Impetigo is a highly communicable skin infection that mostly affects the children, but can also occur in adults. Impetigo is also known as Infantigo. Children between the ages of 2-5 years are at greater risk of developing impetigo. Impetigo results in the formation of red, itchy sores that can occur anywhere in the body. Impetigo can easily spread from an infected person to a healthy person.
Types of Impetigo
Ecthyma- This is a more severe form of Impetigo as it affects deeper layers of the skin. There are extremely painful boils that may develop into open sores.
Impetigo contagiosa- This is the most contagious and common type of Impetigo in children. The lumps in this type are very itchy, but may not be painful.
Bullous Impetigo- This form of impetigo is common among the children under the age of two. The red and itchy lumps generally appear on the arms and legs.
Causes of Impetigo
The bacteria Staphylococcus aureus and streptococcus pygoenes are cause impetigo. These bacteria enter the body through a cut or a wound. Sometimes impetigo is caused as a result of already present skin infection such as dermatitis. A healthy person becomes infected by coming in direct contact with the blister or using infected person’s items such as towel, sheets, or a razor. Insect bites or animal bites can also result in the development of this skin infection.
Signs and symptoms of Impetigo depends upon its types. The scars due to impetigo can be emotionally distressing, particularly if they are present on the face. Symptoms of Impetigo are:
Diagnosis of Impetigo
usually diagnoses Impetigo by looking at it. Tell your doctor about the symptoms you have been experiencing. A doctor may also take a pus sample from the Impetigo. This sample is observed in the lab to determine causative agent. The reports of the lab test will help in determining the suitable treatment of Impetigo
The goal of the treatment of Impetigo is to prevent the infection from spreading further and reverse the affect of unfavourable scarring. The mild symptoms of Impetigo are easily treatable by taking hygienic measures. For the treatment of mild symptoms, a dermatologist may prescribe antibacterial ointment which should be applied directly onto the affected area. Oral medications are given to a patient with Impetigo. This oral medicine prevents the infection from developing into the blood. It is also recommended to wash affected areas with antibacterial soap. Avoid touching affected area and always wash hands before eating anything and after using the bathroom.