Impetigo is a bacterial skin infection that is contagious and commonly affects children, but it can occur at any age. This infection can spread easily among children in close contact, such as in schools and daycare centers. If you suspect that you or your child has impetigo, it is essential to seek medical attention from a dermatologist who can diagnose and treat the condition.
The symptoms of impetigo are red sores or blisters that appear on the face, neck, hands, and other areas of the body. The sores may burst and develop yellow-colored crusts that can be itchy and uncomfortable. Impetigo can also cause swollen lymph nodes, particularly in the affected area. In severe cases, impetigo can cause fever and chills.
Antibiotics are the most common treatment for impetigo, either applied topically or taken orally. The type of antibiotic prescribed will depend on the severity of the infection and other factors. Completing the full course of antibiotics is crucial, even if the symptoms improve or disappear, to prevent the infection from recurring.
Aside from the treatments mentioned above, it is important to take measures to prevent the spread of impetigo. Here are some tips to remember:
- Keep the affected areas clean: Clean the affected areas with soap and water regularly. This can help remove the crusts and prevent the bacteria from spreading.
- Avoid touching the affected areas: Try to avoid touching the affected areas as much as possible. If you do touch them, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
- Cover the affected areas: Cover the affected areas with a clean, dry bandage or gauze to prevent the spread of the bacteria to other parts of your body or to other people.
- Don’t share personal items: Avoid sharing personal items such as towels, clothing, or bedding with others, as this can spread the bacteria.
- Practice good hygiene: Good hygiene habits, such as washing your hands regularly, can help prevent the spread of impetigo and other infections.
If you suspect that you or someone in your family has impetigo, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. A dermatologist can help diagnose and treat impetigo, as well as provide guidance on how to prevent its spread. With prompt and effective treatment, most cases of impetigo can be resolved within a few weeks. Make an appointment with Dr. Neily Board Certified dermatologist today.