Diseases & Conditions


ImpetigoCausesMedicationsPreventionRisk FactorsSymptomsTreatmentTypes

What is Impetigo?

Impetigo is an infection of the skin surface caused by two bacterias, namely, staph and strep. This skin infection is more prevalent in children.

Causes of Impetigo

As already mentioned, impetigo is caused by bacterias. Another important thing to note about impetigo is that it is contagious in nature, generally from direct contact with individuals who are already suffering from it. In some cases, it can also arise from household items, clothing and toys. Once it begins, impetigo quite a number of times spread to other body portions.

Presence of eczema and humidity predispose you into developing impetigo. Often, bacteria live in the nose and makes it presence felt from there to other skin areas.

Medications for Impetigo

Your health care provider is going to prescribe few antibiotics that you need to apply to the affected skin portion. Mupirocin ointment is one such antibiotic. The best part about topical antibiotics is that you do not need to worry about any side effects.

Oral antibiotics are also prescribed by the health care providers especially if you are suffering from a complicated impetigo. Even if you are not comfortable with it, make sure that you complete the full course. By doing this, you minimize the possibility of infection recurrence.

Prevention of Impetigo

One of the common complications associated with impetigo is that it can cause glomerulonephritis. Talking about glomerulonephritis, it is a kidney condition that can give rise to inflammation. It is worthwhile pointing that treating the impetigo does not prevent this kidney condition from arising. Impetigo does not leave scars as its blisters are superficial. Your skin portion which is affected by it is going to look red for a period of time but it will disappear in five to six days.

To avoid impetigo, it is of paramount importance that you wash your hands on a regular basis. If you are already suffering from impetigo, ensure that your fingernails are short. Cover sores with tape and gauze. By doing this, you will ensure that the fluid will not infect other body portions. Use of antibacterial soap is advisable. Once you get a feel of the symptoms, contact your health care provider immediately.

Risk factors of Impetigo

Diagnosing impetigo is relatively easy, though in some cases other conditions may give you a similar feel, such as ringworm and mites. Keep in mind that every blister cannot be treated as an infection. Often, other sorts of skin diseases develop blister-like skin inflammation. Examples in this regard are herpes cold sores, chickenpox and poison ivy. Take the advice of your health care provider in deciding whether to use antibacterial creams or not.

Symptoms of Impetigo

Babies are more prone to impetigo. When your baby suffers from this condition, you are going to find small red spots on the skin surface. These red spots are generally there on the hands or face.

The spots generally make it presence felt on the nappy region. The spot center develops into a blister. After two days, it bursts and a golden fluid will come out of the blister. Your baby is going to experience an itching sensation. If you are not careful, situation is going to get worse.

Treatment for Impetigo

You do not need to take impetigo seriously, as it can fade away and dry up on its own. Treatment procedure is also quite straightforward. For mild cases, gentle cleansing and removal of crusts is more than enough. You also have an option of applying the antibiotic ointment mupirocin. If your case is a bit complicated, you may need oral antibiotic medication.

Your health care provider can conduct bacterial culture tests on you as it can give an indication of whether oral therapy is required or not. Some of the antibiotics like penicillin, erythromycin and azithromycin can turn out to be quite effective.

Types of Impetigo

There are two types of impetigo.

  • Non-bullous impetigo: Talking about non-bullous type, it feels like small blisters which then become yellow crusts. These often begin around the face and nose but in some cases, it can also have an impact on legs and arms.
  • Bullous impetigo: The main reason responsible for this type is staph bacteria that give rise to a toxin which causes the breakage between skin layers and developing a blister. Blisters can appear in plenty of skin portions.