Impetigo is a contagious bacterial skin infection. It occurs when bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus or Streptococcus pyogenes infect the epidermis or outer layers of the skin. This infection usually affects the face, arms, and legs of an individual.
Though anyone can get the disease, impetigo is most common in children between ages 2-5. The infection often begins in small cuts, insect bites, rashes such as eczema, or any place where the skin is broken. But it can also occur on healthy skin.
There are two types of impetigo. They are primary and secondary.
The primary impetigo affects healthy skin. Secondary impetigo is when it occurs on broken skin.
Impetigo is common in some developing countries, poor areas of industrial countries. Also, since bacteria thrive in hot and moist conditions, impetigo tends to peak in t humid climates.
Impetigo is caused by strains of staph or strep bacteria. These bacteria can enter the body through a break in the skin from a cut, scratch, insect bite, or rash. You can get infected if you touch the sores of an infected person or touch items like towels, clothes, or sheets that the person used.
It is important to note that though these bacteria are common in our environment, most of the people who come in contact with these bacteria won’t necessarily develop impetigo except the bacterial spreads to their skin.
Your risk of impartial infection is height if you live in a humid climate, have diabetes, undergoing dialysis have a compromised immune system, such as from HIV, have skin conditions such as dermatitis, psoriasis, or eczema, have a burn, or have itchy infections such as lice, scabies, herpes simplex, or chickenpox, etc.
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Impetigo is mostly treated with antibiotics. The type of antibiotics will depend on how widespread or severe the blisters are.
If you have impetigo only affects a small area of your skin, topical antibiotics like mupirocin cream or ointment (Bactroban or Century) and retapamulin ointment (Altabax). preferred treatment.
If your impetigo is severe, however, your doctor can prescribe oral antibiotics such as amoxicillin/clavulanate (Augmentin), certain cephalosporins, or clindamycin (Cleocin).
Though these drugs could work more quickly than topical antibiotics, they are not necessarily better at clearing the infection. This type of treatment may also have more side effects like nausea. It takes about 7-10 for the infection to clear.
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