Impetigo is a skin condition caused most often by an infection with the staphylococcus bacteria. Anyone can suffer from this illness, but it’s most frequent in children between the ages of 2 and 7. The condition itself is not very dangerous, but the problem lies in the fact that it’s highly contagious. Impetigo spreads easily and causes increased lack of comfort in suffering patients. Mild cases can heal themselves within weeks, but patients remain contagious until skin sores heal completely. This is why treatment is recommended. It considerably diminishes the period of contagiousness!
This skin condition manifests itself between 3 to 11 days from the moment of contagion. It causes the appearance of red sores on the sufferers skin. The most common areas are on the face, near the corners of the mouth, nose and behind the ears. Depending on the severity, the infection can spread to other parts of the body. The red sores develop into blisters that contain a yellowish liquid. They burst and form golden crust. After healing, these scrubs fall down and this is the moment when the skin area isn’t contagious anymore, if no antibiotics treatment is applied. Else, contagion is treated 48 hours after the intake of antibiotics. Yes, sufferers can still present scrubs, but aren’t contagious anymore. This is important to know for both parents, and teachers.
Vulnerable to Impetigo
As mentioned above, children are most exposed to catching this skin infection, because they often play in groups and have direct contact with numerous other playmates. In fact, direct contact is not always needed. Impetigo can spread by touching clothing, toys or other object that came in direct contact with the sores of an infected patient. Skin that is scratched is more vulnerable to the Staphylococcus aureus. Another reason for young kids to catch this infection. Teenagers are also at risk. Adolescents that developed atopic eczema are prone to contract impetigo. Other common patients for this skin disease are those adults that have a weakened immune system, as do diabetics. They’re likely to develop ecthyma, which is a more serious stage of impetigo. It leads to deeper ulcers that can leave scars after healing.
Impetigo Risk Factors
This skin infection is popular during summer periods because high temperatures and increased humidity are favoring factors for most bacteria. Eczema, rashes and even insect bites expose your skin to infection. Crowded conditions caused by schools, kindergartens and even social activities like playing close contact sports, represent risk factors.
Antibiotics for Impetigo
Depending on the spread of the skin infection is, your doctor can recommend antibiotics applied with the help of creams. To be most efficient, you have to gently wash away scrubs and apply the ointments directly on the infected sores. If impetigo sores are in high numbers, oral antibiotics should be the best solution. Drugs have to be ingested for the entire period recommended by your doctor, even if sores appear to have healed.
Impetigo Prevention Tips
If a family member is infected by this skin attacking bacteria, hygienic measures should become more stricter in your household. Always wash your hands, with warm water and soap, after you touched your own or your someone else’s sores. Each family member should use its own towels. If your child is contagious, don’t send him to school or crowded public places, until your doctor allows it.