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Ask Dr. Gott 6/20
Staph doesn't respond to meds
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    DEAR DR. GOTT: I have what my doctor calls a staph infection on my legs. It is now breaking out on my back. It seems as if the medication he gave me isn't doing any good. Can you recommend treatment?
    DEAR READER: Staphylococcus (staph) is a type of bacteria that can lead to infection of the skin. It can cause sores that may be swollen, painful and appear as boils, furuncles and pus-filled lesions. There are over 30 different types of staph on the skin of up to 30 percent of all healthy adults. In most cases, the bacteria do not present a problem because of natural protective workings of the body. However, when skin is compromised because of a cut, scrape or other breakdown of the skin surface, bacteria can slip in, and infection results.
    Illness can range from very mild, requiring no treatment, to very severe, which can be potentially fatal. Virtually anyone can develop an infection. People with chronic medical conditions and lung disorders and injecting drug users are at greater risk than are others. Newborns are also susceptible.
    A physician should view any potential infections to determine the proper course of treatment, which can range from over-the-counter ointments to IV antibiotic therapy. When doubt remains, laboratory cultures should be obtained to determine the particular strain an individual has contracted so the right treatment can be administered.
    If the antibiotic your physician has prescribed is not doing the job, return to him or her for an exam and change of medication.
    To give you related information, I am sending you a copy of my Health Report "Consumer Tips on Medicines." Other readers who would like a copy should send a self-addressed, stamped, No. 10 envelope and $2 to Newsletter, PO Box 167, Wickliffe, OH 44092. Be sure to mention the title.

    DEAR DR. GOTT: I have had ringworm on my leg, arm and back for about a year. My family doctor scraped the one on my back and sent it to a lab, where ringworm was confirmed. He gave me a prescription for two pills. I took one and had to wait one or two weeks until I took the second. It seemed to help but didn't completely clear all the lesions. They get itchy when I am warm or stressed, and I am tired of this. I'm 47, in good health, weigh about 140 pounds and take herbs but no medication.
    I do have cats and one dog. I've tried several things at home and even bought something at the drug store for athlete's foot. Please give me some advice.
    DEAR READER: This contagious fungal infection is difficult to prevent. It can be contracted through skin-to-skin contact of an infected person or pet or contact with an object or surface either has touched.
    Eradication is often achieved through the use of topical antifungal creams applied directly to affected areas or with oral fungus-killing medications.
    I recommend you take your pets to a veterinarian to be checked and treated if they are the culprits. Then return to your physician for appropriate medication. In the meantime, you may wish to try Vicks VapoRub (or the store-brand equivalent). It has proven its antifungal properties with toenail fungus, athlete's foot and jock itch. I recommend you give it a try while waiting for the results to come back from your veterinarian.
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