Impetigo is a bacterial skin infection, which affects the skin. It begins with red sores or blisters, which burst, ooze fluid and leave a golden-brown crusty patch on the skin. The sores can grow bigger and spread to other parts and can develop anywhere in the body. Impetigo is not a serious condition; it can sometimes improve within a few weeks even without treatment. However, sometimes treatment is necessary.
There are two types of impetigo:
The symptoms of impetigo may include:
In severe forms, the sores can penetrate deep into the skin and develop into pus-filled sores that resemble ulcers and are painful.
Impetigo is caused by the bacteria of either strains namely Staphylococcus and Streptococcus. These bacteria enter the body through the cut skin, or when the skin is injured due to other skin problems such as eczema, insect bites or burns. However, impetigo can also occur in the healthy skin. Scratching can spread the infection to other parts of the body.
Impetigo is highly contagious and can spread to others through a physical contact or by using towels, toys or other personal items of the infected person.
The risk factors for impetigo include:
Although impetigo is not dangerous, it can rarely lead to the following complications:
The doctor can identify impetigo by visually examining the typical sores. Although no laboratory tests are needed to confirm impetigo, some diagnostic tests may be performed to rule out other serious conditions such as cellulitis. Laboratory testing is done to check for resistance and susceptibility of the bacteria when antibiotic treatment is not effective.
Impetigo turns non-contagious within 24 hours of treatment. However, the condition resolves completely after a week of treatment. The treatment options include:
The self-care measures that could help in preventing the spread and worsening of the condition:
Who are usually affected by acne? Most people with acne are aged between 12 and 25 but some older and younger people are affected. Boys are more commonly affected than girls.
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