The Dangers of MRSA on the Scalp

Updated March 23, 2017

As an antibiotic resistant of a staph infection, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) can develop into two types of infection.

Health care-associated MRSA (HA-MRSA) is commonly found among patients in a hospital and other health care areas including, dialysis centres, nursing homes and assisted living facilities. HA-MRSA can develop from the use of intravenous tubing, implanted devices, or from surgeries where an area is left open to heal on its own.

Community-associated MRSA (CA-MRSA) is spread through skin-to-skin contact and is commonly contracted by child care workers, people living in crowded and unsanitary conditions or high school wrestlers. Especially in the wrestling community, CA-MRSA can emerge easily, as it can travel through the minor abrasions and cuts on the scalp.

Serious MRSA infections can have dangerous complications and are potentially fatal.


Sepsis, or septicaemia, is a complication of moderate or severe MRSA infections that causes bacteria in the blood stream. A very serious medical condition, sepsis can be fatal and requires immediate medical attention. Symptoms of sepsis include rapid breathing and heart rate, a confused mental state, either high fevers or a drop in body temperature, and problems with blood clotting. A key danger of sepsis is how quickly it can progress.


The severe bacterial infection of MRSA can potentially cause the side effect of endocarditis. This condition includes inflamed heart valves and the lining inside of each heart chamber. Although endocarditis can either develop over some time or quickly, the symptoms for this condition include excessive sweating, weakness, fever, chills, abnormal urine colour and abnormalities underneath finger nails. While endocarditis can be treated, there is a possibility that heart valves can be destroyed and require surgery. In addition, strokes can be brought on and it can be fatal.


MRSA bacteria can spread into your lungs and cause pneumonia. While this is a more moderate potential danger of MRSA, pneumonia is a lung infection which causes fever, shortness of breath when climbing stairs, expelling green, yellow or blood-tinged mucous upon coughing and shaking chills. Pneumonia is especially dangerous for the elderly, immune suppressed and children.


Cellulitis is a bacteria borne skin infection that can result from MRSA. Because MRSA can be spread by skin-to-skin contact, it is possible that some bacteria may get into a small break or abrasion and cellulitis can develop. Cellulitis presents itself as an area of skin that is red, irritated and hot to the touch. As the infection worsens, the red area will grow and swell. Cellulitis is treated with antibiotics including Vancomycin, a Daptomycin injection, Cephalexin and Clindamycin.

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