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Impetigo in children

    Impetigo is a common skin infection that primarily affects children, although it can occur in individuals of any age. It is usually caused by bacteria, most commonly Streptococcus pyogenes (group A Streptococcus) and Staphylococcus aureus. Here are key points to understand about impetigo in children:

    Types of Impetigo:

    • There are two main types of impetigo:
      • Nonbullous Impetigo: This is the most common form and is characterized by the formation of small, red sores or blisters that burst and ooze fluid, which then forms a honey-colored crust.
      • Bullous Impetigo: This less common form is characterized by larger, fluid-filled blisters that may not rupture as easily as those in nonbullous impetigo.


    • Impetigo is highly contagious and can spread through direct skin-to-skin contact or by touching contaminated items such as towels, clothing, or toys.


    • Common symptoms of impetigo include:
      • Red sores or blisters.
      • Oozing fluid.
      • Formation of a yellowish-brown crust.
      • Itching or discomfort.
    • Impetigo lesions often appear on the face, around the mouth, or on exposed body parts.


    • Impetigo is typically diagnosed based on its characteristic appearance. In some cases, a bacterial culture may be performed to identify the specific bacteria causing the infection.


    • Treatment of impetigo often involves antibiotics, which can be applied topically (as a cream or ointment) or taken orally, depending on the severity and extent of the infection.
    • Good hygiene practices, such as keeping the affected area clean and avoiding scratching, can help prevent the spread of impetigo.
    • It’s important to complete the full course of antibiotics as prescribed.


    • To reduce the risk of impetigo, encourage children to:
      • Wash their hands regularly.
      • Avoid sharing personal items like towels and clothing.
      • Keep their fingernails clean and short to minimize scratching.
      • Cover any open wounds or sores with clean bandages.

    Contagious Period:

    • Impetigo is contagious until the sores or blisters have healed and formed a crust, or until 24-48 hours after starting antibiotic treatment.


    • Impetigo is usually a mild and self-limiting infection, but complications can occur, including the spread of the infection to other areas of the body or the development of cellulitis, a deeper skin infection.


    • Some children may experience recurrent episodes of impetigo, especially if they are in close contact with others who have the infection.

    Impetigo is a common and treatable skin infection in children. With proper treatment and hygiene measures, most cases of impetigo resolve without complications. If a child has symptoms of impetigo, it’s important to consult a healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

    The content is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice or as a substitute for medical advice of a physician