Staphylococcus aureus (staph) is bacteria many of us carry in our nose and on our skin that doesn't usually cause a problem. When the skin is cut or punctured however, staph can enter the body and cause cellulitis, folliculitis, boils, impetigo and scalded skin syndrome. Localized staph skin infections that are contained to one area and have not been passed to the rest of the body, can be treated by keeping the skin clean with an antibacterial soap, warm soaks, antibiotic ointment and keeping the infection covered in a clean dressing. Your health care provider will help you decide if you need to use an over-the-counter triple antibiotic ointment or if a prescription antibiotic ointment is a better choice. When cleaning and/or soaking the infection, use a towel only once before washing it again to prevent spread of the infection. If your skin ever has an area of red, irritated or painful skin, pus-filled white areas or if you have a fever, call your health care provider immediately.