Understanding Different Types Of Impetigo Infections

Understanding the different types of impetigo infections

Impetigo is a common and highly contagious skin infection that primarily affects children, but can also occur in adults. It is caused by bacteria, most commonly Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes. Impetigo typically presents as red sores or blisters on the face, hands and feet and is characterised by the formation of yellowish-brown crusts.

What Causes Impetigo?

Impetigo is caused by bacterial infections, primarily by Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes. These bacteria can enter the skin through cuts, insect bites or other injuries, leading to infection. Impetigo is more common in children, as their skin is more prone to cuts and scratches during play.

Poor hygiene or crowded living conditions can also increase the risk of developing impetigo, as the bacteria can spread more easily in these environments. Close contact with an infected person or contaminated objects can also lead to impetigo.

The symptoms of impetigo typically include red sores or blisters that quickly rupture and oose, forming a characteristic honey-coloured crust. These sores are often itchy and can be accompanied by swollen lymph nodes in severe cases. Impetigo is commonly found around the nose and mouth, but can also occur on other parts of the body.

Different Types of Impetigo Infections

There are several types of impetigo infections, each with its own characteristics and treatment options. Understanding the different types of impetigo can help in early diagnosis and appropriate management. Here, we explore the various forms of impetigo infections:

Non-bullous impetigo

This is the most common form of impetigo, accounting for about 70% of cases. It is characterised by the formation of small, red sores that quickly rupture, leaving behind a honey-coloured crust. These sores are typically found around the nose and mouth, but can also occur on other parts of the body. Non-bullous impetigo is usually not painful but can be itchy.

Bullous impetigo

Bullous impetigo is less common but more severe than non-bullous impetigo. It is characterised by the formation of large, fluid-filled blisters that are surrounded by red, inflamed skin. These blisters are fragile and easily rupture, leaving behind a thin, wrinkled crust. Bullous impetigo is most commonly seen in infants and young children.

Ecthyma

Ecthyma is a more serious form of impetigo that affects the deeper layers of the skin. It is characterised by the formation of pus-filled sores that are covered by a thick, hard crust. These sores can be painful and may leave behind scars once they heal. Ecthyma is more common in older children and adults and is often associated with poor hygiene and compromised immune function.

Secondary impetigo

Secondary impetigo occurs when the bacteria responsible for impetigo infects an existing wound or skin condition, such as eczema or dermatitis. This can lead to a more severe and widespread infection, requiring prompt medical attention.

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) impetigo

MRSA is a type of bacteria that is resistant to many common antibiotics. When MRSA infects the skin, it can cause a severe form of impetigo that is difficult to treat. MRSA impetigo is more common in healthcare settings and in people who have frequent skin-to-skin contact, such as athletes.

Treatment for Impetigo

Impetigo is typically treated with antibiotics, either applied topically to the skin or taken orally. Topical antibiotics, such as mupirocin, are often sufficient for mild cases of impetigo. These medications help to eliminate the bacteria causing the infection and promote healing of the sores. In more severe cases or when the infection is widespread, oral antibiotics, such as cephalexin or dicloxacillin, may be prescribed.

Get Expert Advice and Medication Delivered to Your Door

Impetigo is a common skin infection that can vary in severity. Understanding the symptoms, causes and treatment options for impetigo can help in early diagnosis and appropriate management. Practising good hygiene and avoiding close contact with infected individuals can help prevent the spread of impetigo.

If you suspect you have impetigo, it’s important to seek medical advice for proper diagnosis and treatment. Consider scheduling a consultation via Pharmacy First, where you can receive expert guidance and possibly get prescribed medication. Take the first step towards healing and consult with Pharmacy to My Door today.

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn