Impetigo is a common childhood contagious skin infection that causes sores to form on the skin. While anyone can be exposed to and contract impetigo, it is most commonly found in young children, usually ages 2-5. Knowing the cause and recognizing the symptoms can help parents ensure their children get treatment quickly and reduce the spread of this infection to others.
First signs of Impetigo
Impetigo is a bacterial skin infection that usually first appears as sores around the nose and mouth. These sores can resemble a cold sore, a red lesion on the skin. The sores ooze and over a few days with form a brownish-colored crust. The sores may be uncomfortable and itchy; touching the sores can spread the infection to other areas of the body.
How Impetigo Is Spread
The bacteria that cause impetigo are within the fluid that leaks from the sores. Anything that comes in contact with the sores can spread the bacteria. Fingers, clothing, towels, toys – anything that touches the sores can spread the bacteria to others. Children are more prone to the spread as they tend to play closely together at schools, daycares or at home. If they come in contact with anything that has been exposed to the bacteria from another infected child, it may enter the skin through a small injury and cause impetigo.
What to Do If You or Your Child has Impetigo
The good news is that impetigo is usually not dangerous, but there are possible complications that can cause scarring or kidney issues. You do want to treat the sores and prevent the spread of this infection quickly. At the first signs of impetigo, contact a local dermatologist to seek treatment and following their instructions to reduce the spread of this infection.
Posted on behalf of:
Kayal Dermatology & Skin Cancer Specialists
141 Lacy Street, Suite 200
Marietta, GA 30060