The signs and symptoms are dependent upon the site of infection and will be described as follows:
Folliculitis: small reddish bumps around individual hair follicles
Furuncles: larger and more extensive infection involving hair follicles, these can be up to ½ inches big, red with a pus boil.
Carbuncles: when several hair follicles are involved and can result in local skin necrosis and scarring.
Cellulitis: when the infection spreads uniformly to the underlying soft tissue layer and is manifested by a diffuse area of redness resembling a burn, sometimes with a scalded skin like appearance with blistering. This is associated with fever, chills and sweats.
Abscess: when the infection result in large pus filled boils and lumps, seen most commonly on arms, legs, arm pits and groin but can occur everywhere. Impetigo: a boil like lesion that ruptures and leaves a pus coated area surrounded by redness.
Mastitis: an infection of the breasts manifesting as a red swollen nipples and spreading outward most often seen in first few months of breast feeding.
Endocarditis: When staphylococcus bacteria enters the blood stream and lodges on the heart valves, resulting in fever, chills, fatigue, shortness of breath and is life threatening if not treated.
Osteomyelitis: infection of the bone as staphylococcus bacteria settles through the blood stream onto bony surfaces, commonly the vertebral bones. Symptoms are primarily of pain of the affected bone
Sepsis: a severe multi organ infection resulting from overwhelming staphylococcus infection involving the blood stream which can result in shock and death.
Toxic Shock Syndrome: Certain staphylococcus Aureus bacteria produce a toxin called toxic shock syndrome toxin 1, which upon entering the blood stream results in a rapid and severe illness characterized by fever, muscle pains, nausea, diarrhea, lethargy and extremely low blood pressure (shock). A faint and fleeting red sand paper like rash is also seen. There is multiple organ failure involving the lung, liver and kidneys. This has classically been associated with use of tampons, but it can be seen with diaphragms and vaginal sponges. It does not however need to be associated with gynecologic issues at all and can be seen as a complication of skin infection, surgery etc.