Most people recover from staphylococcal infections. Antibiotics typically kill the bacteria shortly after treatment begins. But reinfection and the need for additional treatment sometimes occur.
If a staph infection returns, doctors at NYU Langone may prescribe additional medication to treat your symptoms. They also recommend preventive measures such as hand hygiene, and explain how to avoid contaminating household surfaces.
Doctors may attempt to remove staph from your skin and nose with topical disinfectants, antibiotics, or both through a process called decolonization. Sometimes, a combination of two different oral antibiotics is successful in eliminating a person’s infection. Over time, the body’s immune system may be able to eradicate the staph.
If you are being treated for a staph infection in a hospital or healthcare facility, your healthcare providers take great care to prevent the spread of infection by wearing protective gowns, gloves, and masks and washing their hands before and after treating you. Visitors are not likely to catch a staph infection if they wash their hands before and after entering your room. You can ask your healthcare team if this precaution is necessary for your visitors.
Learn more about our research and professional education opportunities.