Impetigo is defined as a bacterial skin infection that typically affects children. Generally, it is a mild form of infection but can spread and trigger serious illness if not properly managed.
The condition is brought about by bacteria specifically staphylococcus aureus and streptococcus pyogenes. These strains can thrive on the skin without causing any harm. Nevertheless, if they reach the deeper skin layers via a scratch, wound or scrape, it can trigger an infection.
Impetigo is likely to develop if the individual has a chronic skin condition such as eczema or if there is scrape, scratch, insect bite or other form of skin irritation that damages the skin. The condition is also common if it is humid and hot. It can spread via physical contact including scratching. Additionally, it can also spread by sharing contaminated clothing, toys, bed linen, towels or athletic equipment.
Impetigo can form on any part of the body. It typically develops on the face amidst the upper lip and nose. The infection generally starts as small-sized blisters.
These blisters form pus within and rupture. The pus from the blisters crust as yellow or gold coating. In most cases, these blisters or sores do not cause any discomfort.
Management of impetigo
The treatment for impetigo is based on the age and type of infection and its seriousness. In case the infection is mild, it is vital to keep the skin clean to allow the infection to heal on its own. The doctor might prescribe an antibiotic ointment to be applied on the affected skin.
In some cases, it is needed to apply some of the antibiotic ointment within the nose. Remember that some individuals harbor the bacteria within their nose and the infection might recur if the nose is not treated.
For a serious case, the doctor might prescribe an oral antibiotic or administer a shot of antibiotic drug.
How long does it last?
The sores brought about by impetigo recuperate within 2-5 days after antibiotics were started. If an oral variant is used, the infection is no longer contagious after 24 hours of treatment.
If an antibiotic ointment is used, the sores are no longer contagious if they cease to ooze and drying up.