Impetigo typically takes the form of red sores around the mouth and nose, but may also spread to the rest of the face, arms, and legs. While babies and young children are most commonly affected by impetigo, it’s still possible for adults to get it as well.
Impetigo sores can range from dime- to quarter-sized, and usually start as small blisters that break and reveal red skin. The open sore is then covered with a scab that begins to spread on the edges. If the affected person continues to scratch at the sores, the infection can worsen and develop into what’s known as ecthyma, which can sometimes leave scars and discoloration behind. As you can imagine, it’s also quite painful, especially for children.
What Causes Impetigo?
Bacteria is the most common cause of impetigo and it can be easily passed from one person to another through contact, including sports and sharing bedding or towels. So, if anyone in your household is showing signs of having impetigo, it’s best to seek treatment immediately in order to prevent it from spreading as well as to address symptoms before they worsen or develop into other problems.
Ways To Get Impetigo
There are several ways to be infected with impetigo. Children with reoccurring skin conditions such as eczema, poison ivy, or skin infections are more susceptible. Some ways you may get infected with impetigo includes:
- Crowded areas
- Contact sports
- Poor hygiene – dirty fingernails can carry impetigo if not washed properly
- Poor health
- Close contact with an infected person
- Close contact with the belongings of an infected person
- Warm or humid environments where bacteria tend to live
Impetigo can be treated by an antibiotic cream or ointment. Within a couple of days, the infected area will begin to heal. While taking antibiotics, gently wash around the area with clean gauze and antiseptic soap. This will help remove crusty areas around the infection.
If the infected area isn’t addressed soon, it can lead to more serious skin infections. To keep the infection from spreading, we recommend covering the area with gauze or a bandaid to reduce from scratching it.
Impetigo Treatment at Image Renu Dermatology
Don’t wait until symptoms worsen! If you or your child is dealing with impetigo, Image Renu Dermatology can provide effective treatment to eliminate it, preventing further spreading and worsening symptoms. Our dermatology-certified nurse practitioner can examine the impetigo and begin a treatment plan that will clear sores up entirely, while helping to minimize any chance of it spreading to others.