Staph infection in the nose can be triggered by the staphylococcus aureus bacteria or commonly known as staph. Always bear in mind that staph is present in daily life starting from birth. Adults are known to carry the bacteria in the nose at all times.
In most cases, colonization of the bacteria does not generally result to an infection but infection and colonization are often confused. Most of the symptoms caused by staph in the nose involve areas away from the nose. The staph infections that are triggered by bacteria localized in the nose can occur along with other symptoms at distant locations.
What are the localized symptoms?
Once the nose is colonized with staphylococcus aureus, it will not trigger an active infection or localized symptoms. An actual nasal infection with staph are generally secondary infections after the flu, common cold, surgery, inflammation or other forms of trauma to the nasal membranes that disrupts the initial line of defense of filtering provided by the nasal passages. Staphylococcus aureus that only colonize the nasal passages are able to invade actively the local tissues and reproduce which triggers an immune reaction.
The presence of yellow to greenish mucus in the nasal discharge and throat indicates an active immune reaction. Other symptoms include nasal stuffiness, cough, sore throat, fever as well as pain in the nasal membranes. When the attack and tenderness progresses, the sinuses are usually involved which results the manifestation of fever, headache, pressure throughout the sinus cavities and chills. The headaches tend to change in intensity with positioning and vanish shortly after getting out of bed.
Distant skin symptoms
Whether the nose is infected or colonized with staphylococcus aureus, the presence of staph in the nose sets up for inoculation of distant skin locations. Remember that these symptoms include furuncles or boils, pimples, impetigo, carbuncles, abscess and cellulitis.
- The pimples are pustules filled with pus that are situated on the neck, face, chest or upper back.
- The furuncles or common boils are nodules that are sore. They are usually found anywhere on the skin including the nose and marked with an area of redness that surrounds a central core.
- Carbuncles are clusters of furuncles which develop on any part of the skin as well as trigger necrosis of the neighboring cells with the development of drainage sinuses.
- Cellulitis involves tenderness of the connective tissue due to staphylococcus aureus and involves a watery material that spreads via the tissues. This condition can lead to ulcerations or abscesses.
- An abscess is a cavity filled with pus that forms due to the disintegration of the local tissues. They are quite sore and generally require drainage.
- Impetigo is a skin infection that requires two triggers – break in the skin due to insect bites or scratching and self-inoculation of the staphylococcus aureus from the nose colonization.
Invasive disease symptoms
When it comes to an invasive condition from staph either due to colonization or infection, it can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical care. Good examples include endocarditis, pneumonia, otitis media, scalded skin syndrome, meningitis, osteomyelitis, toxic shock syndrome, sepsis and bacteremia.