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Had hair cut from a stylist who had a cut that's swollen. Suffering from Bipolar disesase, allergies and hypoglycemia. Concerned of staph or MRSA ?

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I am a 47 year old female, 5'3" tall, 196 lbs. I have a medical history of asthma, PCOS, IBS, C.Diff, bipolar disorder, allergies, hypothyroidism, hypoglycemia. Yesterday, I went to my hair stylist to have my hair cut and colored. Three weeks ago, she had a cut on her foot that swelled up which she received antibiotics for and which cleared up. When I saw her yesterday, she had just come from the doctor. Apparently she had a "cut" on her finger and her hand had swollen up and she was again on antibiotics. Her hand was bandaged. She did my hair color wearing gloves. However, she washed and cut my hair without gloves, but with only the wet bandage on her hand. The bandage came loose and she eventually went and put on a glove. I am concerned about staph or MRSA infection on my scalp as a result of this experience. Should I be concerned? (I have no cuts or open sores on my scalp.)
Posted Wed, 18 Apr 2012 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Bharat Chawda 4 hours later

Thank you for posting the query.

You have provided with good information regarding your health problems & I appreciate your health concern regarding the infection.

MRSA is Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection, also known as multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. It is difficult to treat infection. But is more commonly seen in hospitals and nursing homes, where patients have low immunity (like HIV, Diabetes, cancer, etc) and have open wounds. Such patients are at greater risk of infection than the general population.

But yes, people in close contact (close skin-to-skin contact, openings in the skin such as cuts or abrasions, contaminated items and surfaces, crowded living conditions, and poor hygiene) are definitely prone for such infections.

Early diagnosis is the key here and treatment should be taken promptly if at all it is suspected.

Usually it colonizes the respiratory tract and urinary tract. The most common manifestation is in skin. It may appear as small bumps which may become larger and more painful, later becoming more XXXXXXX pus-filled boils. It may effect other vital organs of the body as well.

Since you have been contact with such a person whose status (MRSA) is not known, we just need to take certain precautions. We cannot be 100% sure of being infected or not being infected .

The following steps can be taken to prevent such infections :
1) Practice good hygiene.
2) Keep your hands clean by washing thoroughly with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
3) Keep cuts and scrapes clean and covered with a bandage until healed.
4) Avoid contact with other people’s wounds or bandages.
5) Avoid sharing personal items such as towels or razors.

Since there is no open wound in your case nor that you have a depressed immunity, I would say that you are at very low risk. But in case of any doubts you should see your healthcare provider.

Staph infections and MRSA infections are treatable but would require proper antibiotics.

Hope I have answered your query. Should you have additional concern regarding the same, I would be happy to address it.

Dr.Bharat chawda
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