Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"How can I best prevent a MRSA abscess on my skin?"

ZocdocAnswersHow can I best prevent a MRSA abscess on my skin?


I'm a 25 year old female and mother. A year or so ago I contracted MRSA which causes large, painful abscesses on my skin. I've had two large abscesses on my stomach and smaller outbreaks on my arms. As I'm not entirely sure what causes the abscesses to appear I don't know how best to prevent them. I use soap with antibacterial properties to keep my skin clean but is there something else I can do to keep another from developing?


The most important thing you can do to prevent abscesses from forming is to clean and take care of any breaks in your skin. The skin is the most important defense you have against infection. So if you fall and cut yourself, then make sure to clean the cut well, and use antibiotic (such as Mupirocin) ointment when dressing the cut. The antibacterial soap will also help. If you are developing a lot of these abscess without any particular injury, then you should probably be evaluated for an immune system deficiency. An example of a disease that results in many abscesses is chronic granulomatous disease. This disease is a impairs the white blood cells ability to kill bacteria. I think the likelihood that you have this is low, because you aren't reporting any other symptoms such as recurrent pneumonia. I would suggest that you schedule an appointment to see your primary care physician. You can start by having a full physical exam done to look for any small abscess brewing that can be taken care of before they get too big and ugly. In addition, you can have a nasal culture for MRSA done. This culture looks for MRSA colonization which may make you more susceptible to developing a MRSA abscess in the future.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.