Impetigo is a skin infection caused by one or both of the following bacteria: group A Streptococcus and Staphylococcus aureus.
Individuals with poor hygiene, diabetes or a weakened immune system are also more vulnerable to contracting an impetigo infection. Adults are at higher risk than children for complications of impetigo.
Impetigo causes red bumps to form on your skin, often on your face, arms, or legs. These bumps then become blisters. These blisters burst and scab over, forming a yellow-brown crust. The skin may also look reddish or raw where the blisters have popped open.
Impetigo starts with red sores or blisters, but the redness may be harder to see in brown and black skin. The sores or blisters quickly burst and leave crusty, golden-brown patches. The patches can: look a bit like cornflakes stuck to your skin.
If you have impetigo in only a small area of your skin, topical antibiotics are the preferred treatment. Options include mupirocin cream or ointment (Bactroban or Centany) and retapamulin ointment (Altabax).
Antibiotic creams are often used in order to make the symptoms go away faster and stop the infection from spreading. Antibiotic tablets may be used if the impetigo has spread over larger areas of skin. All antibiotic medications have to be prescribed by a doctor.
Mild impetigo can be handled by gentle cleansing of the sores, removing crusts from the infected person, and applying the prescription-strength antibiotic ointment mupirocin (Bactroban). Nonprescription topical antibiotic ointments (such as Neosporin) generally are not effective.
Impetigo is treated with prescription mupirocin antibiotic ointment or cream applied directly to the sores two to three times a day for five to 10 days. Before applying the medicine, soak the area in warm water or apply a wet cloth compress for a few minutes.
Impetigo will go away within a few weeks on its own. (6) A doctor might prescribe an antibiotic for 7 to 10 days, though you will likely see a response within 72 hours, Oza says.
Some skin rashes are just as contagious as impetigo. These include cold sores, ringworm, scabies, and chickenpox. Impetigo is different from rashes that are caused by an allergic reaction. The latter aren't contagious, and these rashes don't spread from person to person.
Impetigo is caused by bacteria, usually staphylococci organisms. You might be exposed to the bacteria that cause impetigo when you come into contact with the sores of someone who's infected or with items they've touched — such as clothing, bed linen, towels and even toys.
Impetigo isn't usually serious and often clears up without treatment after two to three weeks. Treatment is often recommended as it can help clear up the infection in around seven to 10 days and reduce the risk of the infection being passed on to others.
Oral antibiotic therapy can be used for impetigo with large bullae or when topical therapy is impractical. Amoxicillin/clavulanate, dicloxacillin, cephalexin, clindamycin, doxycycline, minocycline, trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, and macrolides are options, but penicillin is not.
Soak a soft, clean cloth in a mixture of one-half cup white vinegar and a quart of lukewarm water. Press this cloth on the crusts for about 10-15 minutes, three to four times per day. Then gently wipe off the crusts and smear on a little antibiotic ointment. You may stop soaking when the crusts no longer form.
Dr. Friedler recommends applying Vaseline, Bactroban (mupirocin), or Bacitracin to the bite or cut and then covering the area with a bandage to help promote healing.
Topical disinfectants such as hydrogen peroxide should not be used in the treatment of impetigo.
Sores should be cleaned every 8 – 12 hours, dried thoroughly and covered with a waterproof dressing. Bathing the blisters with salty water will help to dry them out (use saline solution or dissolve about half a teaspoon of salt in a cup of water). bacterial infection of the skin.
The common bacterial skin infection impetigo can be effectively treated with antiseptic cream without the need for antibiotics, according to latest draft guidelines.