Impetigo is a very contagious skin infection that causes small blisters that pop and ooze streptococcus or staphylococcus bacteria. This article will tell you how you catch impetigo and what to do to get rid of it.
Impetigo is spread through contact with the pus that is contained in the blisters of someone who has the infection. If this fluid gets on anything; clothing, a toy, a door knob the next person touching it can get impetigo also. Hand washing is the best prevention when it
comes to any infectious diseases.
A person with impetigo will first notice a red, cracking area on their skin. Usually on the face or hands. Soon the area will begin to itch and small blisters will appear. The blister will get larger. When they pop or crack they will ooze and then crusts that are light yellowish-brown will form on top.
The blisters continue to crust over even when they get scratched off. This itching and scratching process spreads the infection all over the body. In time, it can look like your skin is just blistering off of you if left untreated. Painful boils can also form if left untreated.
A topical antibiotic cream can be used in the first stages of an impetigo infection. Use a triple antibiotic ointment purchased over the counter at any drugstore. Three or four days applying the cream several times a day can cure the infection. If this does not work, then a doctor will have to prescribe an oral antibiotic such as erythromycin or penicillin.
To stop the spreading of the blisters takes an oatmeal bath once a day. This will soften the crusty scabs and will stop the itching. Do not pick or scratch at the blisters. Keep the fingernails trimmed short and wash hands often. A compress of Burrow’s solution can clean and dry up the crusty blisters.
A facial or skin wash made of Betadine (Phisoderm or pHisoscrub) can help clean the blisters and dry them up. Do not share towels, hairbrushes, toys, beds, or clothing with someone who has impetigo to avoid spreading the infection. Wash your hands often.
There are a few very rare complications of impetigo if it is left untreated. Kidney disease can develop when antibiotics are not used in 5 percent of the population. The signs are puffy eyelids and puffiness below the eyes and sometimes blood in the urine. See your doctor immediately with any of these symptoms.
Impetigo can occur in all age groups and races. It is found most commonly in places where hygiene is low. However, if you get impetigo it does not mean you are unclean.
You just came in contact with someone who had impetigo or with the strestreptococcus or staphylococcus bacteria. Children are most commonly infected because it spreads so quickly while they are playing with each other.
If a newborn infant gets impetigo take them to their doctor immediately. It can quickly develop into a kidney infection or other complications in newborns.