Impetigo, one of the most common skin infections among kids usually produces blisters or sores on the face, neck, hands, and diaper area.
Impetigo is the most common skin infection in children throughout the world.
Bacteria mainly enters through break in the skin, which may allow bacteria to invade the skin.
After invasion bacteria multiply in deep layers of the skin and leads to blister formation.
There are two classic forms of impetigo, nonbullous and bullous types.
The organisms causing impetigo are bacteria namely staphylococcus aureus and group A beta hemolytic streptococci.
Since impetigo is contagious, avoid contact with the person having active impetigo.
Impetigo is an infection of the skin which is caused by bacteria. The two bacteria causing this infection are Staphylococcus aureus and group A beta Hemolytic Streptococci. These bacteria can quickly enter the broken skin, multiply in the skin's deeper layers, and form blisters. Bacteria can spread by contact from a person with an active infection or by sharing the bedding, towels, clothes, and other objects of the infected person.
The Impetigo initially begins to form a red, itchy sore, which develops into a blister. This blister will ooze and burst and as they heal, they will form a yellowish or honey-colored crusty scab over the sore.
Impetigo is treated by antibiotics, either topical antibiotics or oral antibiotics. Topical antibiotics like Retapamulin and Mupirocin can be rubbed onto the sores if there are few sores, and oral antibiotics are prescribed in case of multiple sores.
The chances of getting Impetigo can be increased by factors like poor hygiene, such as dirty fingernails or unwashed hands, touching the infected person, or things that belong to them (for example, using their towel, bed, sheets, etc.).
Application of raw honey or Manuka honey directly on the sores, leaving it for 20 minutes, and then washing it with warm water is the quickest home remedy for impetigo.
Contagious means a person can spread the disease to others by any means of contact. Impetigo can be contagious until 48 hours after the treatment or till the sores stop blistering and crusting. Impetigo usually does not show any symptoms until 10 days after the initial exposure to the bacteria, so it can quickly spread to others.
Antibiotics are the effective treatment of impetigo. When combined with home remedies like cleaning and soaking the sores three to four times a day and applying the prescribed antibiotic ointment until the sore heals, can make the treatment more effective and promotes healing faster.
Neosporin, a topical antibiotic ointment, is not very effective in curing impetigo when compared to Mupirocin, another topical antibiotic that is used for skin infections.
Soaking a clean cloth into the mixture of half cup of vinegar with a quarter cup of lukewarm water and placing it on the sores by pressing the cloth on the crusts for about 10 to 15 minutes, 3 to 4 times a day is a very effective treatment. These crusts can then be wiped off gently and smeared with a layer of prescription topical antibiotic ointment. Therefore vinegar can help to cure impetigo.
The methods to stop the spread of impetigo are:
- Wash your hands regularly after using the toilet, treating your skin and whenever they are dirty.
- Avoid sharing the items from the infected person like towels, bedsheets, and toys.
- Wash the objects of the infected person daily.
- Cut off the nails of the infected child to avoid spread by scratching.
- Keep the child at home until the physician says that she is not contagious.
- Wash the sores with mild soap, warm water, and then cover them with gauze.
- Wash the cuts, insect bites, scrapes, and other wounds immediately after it has happened.
- Wear gloves while applying ointment to the sores.
Impetigo can go off on its own within a few days to weeks without any antibiotics. But it is essential to keep it clean by washing it with soap and water regularly and stop scratching the sore.
Impetigo is a skin infection caused by bacteria and not viral. Bacteria that cause impetigo are Staphylococcus aureus and group A beta-hemolytic Streptococci. It is more widespread in children than adults.
Last reviewed at:
06 Jan 2022 - 2 min read
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