Information about Impetigo
We have to know about Impetigo
- A skin infection that mainly affects infants and children.
- The disease is highly contagious
Could be dangerous, if the answer is YES for any one of the following questions
- Any change in the color and texture of the skin?
Causes of Impetigo
- Occurs when bacteria enter the skin through cuts or insect bites, it can also develop in skin that’s perfectly healthy.
- Caused by Staphylococcus Aureus
Do’s and Don’ts of Impetigo
- Treat cuts, scrapes, insect bites right away by washing the affected areas.
- Gently wash the affected areas with mild soap and running water and then cover lightly with gauze.
- Wash an infected child’s clothes, linens, and towels every day and don’t share them with anyone else in your family.
- Cut an infected child’s nails short to prevent scratching.
- Encourage your child to wash his or her hands frequently.
Signs & Symptoms for Impetigo
- A red sore on your child’s face, which oozes pus and forms a honey-colored crust leaving a red mark that heals without scarring. The sores may be itchy, but they aren’t painful.
- Swollen lymph nodes in the affected area.
- Scratching the sores can spread the infection to other parts of the body.
- Bullous impetigo: primarily affects infants and children younger than 2 years.
- It causes painless, fluid-filled blisters — usually on the trunk, arms, and legs.
- The skin around the blister is usually red and itchy. The blisters may last longer than sores from other types of impetigo.
- Ecthyma: Infection penetrates deeper into the skin’s second layer (dermis).
- Painful pus-filled sores that turn into deep ulcers, usually on the legs and feet
- A hard, thick, gray-yellow crust covering the sores
- Swollen lymph glands in the affected area
- Scars that remain after the ulcers heal
Medical advice for Impetigo
- If you suspect that you or your child has impetigo, consult your family doctor, your child’s pediatrician or a dermatologist.
Risk factors of Impetigo
- Children ages 2 to 6 years and infants are most often infected.
- Direct contact with an adult or child who has impetigo or with contaminated towels, bedding or clothing
- Crowded conditions
- Warm, humid weather
- Participation in sports that involve skin-to-skin contact
- Older adults and people with diabetes or a compromised immune system
Treatment for Impetigo
- Local applications
- Oral medicines
- Topical Antibiotics Diagnosis
- Doctors usually diagnose impetigo by looking at the distinctive sores. Lab tests generally aren’t necessary.
- If the sores don’t clear, even with antibiotic treatment, your doctor may take a sample of the liquid produced by a sore and test it to see what types of antibiotics might work best on it. Some types of bacteria that cause impetigo have become resistant to certain antibiotic drugs.
- Impetigo typically is treated with an antibiotic ointment or cream that you apply directly to the sores. You may need to first soak the affected area in warm water or use wet compresses to help remove the scabs so the antibiotic can penetrate the skin.
- If you have more than just a few impetigo sores, your doctor might recommend antibiotic drugs that can be taken by mouth. Be sure to finish the entire course of medication even if the sores are healed. This helps prevent the infection from recurring and makes antibiotic resistance less likely.
Self-care of Impetigo
- For minor infections that haven’t spread to other areas, try the following:
- Soak the affected areas of skin with a vinegar solution — 1 tablespoon of white vinegar to 1 pint of water — for 20 minutes.
- After washing the area, apply an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment 3-4 times daily. Wash the skin before each application, and pat it dry.
- Avoid scratching or touching the sores as much as possible until they heal.
Investigations for Impetigo
- No investigation is usually needed