Impetigo - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
Impetigo is a contagious skin infection that usually produces blisters or sores on the face and hands. It is one of the most common skin infections among kids. 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. Scratching or touching the sores is likely to spread the infection to other parts of the body as well as to other people. Later, the top of the blister becomes crusty and weeps while new blisters develop in the same place or on other parts of the body. Impetigo usually begins on the face, especially around the corners of the mouth, the nose and back of the ears. The majority i.e. about 90% of impetigo cases occur in children younger than 2 years. The lesions begin with a single 2- to 4-mm erythematous macule that rapidly evolves into a vesicle or a pustule.
- Direct contact with an adult or child who has impetigo can cause you with this disease.
- Impetigo conditions are more common in summer. It spreads in humid and warm weather.
- Participation in sports that involve skin-to-skin contact, such as football or wrestling can cause this disease.
- Chicken pox, eczema, or other skin conditions marked by open lesions can lead to this disease.
- This disease is more common in children. 90% of total patients are children. This spread in children because of low hygiene level in them.
- People suffering from diseases that weaken the immune system, such as diabetes, may be more prone to becoming infected.
- The rash may be blister like, reddish, have a honey colored crust, or very commonly will have a combination of all the three.
- It usually starts as a red sore on your child's face, most often around the nose and mouth. The sore ruptures quickly, oozing either fluid or pus that forms a honey-colored crust.
- Skin lesion on the face or lips, or on the arms or legs, spreading to other areas.
- The rash is sometimes mildly painful and is commonly itchy.
- Swollen lymph nodes may also occur.
- Keep your child's skin clean. It can help mild infections heal on their own.
- An antibiotic that you apply to your child's skin such as mupirocin ointment can also be used by a doctor’s prescription.
- If there are large areas of involvement resulting in denuded skin from ruptured bullae, then adequate fluid resuscitation is indicated with intravenous rehydration fluid at a volume and rate similar to standard volume replacement for burns.
- The treatment may involve removal of the exudate by washing the lesions two to three times a day with soap and water or warm soaks or compresses of normal saline.
- Cover infected skin with bandages if possible.
- Avoid sharing of garments, towels, and other household items to prevent the spreading of the infection.
- Proper hand washing technique by everyone in the household is very important to help decrease the chance of spreading the infection.
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