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Impetigo: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention and Complications

Dec 28, 2023

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Causes Of Impetigo

Symptoms Of Impetigo

Risk Factors Of Impetigo

Diagnosis Of Impetigo

Treatment Of Impetigo

Prevention Of Impetigo

Complications Of Impetigo

Impetigo Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention and Complications

Impetigo is a common, highly contagious skin disease that primarily affects infants and young children. Usually, it manifests as reddish sores on the hands, feet, and face, particularly in the vicinity of the nose and mouth. About a week later, the sores rupture and develop crusts the color of honey.

Antibiotic treatment aids in stopping the impetigo virus from spreading. Until they are no longer contagious, which normally occurs 24 hours after starting antibiotic therapy, keep them home from creche or school.


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Causes Of Impetigo

Impetigo is caused by bacteria, most frequently staphylococci. You can be exposed to impetigo-causing bacteria if you handle an infected person's toys, linens, towels, or other belongings or come into touch with their open sores.

Symptoms Of Impetigo

The most common symptom of impetigo is reddish lesions around the mouth and nose. In a few days, the sores burst open, leak, and eventually form a honey-colored crust. Sores can spread to other areas of the body through contact, clothing, and towels. Itching and soreness are usually not very severe.

On the trunk of an infant or young child, larger blisters form as a result of a less common type of bullous impetigo. Ecthyma, a deadly form of impetigo, causes painful sores that are filled with pus or fluid.

Also Read: Pemphigus: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment and Complications

Risk Factors Of Impetigo

The likelihood of impetigo is increased by the following factors:

  • Age: The most common age range for impetigo to afflict children is two to five.
  • Intimate association: Impetigo spreads easily among family members, in crowded settings like nursery schools and schools, and during physical activity where there is skin-to-skin contact.
  • Warm, humid weather: In warm, humid temperatures, impetigo infections are more common.
  • Damaged skin: Germs that cause impetigo often enter the skin by a small cut, insect bite, or rash.
  • Other health problems: Children suffering from atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema, are more likely to experience impetigo. Elderly people, diabetics, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to experience it.

Also Read: Neurodermatitis: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment and Complications

Diagnosis Of Impetigo

To diagnose impetigo, your doctor could examine your face or body for lesions. Most of the time, laboratory testing is not necessary.

If the sores don't go away after antibiotic therapy, your doctor might take a sample of the liquid secreted by a sore and test it to determine what kind of antibiotics might be most helpful. Certain treatments are no longer effective against the impetigo-causing bacteria because of resistance.

Also Read: Heat Rash: Causes, Symptoms, Types, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention and Complications

Treatment Of Impetigo

To treat impetigo, apply topical mupirocin antibiotic cream or ointment twice or three times a day for five to ten days over the sores.

A few minutes before giving the drug, soak the afflicted region in warm water or use a moist cloth compress. To enable the antibiotic to reach the skin, pat dry and carefully scrape off any scabs. To help prevent the sores from growing worse, wrap the affected area with a nonstick film.

If you have several impetigo sores or ecthyma, your doctor might advise taking oral antibiotics. Ensure that you take the medication as directed, even if the sores disappear.

Also Read: Xerosis (Dry Skin): Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention and Complications

Prevention Of Impetigo

Keeping your skin clean is the best way to keep it healthy. It is essential to wash wounds such as cuts, scrapes, bug bites, and other wounds right away.

To reduce the possibility that someone else will contract impetigo:

  • Cover the affected areas lightly after giving them a moderate wash with warm water and a little soap.
  • Wash the linens, towels, and clothing of the afflicted person in hot water daily instead of sharing them with other family members.
  • Put on gloves before applying the antibiotic ointment, and then thoroughly wash your hands afterward.
  • A child with an infection should have their nails trimmed short to prevent damage from scratches.
  • Encourage regular, thorough handwashing and good hygiene in general.
  • If your child is experiencing impetigo, keep them at home until their physician certifies that they are not contagious.

Also Read: Lip Cancer: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention

Complications Of Impetigo

Impetigo typically doesn't cause any harm. Additionally, the lesions typically heal without leaving any scars in moderate episodes of the condition.

Rarely, impetigo side effects may include:

  • Cellulitis: This potentially lethal infection affects the tissues beneath the skin and may eventually spread to the lymph nodes and circulation.
  • Kidney-related problems: Another consequence of impetigo-causing bacteria damage is kidney injury. Scarring may result from lesions due to ecthyma.

Also Read: Pruritus: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment and Complications

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