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HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Preventing & treating recurrent Staphylococcal skin infections

Te ārai me whakarauora i ngā pokenga kiri Staphylococcal

Some people get repeat Staphylococcal skin infections while others around them do not.

If this happens to you, it usually doesn't mean you have a problem with your immunity. It usually just means that you have more Staph on your skin or up your nose, or you have a more aggressive type of Staph. Over time, which can be up to two years, you'll develop immunity to Staph and will stop getting so many infections.

In families, schools, preschools, sports clubs and residential care facilities, Staph infections can easily spread from person to person, so several people get infected. But some of them may stay well and not show any signs of infection, even though they carry Staph in their nose or other parts of their body. These people can spread the infection to others.

Avoiding repeat Staph infections

Protecting your home

How often you do this depends on how many people are in your household and how dirty things get. For example, a family of eight in a three-bedroom house should vacuum and clean every second day. An older couple may only need to vacuum and clean once every two weeks.

Change towels and sheets weekly. Change underwear daily.


If you keep getting Staph infections, your doctor may recommend that you try and get rid of the bacteria form your skin. This is known as decolonisation. Your household contacts will need to be treated at the same time.

On the next page: Skin decolonisation

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed May 2022.


Page reference: 45020

Review key: HISNI-49791