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How do I treat or prevent an infection with MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staph aureus)?

Vinegar Soaks (acetic acid)

There are certain times when a wound is healing that it will benefit from a change in the kind of wound care. Vinegar soaks are often very helpful in finishing the wound healing.


1. Mix 1-2 tablespoon(s) of white or yellow vinegar to 8oz. of water.
2. Soak gauze in the solution and apply to wound area 2-3 times a day for 20 minutes. Rinse off.
3. Pat dry with gauze, do not apply any ointment.
4. You may store solution in refrigerator for up to one week or discard after each use.
5. Continue soaks until follow-up appointment, unless otherwise instructed.

This will assist in the healing of the wound.


Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus are germs that cause impetigo and other types of skin infections. In some people, these germs hide in their nose and skin folds. In people with eczema, these germs can also live on their skin. This is called "colonization." People who are colonized can pass these germs to others who may be more likely to get an infection.

Antibiotic treatment:

Mupirocin (Bactroban®, Centany®) & retapamulin (Altabax®) are antibiotics that control and even eliminate colonization with these germs. Apply ointment twice a day for 5 days in a row. Repeat the course of treatment every 1-3 months.

To keep medicine tube free of germs:

Use a clean cotton swab to apply medicine
Do not reuse the same swab to touch the tube
Store medication in the refrigerator

For your child:

Apply ointment to nostrils and skin folds (ex: armpits, behind the ears, ear canals, groin folds, belly button, anal area and any scabbed areas)
Add 1/4 cup household bleach to bath water or 1 TBL bleach if using a toddler sized tub

For all other family members:

Apply ointment to nostrils only
Use an antibacterial cleanser once a day for bathing to help control skin colonization. Liquid cleansers are usually less irritating to the skin than bar soaps, and less likely to be contaminated with repeated use. For best results, when one product is used up, purchase another product with a different active ingredient.