A mother’s concern about her baby’s skin starts at the very first diaper rash. As the child grows, from infancy through adolescence, the chances of the contracting skin conditions also increase. Some of these skin conditions are highly contagious. Impetigo is one of the most common skin infections seen among the children, though it rarely infects adults.
Impetigo is most commonly seen skin infection found amidst the children. Red sores can appear on the skin. When these sores break open, fluid oozes out and the yellow- brown crest develops. These blisters can be itchy, but are generally are not painful. Swollen lymph nodes may also be observed along with impetigo.
It is caused by bacteria and is highly contagious.
Impetigo gets caused when a child is exposed to the infectious microbes which can be any of these two bacteria – Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyrogens. The blisters usually appear one to ten days after the infection, and generally begin with the nose and the mouth.
These skin infections are usually found to affect preschoolers and school-aged children especially in the age group of 2 – 6-years. So this infection is also called ‘school sores’. Children are found to be more prone to this infection if they already have an irritated skin due to other skin problems like insect bites, dermatitis, eczema, or even the skin has already been open due to some cuts or scrapes.
Even though it can affect any area, it is usually found around nose and mouth, hands and forearms. This is so because children usually touch have the habit of touching nose and mouth after they touch anything. In case the infection is found in infants, it is usually in his diaper area develops after a diaper rash.
Impetigo will spread through close contact with infected skin. When children share toys, cloths, and towels or bed the chances of the infection spreading to each other also increases. Scratching the infected area (which is always done by kids) and touching here and there will spread the infection to other parts of the body. Impetigo bacteria usually thrive in a warm and humid environment.
There are three types of impetigo, explained as below:
Developing sores and blisters on the skin are the typical symptoms of impetigo.
Impetigo can be easily diagnosed by the doctor by merely examining the infected skin area of your child. In some rare cases, the doctor will remove a small sore carefully and send it to the lab to identify the bacteria.
The treatment depends on the type and intensity of infection. If the infection is of non-bullous form and affects a small area of skin, impetigo can be treated with antibiotic ointment.
On the other hand, if the infection is bullous and spreads to another area of the body, the ointment may not able do the job. In such cases, intake of antibiotic pills or liquid suspensions are prescribed by the doctor. Usually, seven to ten days of antibiotic course is suggested. You should complete your child’s course. Otherwise, the recurrence of the infection and antibiotic resistance can develop.
In addition to the treatment prescribed by the doctor you can also try some home treatment that will not do any harm. Like, cleaning the affected area at least three to five times a day using water or an antibacterial wash like Cetaphil. Never scrub the area during the cleaning process. And remember to pat dry as the further irritating of the skin can result in spreading the infection.
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