Impetigo is a skin disease that is usually triggered at younger ages (2-8 years), although in rare cases it can affect teenagers and even adults. A streptococci strain is the cause of impetigo and the skin infection is transmitted through nasal mucus or through direct contact with lesions.
Scratching off the infected skin and then touching another person’s skin can easily transmit the impetigo infection, but it should be noted that the disease cannot be spread by air, unless a person sneezes or coughs directly on another’s skin.
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Impetigo Symptoms The lesions caused by the impetigo streptococci are usually surrounded by reddened, rashing skin and the lesions themselves look like small pimples. After roughly a week of infection, the lesions start filling with pus and burst out forming a thick crust.
It’s very easy to confuse impetigo symptoms with those caused by a mosquito or bug bite as the forming crust looks similar. The confusion can be even greater since the lesions itch heavily, exactly like a bug bite.
An experienced doctor can easily spot the difference between impetigo and a few common bug bites, but for parents that don’t have extensive knowledge about this disease it’s very hard to diagnose what their children are suffering from.
If a member of your family suffers from the above mentioned symptoms and you’re now really sure whether they’re caused by simple bites or it might be something else, you should try taking him to a dermatologist for an extensive diagnosis for impetigo.
Impetigo Treatment In order to treat impetigo, the doctor may prescribe either oral antibiotics or topically applied creams and ointments to deal directly with the lesions. If the state of the infection is more advanced, both methods could be used simultaneously.
Topical impetigo treatment usually consists of bactericidal creams such as mupirocin or fusidic acid and they are used in most cases. The patient will also need to perform daily baths using a skin clearing soap which can fasten the effects of the bactericidal creams.
If the impetigo is more severe and the infection is spreading, oral antibiotics are prescribed. Flucloxacillin and erythromycin are two such antibiotics that are commonly used with harsher cases of impetigo.
Bullous Impetigo Most cases of impetigo are caused by the Staphylococcus pyogenes streptococcus, but there is also a rarer variation of the disease caused by the Staphyolococcusaureus streptococcus which is referred to as bullous impetigo.
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The main difference between common and bullous impetigo is that with the latter, the lesions caused by the infection don’t burst up immediately, but form up into enlarging bubbles of skin containing a yellowish substance. The bubbles are usually somewhere around 1-2 cm wide and they can easily break up through scratching.
In addition, bullous impetigo is much more unaesthetic and can leave more visible scars on the skin even after it has been completely cured.