Impetigo Treatment Tips

By: Juliet Cohen

Impetigo is a common type of skin infection. It is generally caused by one of two bacteria: group A streptococcus or staphylococcus aureus. Impetigo usually touchs preschool and school-age children. It is most commonly found children age 2-6 years. The infection is spread by direct contact with lesions or with nasal carriers. A child may be more likely to develop impetigo if the skin has already been irritated or injured by other skin problems, such as eczema, poison ivy, insect bites, or a skin allergy to soap or makeup. Impetigo starts as a red sore that quickly ruptures, oozes for a few days and then forms a yellowish-brown crust that looks like honey or brown sugar. The disease is highly contagious, and scratching or touching the sores is likely to spread the infection to other parts of the body.

Impetigo may develop when open skin lesions (such as insect bites or burns) are infected following exposure to a person with streptococcal pharyngitis ("strep throat"). Impetigo begins as a cluster of small blisters that increase and split within the first 24 hours. The thin yellow fluid that drains from the ruptured blisters quickly dries forming a honey-colored crust. Impetigo may affect skin anywhere on the body but commonly occurs around the nose and mouth, hands, and forearms. People who suffer from cold sores have shown higher chances of suffering from impetigo. Treatment depends on the extent and severity of the infection. Use soap and water when bathing your child, and pay special attention to cuts, rashes, insect bites and allergic reactions.

Good hygiene practices, such as regular hand washing, can help prevent impetigo. Topical or oral antibiotics are usually prescribed. Oral antibiotics are recommended if the infection is extensive, proving slow to respond to topical antibiotics, or if the impetigo is recurrent. An antiseptic (povidone iodine, hydrogen peroxide cream, chlorhexidine and others) or antibiotic ointment (fucidic acid or mupirocin) is prescribed, apply it at least three times a day to the affected areas and surrounding skin. Minor cuts and scrapes should be thoroughly cleansed with soap and clean water. Impetigo is contagious, so avoid touching the draining (oozing) lesions. Always use a clean washcloth and towel each time. Do not share towels, clothing, razors, and so on with other family members.

Impetigo Treatmen and Pevention Tips

1. Topical or oral antibiotics are usually to treat impetigo.

2. Regular hand washing, can help prevent impetigo.

3. Always use a clean washcloth and towel each time.

4. Avoid close contact with others.

5. Use separate towels and flannels.

6. Change and launder clothes and linen daily.

7. Do not share towels, clothing, razors, and so on with other family members.

8. Affected children must stay away from school until crusts have dried out.

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