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.
Organisms Causing Impetigo
The organisms causing impetigo are bacteria namely staphylococcus aureus and group A beta hemolytic streptococci.
- This is caused by staphylococcus.
- Trauma is the most common predisposing factor.
- Lesions preceding impetigo are abrasions, insect bites, chickenpox, scabies, burns, etc.
- Lesions are mainly vesicles or pustules which develop honey colored crusting.
- The lesions may spread to other parts of the body.
- Other associated features are erythema(redness), pruritus (itching), pain, and adenopathy (enlargement of glands).
- Mainly occurs in infants and children.
- Flaccid transparent bullae(blister like fluid filled lesions) occurs over the face, trunk, extremities and abdomen.
- Lesions of neonatal bullous impetigo begins in the diaper area.
- Impetigo is usually diagnosed clinically after thorough history and examination.
How to Treat Impetigo?
- You should take your child immediately to the doctor as soon as you notice any itchy rash.
- For localised lesions, topical antibiotics like mupirocin should be given.
- For widespread lesions, oral antibiotics such as amoxicillin should be given.
- Emergency treatment is rarely needed.
Home Care for Impetigo
- You should clean the afffected area with soap and water.
- Do not scratch or pick the fluid filled lesions.
- As the lesions are contagious, use separate clothes for the child.
- In case of adults, do not shave around the infected areas as it may spread the infection.
- Keep the skin clean and dry and avoid further injury.
How to Prevent Impetigo?
Since impetigo is contagious, avoid contact with the person having active impetigo.
- Complications rarely occur in impetigo.
- But one serious complication is glomerulonephritis (renal disease affecting the kidneys).
- If someone encounters rise in blood pressure, facial swelling or blood in urine, immediate attention is required.
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