Impetigo is bacterial skin infection that occurs in form of blisters or sores on mouth, neck, hands and diaper areas. It mostly occurs in warm and humid environments and can spread by close contact among family members. It can occur in adults, but kids are easily targeted by this bacterial infection. This infection mainly triggers kids, especially preschoolers and school-age kids.
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Why Do Kids Get Impetigo?
Usually, kids are likely to get impetigo when their skin is irritated by some other conditions like eczema, insect bites, scrapes, poison ivy, or cuts. It occurs due to scratching a sore or a rash. For instance, if you scratch any scrape, it may turn into impetigo. So, you need to ensure that your child washes their hands and face and don’t touch it quite often to prevent it from spreading.
Signs of Impetigo
Impetigo is likely to occur on any body part, however, the most common areas to get infected by impetigo are mouth, forearms, hands and diaper areas in infants.
There are two types of impetigo: non-bullous (crusted) and bullous (large blisters):
Non-bullous or crusted impetigo is a common form that begins with a tiny blister. This blister may leave a small wet patch of red skin when it bursts. most common. This further turns into a yellowish-brown crust that covers the affected area, making seem to be coated with honey or brown sugar.
Bullous impetigo causes include large fluid-filled blisters that appear clear at first and later gives the cloudy appearance. These types of blisters remain on the skin even without bursting.
Is Impetigo Contagious?
Yes, impetigo is contagious. It can spread from one person to another and is usually caused by one of the two bacteria: Staphylococcus aureus or Streptococcus pyogenes. Impetigo spreads people who touch the infected skin or items, which are touched by an infected person’s skin. This infection is itchy and can spread when kids scratch it and touch other parts of their body after touching the infected area.
How Is Impetigo Diagnosed?
It is diagnosed by looking at the appearance of a rash. Occasionally, a doctor may take a sample of fluid from blisters for testing.
How Is Impetigo Treated?
Impetigo is generally treated with antibiotics, which come in form of an ointment or an oral medicine.
If it occurs a small area of the skin, it can easily be treated with an antibiotic ointment.
If impetigo has spread to other parts of the body, a doctor may prescribe you an antibiotic pill or liquid syrup that needs to be administered from 7-10 days.
Soon after the antibiotic treatment, the healing process begins within a few days. You need to make sure that your child takes the prescribed medicine on time, otherwise, some serious skin infection may develop.
You need to clean the infected skin with an antiseptic soap every day. Soak the crusted area of the skin with warm soapy water to gently remove the layers of crusts that may contain dust and bacteria.
Doctors may even recommend you to cover the infected area with gauze or loose plastic bandage to prevent spreading the infection to other parts of your body. Also, keep your fingernails short and avoid scratching that could spread infection.
How to prevent impetigo?
You need to regularly clean the skin to prevent impetigo. Kids must be told to keep their hands clean and wash them regularly before and after touching the infected area. If possible, keep these infected areas covered so that chances of spreading to other body parts are minimum.
To prevent impetigo infection from spreading among family members, you need to ensure that everyone uses their own clothing, bed linen, razors, soaps, and towels. You must wash these clothes in hot water to kill the bacteria.