Impetigo is a common skin infection.
Impetigo is caused by streptococcus (strep) or staphylococcus (staph) bacteria. Methicillin-resistant staph aureus (MRSA) is becoming a common cause.
The skin normally has many types of bacteria on it, but intact skin is an effective barrier that keeps bacteria from entering and growing in the body. When there is a break in the skin, bacteria can enter the body and grow there, causing inflammation and infection.
Breaks in the skin may occur with:
- Animal bites
- Human bites
- Injury or trauma to the skin
- Insect bites
- Impetigo may also occur on skin where there is no visible break.
It is most common in children, particularly those in unhealthy living conditions.
In adults, it may follow other skin disorders or a recent upper respiratory infection such as a cold or other virus. It is similar to cellulitis, but it only involves the top layers of the skin.
Impetigo is contagious, meaning it can spread to others. You can catch this infection if the fluid that oozes from the blisters touches an open area on your skin.
- A single or possibly many blisters filled with pus; easy to pop and -- when broken -- leave a reddish raw-looking base (in infants)
- Itching blister:
- Filled with yellow or honey-colored fluid
- Oozing and crusting over
- Rash -- may begin as a single spot, but if person scratches, it may spread to other areas
- Skin lesions on the face, lips, arms, or legs, that spread to other areas
- Swollen lymph nodes near the infection (lymphadenopathy)
The goal is to cure the infection and relieve the symptoms. Wash (do not scrub) the skin several times a day, preferably with an antibacterial soap, to remove crusts and drainage. Homeopathy treatment helps for recurrent Impetigo
If you have impetigo,
- Always use a clean washcloth and towel each time.
- Do not share towels, clothing, razors, and other personal care products with other family members.
- Wash your hands thoroughly after touching the skin lesions.
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