Impetigo is a bacterial disease which is highly contagious. It can be very painful and irritating. Dr. Kenneth Rebong explains in his new article.
Kenneth Pomar Rebong, MD (N/A:N/A)
— Dr. Kenneth P. Rebong, pediatrician
SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES, June 16, 2019 /EINPresswire.com/ — Impetigo is a bacterial skin infection mostly diagnosed in adolescents and toddlers aged between 2 to 5 years. It is caused when either Staphylococcus aureus bacteria or Streptococcus pyogenes bacteria infect an open cut, fresh scratch, or bite. It can infect any area of the body, but mostly targets the face, specially the area around the mouth, nose, and hands while infants can get irritable impetigo crusts and blisters in their diaper area as well.
This skin disease usually appears as red sores on the face, especially around a child's nose and mouth, and on their hands and feet. These blisters and sores are fluid-filled, the liquid in the sores makes the skin appear crusty similar to a honey coated surface. These sores burst and develop honey-colored crusts and itchy lesions on the skin.
The lesions caused by impetigo can be both painful and itchy. Although the infection itself is highly contagious, touching your own sores and blisters can spread the bacteria to other body parts as well, extending the affected area of impetigo across the body. The sores can spread to other body areas by infected fingers, clothing, bed linen, toys, and towels.
There are certain signs and symptoms that can help identify the infectious disease quickly and in a timely manner. Some of the most common ones include red sores that ooze a fluid on rupturing, formation of a yellow-honey colored crust over the sores after rupture, itching, and mild soreness. At times, a lesser popular form of this skin condition, known as bullous impetigo, can also be diagnosed. In this type of infectious disease, relatively larger blisters may appear. These blisters may appear on areas other than the usual ones, such as the on the trunk of the infected child.
This infectious disease can also lead to complicated, more painful conditions. For instance, a more severe form of impetigo, known as ecthyma, can also be diagnosed sometimes. Even though this condition is rare, it is very painful nonetheless. In ecthyma, the bacteria penetrates deeper, through more layers of the skin — resulting in extremely painful, pus or fluid filled blisters, which eventually turn into severe ulcers. These ulcers mostly leave the affected area scarred and are often accompanied by swollen lymph nodes increasing the pain even more.
Other rare complications of this infectious disease include:
Cellulitis is a more serious infectious implication of impetigo that affects the underlying skin tissues and can eventually spread to the lymph nodes and in the bloodstream. If left untreated, cellulitis can also become fatal.
* Kidney problems
The bacteria that cause the infectious disease impetigo can also at times damage and scar the kidneys.
Impetigo often results in deep ulcers that are often related to ecthyma. These ulcers an often be several skin layers deep and leave the affected area scarred.
There are certain factors that increase the risk of contracting this infectious disease. Some of these factors are age, exposure to an infected person in a crowded area, humid or warm weather conditions, and broken, bitten, or cut skin that can be infected by the bacteria. Adults and people with diabetes or a compromised or weak immune system are also more susceptible develop both impetigo and ecthyma.
Certain preventive measures can prevent this infectious disease altogether, like keeping the skin clean and washing and cleaning any cuts, bites, wounds or scratches regularly. For preventing the infection from spreading from an infected person to other people, it is important to always keep the sores clean and covered, wash all the contaminated clothes, linens, and towels every day, and avoid sharing them. You could also wear gloves to prevent the disease from spreading.
Impetigo, being a bacterial infection, can be easily treated with antibiotics. These antibiotics can be in the form of oral medications, ointments and creams. Although not sufficiently backed by enough scientific evidence, tea tree oil and honey are also often used as alternative treatments.
If you observe any red sores, blisters, or lesions on your child’s skin and suspect your child to be infected by impetigo, consult your family doctor, pediatrician, or a dermatologist immediately and quarantine your child to prevent further spread of the infection among other family members.
About Dr. Kenneth Pomar Rebong
Dr. Kenneth P. Rebong, a medical doctor in San Jose, California, specializes in Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. The scope of his practice is from age 0 to 21. He graduated from FEUNRMF University in Manila, Philippines and completed his residency at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA.
Treating Impetigo – Lee Health. It’s a common and highly contagious skin infection that typically starts with children.
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