Impetigo is a highly contagious bacterial skin infection. Impetigo is caused by staphylococcus and streptococcus bacteria. Impetigo commonly occurs in children and is also called school sores.


It is a superficial infection of the skin.

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A break in the skin allows the bacteria to enter and cause infection.In children impetigo develops at the nasal openings. Inflammation occurs at the nasal openings with cold and watery discharge from nose. Adults develop impetigo from close contact with infected children.Impetigo often spreads to other parts of the body.

The bacteria from the environment colonize on the skin surface but they do not produce disease unless skin is disrupted.
Impetigo Occurs In?

Impetigo affects people of all ages but children between 2-5 years are more at risk.It occurs in both men and women but men are at higher risk.

Causes Of Impetigo

Major causative bacteria for the formation of impetigo are staphylococcus and streptococcus. The bacteria enter through a break or cut in the skin and grow to cause infection and inflammation.

Impetigo can also occur on the skin without the visible break. It may occur following upper respiratory infection or any skin disease.

Non-bullous impetigo is caused by both staph. and strep. bacteria.
Bullous impetigo is caused by staph bacteria.

Types Of Impetigo ?

• Non-bullous impetigo:
It appears as small red papules that evolve to small blisters then to pustules and finally scabs with characteristic honey colored crusts.

• Bullous impetigo:
This type of impetigo causes the formation of blisters called bullae on the skin that contains clear yellow fluid. These bullae are fragile and on bursting leave a raw red skin and ragged edges. A dark crust develops that resolves while healing.

Impetigo Signs and Symptoms

The lesions represent it as:
• Pustules that grow progressively.
• Round and oozing patches.
• Spread to other areas on scratching.
• Blisters or golden yellow crusts form.
• There may be lymphadenopathy.
• Lesions occur on exposed areas of body.

Differential Diagnosis Of Impetigo

• Candidiasis.
• Contact Dermatitis.
• Atopic Dermatitis.
• Scabies.
• Varicella-Zoster Virus.
• Herpes Simplex Virus Infection.
• Pediculosis (Lice).

Investigations For Impetigo

Diagnosis is mainly based on the appearance of the lesion.
Other skin conditions which mimic the lesions of impetigo are scabies and ringworm.

Bullous impetigo need to be differentiated from skin conditions that produce bullae such as herpes cold sores, chickenpox, poison ivy, skin allergies, eczema, and insect bites.

Culture of the lesion is done to confirm the presence of bacteria.
In order to decide whether topical antibacterial creams or oral antibiotics should be used, medical evaluation or culture tests are necessary.

Treatment For Impetigo

• Antibacterial cream in mild cases.
• Oral antibiotics in severe cases.
• Cover the affected area.
• Avoid close contact with others.
• Use separate towels.
• Change and wash the clothes and linen daily.

Management Of Impetigo

• Anti-oxidant rich fruit helps building up immunity and fight infection.
• Soups are rich source of energy.
• Juices of fresh vegetables like carrot, beets, etc.
• Avoid fried food, dairy products, refined sugar and fatty red meat.

Prognosis of Impetigo

The disease condition responds to treatment and heals slowly. There are chances of recurrence in young children.

What Are The Complications Of Impetigo

• Kidney failure.
• Scarring may occur.
• Infection spreads to other parts of body.

Homeopathic Treatment For Impetigo

Antim tart
• Pustular eruptions that leave a bluish red mark.
• Worse in evening and warmth.

• Dry, rough, scaly look on the skin.
• Worse from cold.
• Icy coldness of body.

• Indurated glands.
• Eruptions on face, genitals and hands.
• Bleeding on scratching.

Kali bi
• Pustular eruptions resemble small pox.
• Burning pain in eruptions.
• Itching with vesicular eruptions.

• Skin becomes thick and indurated.
• Offensive secretions.

• Thick scabs form under the eruptions.
• Exudation of purulent matter.
• Intolerable itching.

Rhus tox
• Intense itching.
• Burning sensation.
• Swollen glands.

• Intense itching.
• Eruptions on face and head.
• Thick scabs form.
• Tenacious pus exudes.

Antim crud
• Thick, yellow crusts form with burning.
• Worse from washing the parts; better in open air.
• Cracks at corner of mouth.

• Eruptions on lower part of face.
• Formation of thick yellow crusts.
• Honeycomb like crusts.
• Crusts leaves a bright red and smooth surface.

• Scabby eruptions.
• Excessive oozing.
• Eruptions around nose and mouth.

• Thick, yellow, dry scabs on scalp.
• Profuse discharge.
• Intense itching relieved by scratching.
• Purulent eruptions on elbow.

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