Symptoms of Skin and Soft Tissue Infections (Including MRSA)

Most skin and soft tissue infections are characterized by redness, tenderness, warmth and oozing at the infection site. If the infection is more severe, additional symptoms may include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Dimpling of the skin
  • Swelling of the tissue
  • Itching and burning skin
  • Blisters that crust over

Necrotizing soft tissue infection can produce serious and even life-threatening symptoms, including:

  • Intense pain
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Rapidly spreading redness
  • Gray, foul-smelling drainage
  • Blisters with a “crackling” feeling in the underlying tissue
  • Numbness
  • The center of the infection area turns black
  • Shock

The MRSA infection:

  • May be mistaken for a spider bite
  • May resemble a group of small pimples
  • Is red, swollen and painful to the touch
  • May have pus draining from the site
  • Fever
  • Fatigue

Complications of MRSA may include:

  • Meningitis (infection of the brain or spinal cord)
  • Pneumonia
  • Heart valve infection
  • Infection surrounding a medical device, such as a pacemaker or IV port
  • Bone or joint infection

If you suspect you have MRSA, necrotizing soft tissue infection or other severe skin infection, call your physician immediately.*


If you have back pain, leg pain, and changes in bowel and bladder habits, you should seek an immediate medical evaluation by your physician.