Impetigo is a common skin infection caused by bacteria, typically Streptococcus or Staphylococcus. It is most commonly seen in children but it can affect adults as well. The most common symptom of impetigo is the formation of small, red sores on the skin that are filled with pus and have a yellowish crust. These sores can be painful and itchy and may spread to other parts of the body if not treated properly.
The main cause of impetigo is an invasion of bacteria into the skins surface. This invasion can occur through cuts or abrasions in the skin, insect bites, or contact with another person who has impetigo. In some cases, impetigo may be caused by an underlying condition such as eczema or psoriasis which makes the skin more susceptible to bacterial infections.
The treatment for impetigo depends on its severity and extent. Mild cases can usually be treated with topical antibiotics such as mupirocin ointment or fusidic acid cream applied directly to the affected area twice daily for five to seven days. For more severe cases, oral antibiotics may be necessary, typically penicillin or erythromycin taken for seven to ten days. In some cases, antiseptic washes such as chlorhexidine gluconate may also be used in addition to antibiotic treatment.
In order to prevent further spread of impetigo, good hygiene practices should always be followed such as washing hands regularly with soap and water and avoiding contact with infected people or surfaces until they have been adequately cleaned and disinfected. Clothing and bedding should also be washed frequently in hot water so that any bacteria present are killed off before they can spread further. Additionally, any cuts or abrasions should be kept clean and covered with a bandage until healed to prevent bacteria from entering the skins surface.
In conclusion, although impetigo is a common infection that mainly affects children it can also affect adults too and therefore it is important to take steps in order to prevent its spread and treat any existing infections promptly in order to avoid further complications from developing. Good hygiene practices should always be followed when dealing with this infection as well as seeking medical advice if symptoms persist despite following these measures