Treating MRSA 

If you have an MRSA infection, you may need treatment with particular antibiotics. 

If MRSA screening shows that you just carry MRSA on your skin, you'll need decolonisation treatment to remove the bacteria. 


Decolonisation involves using antibacterial products, such as a bodywash or powder, to remove the MRSA bacteria from your skin.

An antibacterial cream can be used to remove MRSA from inside your nose, and an antibacterial shampoo can be used to remove it from your scalp.

These products should be used one or more times a day for five days. You do not have to be admitted to hospital for treatment. You can do it at home before you go into hospital.

During the decolonisation process, you should wash every day, ideally using a fresh towel to dry yourself each time. You should also wear a new set of clothes each day and try to change your bedding on a daily basis. The resulting laundry should be washed at a high temperature separately from other people's clothes and bedding.

Treating skin and soft tissue infections

Minor skin and soft tissue infections, such as smaller boils or abscesses, may only require a treatment called incision and drainage.

Incision and drainage involves piercing the tip of the boil or abscess with a sterile needle or scalpel to drain the pus and allow the affected area to heal. Before the procedure, you're likely to be given a local anaesthetic to numb the affected area.

More extensive skin infections, such as cellulitis, will usually require a course of antibiotic tablets.

You're likely to be given a course of antibiotic injections if you develop a skin or soft tissue infection in hospital and you're more vulnerable to the effects of the infection. This might be because you have a serious underlying condition.

Treating invasive infections

If you become infected with MRSA in hospital, it's likely that you'll need to be transferred to an isolation room. This reduces the risk of the bacteria spreading to other patients and infecting them.

You may be placed in a room by yourself or in a small ward with other people who have an MRSA infection. You should still be able to have visitors, but it's very important that they clean their hands thoroughly before and after visiting you and before and after touching you.

For more serious, invasive MSRA infections, treatment will involve a course of antibiotic injections that could last several weeks. A combination of different antibiotics may be used.

Click on the links below for more information on treating some types of invasive infection that can be caused by MRSA:

Page last reviewed: 28/04/2015

Next review due: 28/04/2017