Children and Impetigo

B A B Y  A N D  C H I L D


Impetigo is an infection of the outer layers of the skin due to bacteria, either a staphylococcus or a streptococcus or both.

In either case a small blister forms which, in the case of a streptococcal infection bursts within an hour or two producing thick yellow translucent stuck on crusts. In the case of a staphylococcal infection, little or no crust is formed and the blisters, which may take a day or two to burst, may enlarge up to 5cm in diameter, sometimes healing completely in the centre and extending at the edges.

Impetigo is a highly contagious disease and spreads across the skin, usually by scratching with dirty fingernails and fingers. The face and other exposed parts are mostly involved.

While mostly seen in children, it can occur unexpectedly in adults. It can spread from person to person by direct contact. Treatment consists of the taking of antibiotics, so consult your doctor.

Crusts can be removed by bathing with salt solution. Blisters may have to be opened by your doctor and antibiotic creams do play a part in the treatment of impetigo

Infected children should be kept away from other children until the skin heals and personal hygiene should be maintained by those in contact with the child in the home.

Impetigo in very young children is a very serious condition. The whole condition can be extreme with massive lesions associated with a very sick child. Death may occur so it is important to see your doctor early, and to start appropriate treatment.

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