Impetigo Prevention and Complications in Infants, Toddlers, Babies and Kids Watching your children battle with infirmity is one of the toughest tribulations as a parent. We can transport them to the pediatrician, provide them with medicine, snuggle them, but we can’t remove their anguish. No matter how diligent you are, there is no escaping that in their childhood, your baby will fall ill. Once such an adversary to hearty babies is impetigo.
Impetigo is a skin infection that is fiercly contagious and rapidly ubiquitous in infants and children. This article will serve as a guide to navigate that diagnosis for your offspring.
Signs of Impetigo in Infants
The tell-tale signals are pretty clear with this infectious disease. While there are multiple viruses that create sores, signs of impetigo in infants are more explicit. Sores are prone to flare-ups around the mouth, nose, hands, and feet. The blisters will pop and form golden crusts that are distinct to impetigo (versus chicken pox for example).
The spots are not characteristically painful, but they can be tender to the touch. The blisters can become itchy and irritated. The healing stage is particularly itchy.
Ecthyma is a cruel form of impetigo that forms deep ulcers, earning it the nickname “deep impetigo.” People with debilitated immune systems are at extraordinary risk, which is why young humans are a target.
Causes of Impetigo in Toddlers
An outbreak of impetigo ordinarily occurs after an unrelated infection or injury breaks the skin. It’s common to befall ill with impetigo following a bout with poison ivy, eczema, bug bites, or cuts. Causes of impetigo in toddlers are the staphylococcus or streptococcus bacteria that survives on the skin harmlessly until an opening invites it in.
Individuals at higher risk for infection include diabetics, autoimmune disease sufferers, and those in unmediated contact with already diagnosed cases.
Incubation Period for Impetigo in a Baby
One of the worst characteristics of this skin condition is how quickly it spread. It is a high contagion disease that needs to be closely monitored or it can instantly spread among a daycare or school. The incubation period for impetigo in a baby is 1 to 3 days for the staphylococcus bacteria and 4 to 10 days for streptococcus.
Children will remain contagious until at least twenty-four hours after the primary dose of antibiotics.
Cure for Impetigo in Kids
The first action is a visit to the doctor. Once you have a decent diagnosis, the physician will start a sequence of antibiotics to curb the infection. For a total cure for impetigo in kids, the oral pills are often joined with topical treatments like retapamulin, mupirocin, and fusidic acid. Ointments are recommended for administration for approximately 7 to 10 days and beyond if symptoms persist.
Scratching spreads the infection across the body and extends healing time. Getting infected skin under the nails is a fast track to sharing the disease with others too. You can harness the power of cortisone to ease itchiness. Monitor your child to minimize scratches as much as possible. Covering the outbreak with gauze or a bandage can serve as a barrier. Alternatively, putting socks or mittens over those fingernails is a solution that is as silly as it is adorable.
Impetigo Prevention Technique
The basis of precluding this infection is to practice proper hygiene and first aid. Any time a child gets a cut or scrape, wash it immediately (and regularly after that) with antibacterial soap. This will prevent the existing bacteria on the skin’s surface from the penetration of the open wound. Wear gloves when interacting with the infected child to avoid contracting the condition yourself.
Impetigo prevention techniques can obstruct disease spread. Try:
- Always wash hands and skin
- Cover sores with light gauze
- Launder infected person’s clothing and bedding
- Isolate infected child until antibiotics have a chance to kick in
Untreated, impetigo can develop into serious complications including:
- Kidney damage. The organs are sensitive to impetigo bacteria.
- Cellulitis. While impetigo hangs out on the skin’s surface, cellulitis digs into the deeper layers. It can migrate throughout the blood and lymph nodes, even becoming life-threatening.
- Scarring. Scratching and picking at sores can lead to scar tissue.
When is it Diaper Rash and Not Impetigo?
In a less familiar strain, called bullous impetigo, babies will experience blisters on the trunk of their body including the buttocks and nappy area. Diaper rash can seem similar, so we felt it important to outline the distinctions.
Both appear in children under the age of 2 years old most frequently, but diaper rash happens in incontinent or paralyzed that require adult diapers.
Diaper rash is predominantly just red, irritated skin with no defining marks. With impetigo, there are clear clusters of fluid-filled blisters.
Diaper rash can be caused by friction, yeast overgrowth, and prolonged feces and urine exposure. Impetigo comes only from two strains of bacteria.
It is possible to be afflicted with impetigo and diaper rash simultaneously. If you have any suspicion that your baby’s diaper rash is more than a slight irritation, call your doctor.
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