What Is Impetigo?
Impetigo is a disease in which the outer layer of skin, also called the epidermis, gets infected from bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus or Streptococcus pyogenes. The organs which get affected the most are the face, legs, and arms.
The infection mostly develops in skin cuts, insect bites, or rashes. However, it can also occur on healthy skin. Impetigo occurs mostly in hot and moist conditions.
There are mainly three types of impetigo:
- Nonbullous Impetigo: It is caused by Staphylococcus aureus. Around 70% of the cases of Impetigo are of this type. Sores break open in this type, leaving itchiness and brownish-yellow crusts behind.
- Bullous: This type of impetigo is also caused by Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, except for a few exceptions. Large blisters form with fluid-filled in them. They break open and leave yellow crusty forms behind.
- Ecthyma: It is the least common type of Impetigo. It happens when the infection is not treated at the right time. It goes deeper into the epidermis and is more severe than the other types.
A few common Impetigo symptoms are as follows:
- The first of impetigo is red colored sores on the skin, often around nose and lips.
- Sores grow large and turn into blisters. These blisters later burst to form a crust. These sores cause itchiness and pain.
- Crusts leave red marks and then red marks get faded away without leaving any marks.
Sometimes, newborn babies develop a less common type of impetigo in which large-sized blisters form around the diaper area or areas where the skin fold.
Who Is At Risk?
Though impetigo can affect anyone, there are certain factors that increase the chance of a person developing this condition. These impetigo risk factors are:
- Age: Children of age between 2 to 5 are most vulnerable to this condition.
- Crowded areas: The infection spread more easily in schools or other crowded areas.
- Weather: Hot or humid conditions make things favorable for impetigo bacteria to grow.
- Sports: Certain sports in which skin-to-skin contact occurs frequently become the reason for infection spread.
- Health: People with a weak immune system are more likely to get infected by impetigo.
The main causes of impetigo are catching the bacteria infection through various mediums. Staph and strep strains of bacteria cause the infection. They enter into the body mostly through skin cuts, insect bites, or rashes.
Since impetigo is a contagious disease. A person catches bacteria by touching infected items such as clothes, towels, or bed sheets used by the infected person.
How Is Impetigo Diagnosed?
Doctors do impetigo diagnosis primarily by examining the symptoms. The appearance of rashes, blisters, and sores indicates the presence of impetigo.
Doctors give medication according to their physical examination. However, if medication and treatment do not improve the condition, a culture test might be done. In a culture test, the liquid that comes out of your blister is taken and then tested in the laboratory to determine what type of bacterium has caused it.
How Is Impetigo Treated?
Impetigo treatment is quite easy to do as it is caused only by bacteria. Doctors give medicine for impetigo cure, depending on the severity of the condition. Usually, it takes around 7 to 8 days to fully cure the infection.
If you are someone who is looking for impetigo cure, Care.Fit can prove helpful for you. At Care.Fit, we have a team of experienced doctors who consult patients with empathy and dedication. To book an online appointment with an oncologist, you can visit our website or app.
How Can Impetigo be Prevented?
Just like other contagious diseases, prevention of impetigo can easily be done by taking a few control measures, such as the following:
- Children or adults diagnosed with impetigo should refrain from going outside. Doctor should be consulted before returning to work or school.
- Wash your hands thoroughly every time you go to the washroom.
- Cover your skin wounds and insect bites properly.
- Your nails should be clipped regularly.
- Open sores must not be scratched. Ask your doctor to give an ointment if itchiness is too high.
- Wash and keep clothes, towels, and bed sheets of the infected person separately.
- Refrain from sharing personal items with a person who is already diagnosed with impetigo.