Healthcare providers can treat many S. aureus skin infections by draining the abscess or boil and may not need to use antibiotics. Draining of skin boils or abscesses should only be done by a healthcare provider.
For mild to moderate skin infections, incision and drainage by a healthcare provider is the first-line treatment. Before prescribing antibiotics, your provider will consider the potential for antibiotic resistance. Thus, if MRSA is suspected, your provider will avoid treating you with beta-lactam antibiotics, a class of antibiotic observed not to be effective in killing the staph bacteria.
For severe infection, doctors will typically use vancomycin intravenously.
Last Updated February 18, 2009
Last Reviewed February 18, 2009