Impetigo

Impetigo:  A contagious, superficial skin infection.  It is cause by a beta-hemolytic streptococcus which produces a non bullous impetigo.  Coagulase - positive Staphylococcus aureus causes bullous impetigo. Poor hygiene, anemia, malnutrition,  impaired skin integrity increase the risk of developing this disease. Impetigo spreads most easily among infants, young children, and the elderly. It can complicate other skin conditions marked by open lesions, such as chicken pox and  eczema.

Symptoms:

Streptococcal  impetigo :  usually begins with a red spot on the skin that is not raised above the surface (macula) then turns into a blister like (vesicle), becoming pustular (pus containing lesion) within a matter of hours.  When the vesicle breaks, a characteristic thick, honey - colored crust forms from the exudate.
Pruritus (itching), burning, and regional lymphadenopathy

Staphylococcal impetigo:  begins with a thin - walled vesicle opens and a thin, clear crust forms from the exudate.  The lesion consists of a central clearing circumscribed by an outer rim, much like a ringworm lesion, commonly appears on the face or other exposed areas, and  painless pruritus.

Treatment:

Systemic antibiotic therapy

Removal of the exudate by washing the lesions 2 to 3 times a day with soap and water

For stubborn crusts, warm soaks or compresses of normal saline or a diluted soap solution may help.

Note:  Impetigo is bacterial infection, and is highly contagious, see your doctor promptly for treatment and to prevent the spread of infection.

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