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Welcome, medical contents search April 26, 2013
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more about Impetigo

  • Impetigo is a Skin Infection, usually caused by Staphylococcus or Streptococcus bacteria.  It is most common in infants and young children, but it can also occur in older children.
  • The bacteria that cause impetigo commonly live on the skin surface and are usually harmless, however, after a cut, scratch, or other break in the skin surface, they can penetrate the skin and cause an infection.
  • Although impetigo can occur anywhere, it is most common in warm, moist parts of the body, such as the diaper area and the openings of the mouth and nose.

  • Mild redness and warmth of the infected areas
  • Discharge, commonly called "honey-crusted," because of its color and dry appearance.

  • Diagnosis is clinical; no laboratory cultures are done, usually.

  • Therapy for impetigo depends on the extent and location of the disease and the age of the patient.
  • In most cases, topical antibiotics, such as those commonly sold without a prescription, are sufficient to cure the infection.
  • More extensive infections or young infants usually require oral antibiotic therapy, such as cephalexin.

  • After the infection is cured, the affected area often appears lighter in color than surrounding skin.  This change, called "Post-Inflammatory Hypopigmentation," is caused by the bacteria's effect on the cells that make "melanin," or skin pigment.  This change will disappear over a period of weeks to months without medication.  However, the area should be carefully protected from the sun, since exposure may dramatically lengthen the time needed to return to a normal.

  • Impetigo can be prevented by carefully cleaning and covering any open wounds, scrapes, or scratches.
  • Because diaper areas are commonly affected, quick treatment of Diaper Rashs is also helpful in preventing the disease.
  • Children with impetigo should keep their infected areas covered until they have been treated for a several days, since the honey-colored discharge can spread the infection to others.

more about Impetigo

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