The most common visible signs of MRSA are:
- Bumps, pimple-like lumps, or blisters on the skin, either singly or more than one.
- Swelling, reddening, and tenderness of the skin often surround the lumps or bumps.
- White or yellow pus filled heads are often found at the center of lumps, which often drain on their own.
- Skin infections on fingers, legs, arms, back, face or buttocks are most common, especially for infections caught in the community
- Weakness or fatigue
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle aches
- Acute pain
Doctors diagnose MRSA by checking a tissue sample or nasal secretions for signs of drug-resistant bacteria.
Both health care-associated and community-associated strains of MRSA still respond to certain antibiotics. In some cases, antibiotics may not be necessary. For example, doctors may drain a superficial abscess caused by MRSA rather than treat the infection with drugs.