Impetigo is a skin condition that usually affects the elderly and very young. It is easily spotted and can be treated with antibiotics.
The first sign of impetigo is a clear bump filled with fluid on the outer layer of the skin. This will soon dry out to leave a circular, honey colored, crusty scab. This scab will eventually crack and leak fluid. If the fluid is allowed to smear too much, it will affect a much larger area of skin. It is often found on the face around the nose and mouth, although it can be found anywhere on the body and affects babies around the diaper area.
Living in a warm climate can increase the chances of infection. Heat and humidity are two causes of the condition. The strep, or “staph,” bacteria that causes impetigo is extremely common, and one of the most frequently diagnosed and treated bacterium in the United States. It is highly contagious and must be treated quickly to stop from spreading.
Impetigo can be transmitted through touching items an infected person has touched. This can be anything such as bedsheets, toys and blankets. It also develops when there has been trauma to the skin such as a sunburn, diaper rash, herpes or chickenpox. Impetigo sores are itchy, making it difficult to keep children (and adults) from scratching. Keep nails trimmed and place mittens on babies if necessary. Scratching is one of the worst things you can do to these types of sores.
If you suspect you or your child has impetigo, go to the doctor for diagnosis and treatment. Your doctor will most likely prescribe a salve, balm, tincture, oil or ointment to use directly on the sore until it is healed. Depending on your resistance to scratching, you may or may not have a small scar where the Impetigo sore was.