Skip to main content
MRSA

MRSA is a type of bacteria that can cause serious infections because it's resistant to several antibiotics.

MRSA often starts as a skin infection causing redness, pain and swelling. It can also spread to other areas like the lungs, bones and urinary tract.

MRSA is usually treated with antibiotics. You may also need to have the MRSA bacteria removed from your skin using special washes and creams.

MRSA is spread by touching people, objects or surfaces that have the bacteria on them. People staying in hospital are most at risk of getting it.

Read more on the NHS website.

MRSA often starts as a skin infection causing redness, pain and swelling. It can also spread to other areas like the lungs, bones and urinary tract.

Symptoms of MRSA

Having MRSA on your skin does not cause any symptoms and does not make you ill.

You will not usually know if you have it unless you have a screening test before going into hospital.

If MRSA gets deeper into your skin, it can cause:

If it gets further into your body, it can also cause:

Tell a member of staff if you get these symptoms while in hospital.

Call a GP or NHS 111 if you get these symptoms outside of hospital.

Read more on the NHS website.

MRSA is usually treated with antibiotics. You may also need to have the MRSA bacteria removed from your skin using special washes and creams.

Medical treatments

Removing MRSA from your skin

If screening finds MRSA on your skin, you may need treatment to remove it. This is known as decolonisation.

This usually involves:

  • applying antibacterial cream inside your nose 3 times a day for 5 days
  • washing with an antibacterial shampoo every day for 5 days
  • changing your towel, clothes and bedding every day during treatment – the resulting laundry should be washed separately from other people's and at a high temperature

Treatment is normally done at home, but may be started after going into hospital if you need to be admitted quickly.

Treatment for an MRSA infection

If you get an MRSA infection, you'll usually be treated with antibiotics that work against MRSA.

These may be taken as tablets or given as injections. Treatment can last a few days to a few weeks.

During treatment, you may need to stay in your own room or in a ward with other people who have an MRSA infection to help stop it spreading.

You can normally still have visitors, but it's important they take precautions to prevent MRSA spreading.

Read more on the NHS website.

MRSA is spread by touching people, objects or surfaces that have the bacteria on them. People staying in hospital are most at risk of getting it.

Read more on the NHS website.