Impetigo is a highly contagious skin condition. It usually occurs on the face, neck, and hands of young children and infants. Children who wear diapers also tend to get it around the diaper area. Impetigo occurs more rarely in adults, usually following another skin condition or an infection.Impetigo is caused by two bacteria - streptococcus pyogenes and staphylococcus aureus.
Impetigo symptoms can be uncomfortable and embarrassing, particularly when they are present on the face. Though the symptoms vary slightly from type to type of impetigo, they are similar and can include:red sores that pop easily and leave a yellow crust, fluid-filled blisters, itchy rash, skin lesions, swollen lymph nodes.
Treatment of impetigo typically involves local wound care along with antibiotic therapy. Antibiotic therapy for impetigo may be with a topical agent alone or a combination of systemic and topical agents. Gentle cleansing, removal of the honey-colored crusts of nonbullous impetigo using antibacterial soap and a washcloth, and frequent application of wet dressings to areas affected by lesions are recommended. Good hygiene with antibacterial washes, such as chlorhexidine or sodium hypochlorite baths, may prevent the transmission of impetigo and prevent recurrences.
The incidence rate of impetigo increased from 16.5 (1987) to 20.6 (2001) per 1000 person years under 18 years old (P < 0.01). In both years, the incidence was significantly higher in summer, in rural areas and in the southern region of the Netherlands, compared with winter, urban areas and northern region, respectively.