Impetigo is a skin condition that rarely occurs in adults after a skin condition or an infection. It is a highly contagious disease. It appears mostly on the face, neck and hands of small children and infants. Children that put on diapers also tend to develop it around the diaper area.
The signs and symptoms of impetigo can cause embarrassment and also make you feel uncomfortable especially when they appear on the face. Despite the fact that the symptoms differ slightly based on the type of impetigo you are suffering from, they are similar. Some of the common signs and symptoms of this infection include the following:
- Red sores that bulge outward easily leaving a yellow crust. They occur around the nose and mouth. They can as well spread to other areas of the body such as the fingers
- Blisters filled with fluid
- Rashes that is itchy
- Lesions on the skin
- Swollen lymph nodes
Impetigo takes place when certain types of bacteria infect your skin. The two bacteria responsible for causing this infection are referred to as Streptococcus pyogenes and Staphylococcus aureus. They get into your body in several ways. They include
- Skin to skin contact with a person who is infected
- sharing of personal equipment or clothing with an infected individual such as towels, beddings, and toys
- Injury to the skin
- bites by the insects
- bites by animals
Some of the risk factors associated with impetigo include:
- Poor hygiene
- Warm weather
- Weak immune system
- Skin to skin contact activities
- having dermatitis
Your physician can study your sores and may ask you questions about any injuries that you might have had recently. Physical examination is one of the most used methods to diagnose impetigo. However, the doctor may also take culture to ascertain the type of bacteria that may be causing the infection. Taking of a culture necessitates brushing of a swab over the affected area. The swab is then sent to the laboratory to allow conduction of bacteria test. The results obtained from the test help your doctor to decide whether to prescribe antibiotics for you and the type of antibiotics to be given.
Impetigo is not a serious condition, and it can clear up without any treatment after two to three weeks. Even so, treatment is essential because it can improve the infection more quickly. It can also prevent the transmission of this infection to other people. Impetigo can be treated with antibiotics that can be in the form of cream or tablets. The underlying skin condition that may be causing this disease such as eczema also requires the treatment.
- Antibiotic cream
For moderate cases of impetigo occurring in a small area, this cream is usually recommended. It is applied three to four times a day.
- Antibiotic tablet
For severe and widespread impetigo, antibiotic tablets are recommended.