Impetigo – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

March 27 00:57 2019 Print This Article

Impetigo is a skin disorder caused by bacterial infection and characterized by crusting skin lesions. It is often called school sores because it most often affects children. It is quite contagious. Anyone can catch by impetigo. Although most cases are in children, adults can catch impetigo. It is most common in crowded settings, such as nurseries. It often starts at the site of a minor skin injury such as a graze, an insect bite, or scratched eczema. Impetigo is a skin rash that is characterized by a cluster of blisters or red bumps.

The blisters may ooze or be covered with a honey-coloured crust. The rash usually appears around the nose, mouth, and parts of the skin not covered by clothes. Impetigo is seldom serious, and minor infections may clear on their own in two to three weeks. But because impetigo can sometimes lead to complications, your child’s doctor may choose to treat it with an antibiotic ointment or oral antibiotics. Your child can usually return to school or a child care setting as soon as he or she isn’t contagious often within 24 hours of starting antibiotic therapy. You can help prevent the infection by taking good care of your child’s skin. Use soap and water when bathing your child, and pay special attention to cuts, rashes, insect bites and allergic reactions. If anyone in your family does develop impetigo, a few simple measures can help keep the infection from spreading.

Impetigo is a highly contagious disease of the surface of the skin that occurs in nonbullous and bullous (elevated lesions) forms. As already discussed it is caused to two type of bacteria. Impetigo that is caused by staphylococcus aureus triggers larger fluid-containing blisters that appear clear, then cloudy. Simple cleanliness and prompt attention to minor wounds will do much to prevent impetigo. Impetigo causes small bumps or blisters that burst. The skin underneath is moist, tender and red, and it oozes a clear liquid. Persons with impetigo or symptoms of GABS infections should seek medical care and if necessary begin antibiotic treatment as soon as possible to prevent spread to others.

Causes of Impetigo

Impetigo is usually caused by one of two bacteria: Group A streptococcus or Staphylococcus aureus. In adults, impetigo is usually the result of injury to the skin, often by another dermatological condition such as dermatitis. Children are commonly infected through a cut, scrape or insect bite, but they can also develop impetigo without having any notable damage to the skin.

Find common causes and risk factors of Impetigo:

  • Impetigo can be caused by the Staphylococcus aureus (staph) or group A Streptococci (strep) bacteria.
  • Poor hygiene, anemia, and malnutrition are also common causes of Impetigo.
  • Impetigo is usually the result of injury to the skin – often by another dermatological condition such as dermatitis.
  • The most common cause of impetigo is Staphylococcus aureus. Beta hemolytic streptococcus is another bacteria that causes it.
  • In adults, it may follow other skin disorders. Impetigo may follow a recent upper respiratory infection such as a cold or other viral infection.
  • Warm, humid environment, increa
  • Lice infections (like scabies, head or public lice), which cause scratching are also the main factor of impetigo.

Signs and Symptoms of Impetigo

Sign and symptoms may include the following:

  • Itching blister.
  • Skin lesion on lips.
  • Rash.
  • Skin lesion on legs.
  • Blistery rash that spreads.
  • Skin lesion on the face.
  • Scratching.
  • Skin lesion on the arms.

Treatment for Impetigo

The best topical agent is mupirocin (A-I), although resistance has been described; other agents, such as bacitracin and neomycin, are considerably less effective treatments. Make sure that anyone in your family with impetigo keeps his or her fingernails cut short and that the impetigo sores are covered with gauze and tape. Patients who have numerous lesions or who are not responding to topical agents should receive oral antimicrobials effective against both S. aureus and S. pyogenes. Many GPs choose to treat impetigo with bactericidal ointment, such as fusidic acid or mupirocin, but in more severe cases oral antibiotics, such as flucloxacillin or erythromycin are necessary. Topical antibiotics avoid side effects such as diarrhea that can result from oral medications, but as with oral antibiotics, bacteria can become resistant to them over time.

Treatment may include:

  • Treatment is by topical antibiotics. Antibiotics taken by mouth usually clear up impetigo in four or five days. It’s important for the antibiotic to be taken faithfully until the prescribed supply is completely used up.
  • Topical steroids may be used to reduce the inflammation caused by impetigo. A mild steroid or moderate steroid may be used.
  • Moisturizers may be needed to treat any dry skin and also helps to relieve the tenderness and pain that is usually caused by impetigo.
  • Wash the skin several times a day, preferably with an antibacterial soap, to remove crusts and drainage.
  • Topical antiseptic lotions
  • Good personal hygiene
  • Dicloxacillin should be given as an initial treatment for impetigo because erythromycin-resistant strains of S aureus are prevalent at that time.
  Article "tagged" as: