Impetigo is a skin illness that affects the surface layers of the skin. It is most common in children between the ages of 2 and 6.
Staphylococcus (staph) bacteria usually cause impetigo. Group A streptococcus bacteria can also cause it (strep). Impetigo is caused when this bacteria enters a cut, scratch or insect bite and causes infection.
Direct contact with lesions (wounds or sores) or nasal discharge from an infected person spreads the virus. Scratching the lesions may spread them. It normally takes 1 to 3 days for symptoms to appear after infection.
On healthy skin, germs cannot cause an infection. For it to infect, there must be open cracks or wounds.
The appearance of red or pimple-like lesions surrounded by reddish skin is the first symptom.
These sores can form on any part of your body, but they're most common on the face, arms and legs. The lesions fill with pus, then break open and create a thick crust after a few days. Itching is a common occurrence.
By examining the skin lesions, your doctor can determine whether or not you have an infection.
The treatment prescribed is usually determined by the severity of the problem.
While impetigo lesions heal slowly, scar development is uncommon. In addition, recurrent episodes of impetigo are common in young children.