out sugar and refined foods will help as well.

Good luck to all.

post #6 of 16
Originally posted by MoonLissa
recommended wiping of the sore areas several times per day with an alcohol soaked pad. I don't think I would try this treatment for genital areas, though.

I can tell you from personal experience that alcohol on the genital area burns like heck! Don't do it or you will have a screaming baby!

post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks, everyone. Lots of good advice here (as usual ). Thanks for the reassurance and anecdotes about non-foreskin-related staph infections. That makes me feel better. And if the recurrent infectios did lead to phimosis, there are creams and steroids and such that would likely treat it, correct?

I got an appointment for Tuesday with my second choice Dr. (my kids are new patients so they need longer appointments which wouldn't fit with my chosen doc). I am going to have her do a culture (to make sure it's staph and not something else) and then I'll fill the prescription. I'm applying bactroban 3 times a day (no bandaid, though, won't work in that area ), and giving him kids' echinacea/goldenseal tincture and probiotics 3 times daily. He's also getting a daily dose of vitamin C (in sodium ascorbate form). At diaper changes I rinse him (using my peri bottle) with a calendula solution (he loves this--signs "more" when I try to stop), and apply calendula ointment when it's not Bactroban time. He's also been running around either naked or in fitteds with no cover, except for naptime and overnight. Tonight he took a bath, and then I refilled the tub with clean water for playtime (as usual) and added some tea tree oil. The local health food store is hunting down some hypericum tincture (to add to the calendula solution) and the previously mentioned homeopathic Merc. Sol. I'm a pretty good housekeeper, but went around obsessing and disinfecting everything again tonight.

Does he have a problem(undx.) with his immune system maybe?
I don't know. I noticed though that the infection was once again accompanied by some diaper rash, like last time. I am also wondering if he is sensitive/allergic to dairy (recently found out I am, will get the definitive allergy tests back on me tomorrow)... Could a food sensitivity increase chances of staph infections? I imagine they put a strain on the immune system possibly rendering them less effective at fighting off infection. Does this sound plausible?

Also, do you have pets? They could be the source. Turn every stone to rout it out.
How do I know if the cats are the source?

...staph infections are very contagious and can spread easily... The infection spreads to open skin. It can be difficult to get rid of if not kept in check.
I did not realize how contagious it is... Can it be spread in bathwater or does there need to be direct contact? There sure is a lot of handwashing going on over here, I gotta tell ya.

If you are feeling badly and somehow taking the responsibility for this to continue hanging around, please stop that line of thinking..(I blamed myself in the beginning, too!). It is INCREDIBLY common and very tough to combat. It is common to feel guilty or feel as though one's environment is not clean enough. THAT is absolutely NOT the case MOST of the time.
Thanks, I needed to hear that.

I'll keep you all posted.
post #8 of 16
You could get the cats checked by the vet but there is a good likelyhood that everything in reach of your son is infected. Staph infection is so contagious that it is usually contracted at the doctor's office or hospital. They touch an infected patient and anything else they touch becomes infected and then the infection is spread to other patients who take it home and spread it around. Yes, it can be spread by bathwater, by the faucett handles, the toilet handles and about anything else he touches. I would suggest a sprayer bottle with water and a little chlorine bleach. Wipe all of the handles, toilet seat, etc in the bathroom daily with this and also use it in the kitchen on countertops and handles. Use it anywhere that is colorfast including painted surfaces, metals and plastics. Do not use it on fabrics as it will take the color out. You can also clean his toys with this. Chlorine bleach is not harmful when diluted unless it is swallowed and probably isn't very dangerous then. It's basically what is used to sanitize drinking water by municipal water suppliers.

post #9 of 16
If he is allergic to dairy, that would certainly keep his immune system working overtime and could affect the presence of an infection (meaning....ya get one, ya get another!).

Whit, sounds like you are doing lots of awesome things to combat staph naturally. Frank mentioned a bleach solution. My naturopath suggested that we keep a bottle in the bathroom (out of reach of children, of course) and when we are done showering or bathing, spray down the bathtub area and let dry.

This could be a yeas infection, also as you mention a rash. Staph and yeast are closely associated. Dairy and sugar in the diet could cause overgrowth of yeast. Lots of fresh fruits and veggies, elimination of refined sugars, and doses of acidophilus will help both staph and yeast invasions.

You mentioned you are giving your child a daily dose of Vit C. There is no toxicity problem with Vit C, it's easily excreted in urine if the body has absorbed it's fill. So, you can give doses throughout the day which will definitely boost the immune system.

post #10 of 16

just wanted to add that a woman I know had recurrent staph and the only thing that cleared it up for good was OTC Neosporin ointment, used on a drs recommendation. Is he retractable at all? dunno about the adviability of trying to get some of the ointment under the fs if he is, but someone else here might know?
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Well, I took him to the doc yesterday. She prescribed Bactroban ointment, and recommended I retract his foreskin slightly, just enough to expose the urinary opening (he has a long foreskin) and the sore that's underneath the foreskin... Then I put a big blob of ointment on there, release foreskin and put it all around the reddened outer foreskin as well. This minimal retraction causes my son no discomfort, but causes me a little.
She did not prescribe antibiotcs as she wants to see if we can clear it up without. Fine by me.

She did a culture., which I'll hear back on later. She also recommended baking soda baths.

I am also continuing my immune boosting regimen.
post #12 of 16
I know staph infections can occur in both intact and circ'd boys, but does anyone know if staph is more likely to occur in circ'd boys? I would imagine so. Frank?
post #13 of 16
From my experience with my dd and her 2 staph infections, the sores do not get into the mucous membrane. My dd had had it right at her eyelashes, both upper and lower and Iwas concerned that it might go under the lids or into the eye. The doctor said that it couldn't, so if we are to believe her, then maybe the glans or any mucousal tissue won't get the sores.

But didn't the OP to this thread say that her ds had staph inside his foreskin? Where exactly was it- on the glans, inner foreskin?

Don't know the answer to your question, Julie!

post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
No staph on the glans that I'm aware of, as his foreskin doesn't begin to retract thatfar. There is some just on the inside of the foreskin, which is long... So basically on the inside of the part thatis doubled over at the end of the glans. KWIM?
post #15 of 16
Thanks for the intro. Julie.

Staph bacteria is everywhere all of the time. Everyone reading this probably has staph bacteria on their body. The body's immune system keeps it in check normally as it does with e.Coli, salmonella and many others. It's when the body's defenses are compromised that these infectious agents cause problems. That can be from another disease or from an overwhelming exposure.

I read a news story years ago about a hospital operating room that was experiencing very high levels of staph infections in post op patients. They removed everything from the operating rooms and disinfected floors, walls and ceilings. Then they disinfected each piece of equipment as they brought it back in. After all of this disinfecting the infections continued unabated. They then brought consultants in to find the source of infection and it was located. The source was the disinfectant they were using to sanitize the OR's. The bacteria had evolved to be able to thrive in the disinfectant and every time they cleaned, they spread the staph bacteria all around the operating room. It is certainly a tough and resourceful bacteria.

Staph has no preferences as to it's victims. They can be young or old, male or female, any race, intact or not. It can be very destructive. Necrotizing facetious (sp?) the so called "flesh eating bacteria" is a staph bacteria and is a normal part of the body flora. It's just when the body's defenses are down that it takes the opportunity to perform it's mischief. Staph is also very resourceful. It quickly becomes immune to the drugs used to fight it and becomes resistant. One of the biggest worries of the medical profession is multi-drug resistant staph infections. That's why it is so important that the doctor perform a culture to identify the pathogen and why it is so important to take all of the prescription even though the prescription lasts much longer than the symptoms.

A staph infection has little to do with the foreskin and more to do with the overall immune system of the individual.

post #16 of 16
I have been researching. I hate antibiotics in most cases and just keep seeing my friends plug their kids full of one round after the other of oral and topical killing their immune systems. I began thinking there must be something holistic that can be done. In my research I found that our acidic lifestyle is a key factor the foods we eat and the water we drink. We need to create a more alkaline environment within our bodies. I actually had been planning on getting a system that produces alkaline water before my research, but now I'm completely sold on the idea as a necessity. I have also been changing my diet and my kid's diet to eliminate as many acidic foods as possible while adding foods that are alkaline. Reducing the amount of hydrogen and increasing the amount of oxygen in the blood to boost the immune system naturally. Solve the problem and stop fighting the symptoms of it. I am also adding naturopathic remedies l knew garlic was nature's antibiotic and cayenne, fresh lemon and some of the peel and pith along with echenecia. But I also found additionally an article that if you can get to the end of it suggests additional products. It takes a whole approach. If you're not willing to change your diet and your child's, taking the products won't help. We have to shift to a preventive mindset and get away from the western medicate radiate or cut it out. Give your body what it needs to thrive and it will thrive. Antibiotics kill the good with the bad, leaving us susceptible to reoccurrence. I will post the link to one the articles I read soon, it lists the additional products I will be seeking out at my naturopath's shop.
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