Impetigo is an infectious, predominantly pediatric skin disease caused by the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus or, less commonly, Streptococcus pyogenes group A Streptococcus , GAS. There are both bullous and nonbullous variants. The disease causes honey-colored , crusted lesions with surrounding erythema and typically affects the face, but may also manifest on the extremities. While the diagnosis is usually made based on clinical findings, it can be confirmed with a bacterial culture. The first-line treatment for mild impetigo is a topical antibiotic mupirocin , which typically resolves the infection without complications. An additional systemic antibiotic may be indicated in more severe cases.
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If you need a lab test, a dermatologist often takes a sample from a blister on your skin. This can tell your dermatologist which bacteria are causing the infection. Dermatologists often prescribe an antibiotic that you apply to the skin, such as mupirocin or retapamulin.
Mupirocin is FDA approved to treat people 12 years of age and older. When necessary, a dermatologist may prescribe one of these medicines to treat a child younger than the FDA-approved age.
This is called off-label use and is legal. It can also be very helpful. If a dermatologist prescribes an antibiotic you apply to the skin, you would apply it to the skin with impetigo. If you have several outbreaks of impetigo, you may need to apply it inside the nostrils. The bacteria that cause impetigo often thrive in the nostrils. Sometimes stronger medicine is necessary. Your dermatologist can prescribe an antibiotic that you take by mouth.
A few patients need injections of an antibiotic. Skin care also plays an important role in clearing impetigo. The following steps are often very helpful:. This is completely safe when you follow the directions. A bleach bath can reduce the amount of bacteria on the skin, which may prevent new infections. Because impetigo is very contagious, a child may need to stay home from school for a few days.
If this is necessary, your dermatologist will tell you when your child can return to school. Teens and adults need not stay home, but they should take the following precautions to avoid infecting others:. Dermatologists recommend treating impetigo. It can help cure the impetigo and prevent others from getting this highly contagious skin infection.
Without treatment, impetigo often clears on its own in two to four weeks. During this time, there is a greater risk of developing complications. You may see new blisters and sores. If this happens, you can develop ecthyma. This infection goes deeper into the skin than impetigo.
As the skin heals from ecthyma, scars can form. Ecthyma is more common in children, the elderly, and people who have diabetes. It also develops in the homeless and combat soldiers fighting in a hot and humid climate.
An early diagnosis and treatment can prevent complications and help you feel better. Mosby Elsevier, China, Card Mosby Elsevier, Spain,
Bullous impetigo is a bacterial skin infection caused by Staphylococcus aureus that results in the formation of large blisters called bullae , usually in areas with skin folds like the armpit, groin, between the fingers or toes, beneath the breast , and between the buttocks. The bullae are caused by exfoliative toxins produced by Staphylococcus aureus that cause the connections between cells in the uppermost layer of the skin to fall apart. Bullous impetigo can appear around the diaper region, axilla , or neck. The bacteria causes a toxin to be produced that reduces cell-to-cell stickiness adhesion , causing for the top layer of skin epidermis , and lower layer of skin dermis to separate. Vesicles rapidly enlarge and form the bullae which is a blister more than 5mm across.
Impetigo: Diagnosis and treatment
Impetigo is the most common bacterial skin infection in children two to five years of age. Nonbullous impetigo, or impetigo contagiosa, is caused by Staphylococcus aureus or Streptococcus pyogenes, and is characterized by honey-colored crusts on the face and extremities. Impetigo primarily affects the skin or secondarily infects insect bites, eczema, or herpetic lesions. Bullous impetigo, which is caused exclusively by S.
Impetigo: Diagnosis and Treatment
The AAD's Coronavirus Resource Center will help you find information about how you can continue to care for your skin, hair, and nails. To help care for your skin during the coronavirus pandemic and beyond, the AAD recommends these tips from board-certified dermatologists. You can get a rash from poison ivy any time of the year. While summer has ended, dermatologists urge you to continue using sunscreen.
Impetigo is a common cutaneous infection that is especially prevalent in children. Currently, the most frequently isolated pathogen is S. Topical agents for impetigo therapy are reviewed. Normal skin is colonized by large numbers of bacteria that live as commensals in its surface or in hair follicles.