It is a highly contagious skin infection but usually not serious. It often improves within 7 to 10 days of receiving treatment. It is also very common in young children and athletes. The infection can spread through any surface that has been touched by someone who has it.

Types of impetigo:
Impetigo infection can be divided into two main types, depending on how the infection begins:
  • Primary impetigo: where the impetigo bacteria penetrate healthy, cohesive skin that is free of any wounds.
  • Secondary impetigo: Bacteria penetrate the skin through a wound or skin infection, such as eczema, which causes tearing and disruption of the skin layers.
An infection caused by strains of Staphylococcus or streptococcus bacteria. These bacteria can enter the body (a damage in the skin) through a cut, scratch, bug bite or rash, and when touching the sores of a person with impetigo or the tools the person used (such as Towels, clothes or bed linen).

Risk factors:
  • Living in a warm, humid climate.
  • Skin diseases (such as: eczema, dermatitis or psoriasis).
  • Sunburn or other burns
  • Insect bites.
  • Participation in contact sports (such as football or wrestling).
  • Diabetes and immunodeficiency.
  • Initial signs of impetigo are red sores on the skin, often clustered around the nose and lips. These sores quickly grow into blisters, ooze, burst, and then form a yellow crust. Sometimes the red spots appear as a yellow crust without seeing any blisters.
  • The sores can itch and sometimes hurt.
  • Swollen lymph nodes or a high body temperature.
  • Antibiotics are effective against impetigo. The type of antibiotic depends on the extent or severity of the blisters.
  • If a person has impetigo on only a small area of skin, topical antibiotics are the best for treatment and the options include cream or ointment.
  • If the impetigo is severe or widespread, the doctor may prescribe oral antibiotics.
Good hygiene is one of the most important ways to prevent impetigo.

Tips for people with impetigo:
  • Shower and wash hands to reduce skin bacteria.
  • Wash sores with soap and water as often as your doctor recommends, and cover them with gauze bandages and duct tape.
  • Trimming the nails, as impetigo can cause itching and scratching can spread the infection to other parts of the body. Scratching also leads to damage of the skin, which may exacerbate the condition.
  • Cover any skin cuts or insect bites to protect the area.
  • Not touching or scratching open sores; to avoid spreading infection.
  • Wash everything that comes into contact with sores with hot water.
  • Change bed linens, towels, and clothes that come into contact with the sores, until the sores are no longer contagious.
  • Cleaning and disinfection of surfaces, equipment and toys.
  • Avoid sharing any personal items with the person who has impetigo.
  • Keep infected children at home if the affected area cannot be reliably covered.
  • Adults who work in jobs that require close contact should ask their doctor when it is safe for them to return to work.
  • Treat wounds immediately when exposed to a cut, scratch, insect bite or any other wound, by washing it immediately with soap and water, then apply antibiotic ointment and a bandage.
  • Take a shower after each exercise and make sure to use cleanser or soap and a clean towel.
  • Do not share personal items (such as sports equipment and towels).

Last Update : 20 August 2023 02:21 PM
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