The most prevalent bacterial contagion of the skin affecting infants and young kiddos in North America and Europe is impetigo. Seeing pictures of kids with early stage impetigo isn’t a pretty image to cast upon. But when your child comes home from nursery showing signs of impetigo, knowing what to expect will help you understand what they’re going through, and help immobilize this contagious condition from infecting other members of the family.
Impetigo is not new—it’s been around for centuries. The designation stems from a Latin translation of ‘to attack.’ Being such a contagious and conspicuous disease, this seems a very auspicious title.
The stages of Impetigo
Staphylococcus aureus (AKA staph) and Streptococcus pyogenes (AKA strep) are the two guilty pathogens blameworthy for impetigo. The bacterium invades the skin through openings created by a cut, graze, or insect bite. Most commonly, impetigo is seen around the mouth and nose area (philtrum groove), and on the hands, fingers, feet, and toes.
Your child may experience different stages of impetigo depending on whether staph or strep has incited the infirmity.
The Early Stage of Impetigo with Pictures
The first signs of impetigo can often be misapprehended for other illnesses or rashes, so it’s invaluable to know what elements to be wary of. In the beginning stage, all you may notice is a wee cluster of flat red maculae somewhere on the body. During the course of a sennight, these blemishes become wizened blisters which burst, creating a golden, unpleasantly looking crust. Despite its unpleasantness, there’s no need to worry as this crusty facet is one of the stages of impetigo healing.
Mild Impetigo contagiosa, otherwise called nonbullous impetigo, is produced the identical aforementioned bacterial microbes and comprises roughly 70 percent of all impetigo cases. It’s a mild form of impetigo with spots of one or two centimeters in size. It may look painful, especially when the scab forms and the circumambient skin appears rufescent and raw. But it’s mostly just uncomfortable and scratchy. As the break in the skin heals, roseate spots loom but will fade over time.
Seen more ordinarily in newborns is bullous impetigo—caused by the staph pathogen. Large blisters can take shape in a baby’s chubby neck folds or in the vicinity of the diaper area. They gradually fill with fluid that turns murky and cloudy. When these blisters pop, the crusty scab will be tinged in color.
A more severe stage of impetigo known as ecthyma can be caused by staph, strep, or both. If bullous or nonbullous impetigo left unaddressed, they can sometimes develop into ecthyma. The symptoms are tiny thick-skinned sores filled with pus on the buttocks, legs, thighs, ankles, or feet. Ecthyma is more severe as the infection perforates deeper into the skin. These sores are excruciating, vary in proportions, and nearby skin will have an amaranthine tone.
Staph bacteria are found in the noses of approximately ⅓ of the population. Many never even realize they’re carrying it. However, children carriers are more likely to suffer from recurrent impetigo. Bacteria spreads from the snout to ripped skin. If your little one has experienced more than one bout of impetigo, get a doctor to perform a nasal swab to see if staph is present inside the nose. The good news is that there are antiseptic creams that will eradicate it.
How Long Does Impetigo Last?
Impetigo goes through different stages of convalescence. The scabrous crust is the first stage and, as this clears, the skin will still have a reddish tinge. In the case of bullous and nonbullous impetigo, once the infection has cleared up, there will be no perpetual scarring.
A pertinent frequently asked question is how long does impetigo last? The answer is that it’s different—hinging on the kind of impetigo. In the majority of cases, it’ll last around two weeks. Bullous impetigo could last marginally longer.
How Is Impetigo treated?
Impetigo is benign and is fairly controllable and remediable. Milder impetigo can be treated by gently sanitizing the infected stretch and doffing the scabs. Prescriptions for antibiotic ointments like mupirocin (Bactroban) have proven advantageous. In more serious impetigo cases, your physician may prescribe oral antibiotics. These may include penicillin offshoots—namely flucloxacillin (floxacillin), or erythromycin if allergic to penicillin.
Once treatment’s underway, impetigo becomes noncontagious after 48 hours. The rash should disappear within a couple days. Nevertheless, it’s of utmost importance to persevere through the total treatment cycle which can last for seven to 10 days.
The best prevention method for impetigo is practicing exemplary salutariness. The disease is contagious and can be transmitted through direct physical contact as well as through inorganic objects which have come into proximity with the infection.
Keeping the sores and scabs covered will hopefully block infectious transmission to other bodily regions. wash hands frequently with antiseptic soap and hot water. Don’t share any cloth materials. When applying creams or ointments, wear gloves. By getting the whole household to practice elevated hygienic standards, you’ll prevent others from contracting impetigo.
Impetigo may look scary and frightening. But in reality, it’s rarely cause for major concern. If your kid comes back from school will itty bitty red spots around their mouth, don’t panic. Keep them absent from school and contact your medical practitioner. With the proper treatment, your little angel will be back to normal in a couple of weeks.
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