Impetigo is a bacterial skin infection which commonly occurs in children and infants. Impetigo can also affect adults if they come into contact with the bacteria or someone who is infected, as it is very contagious.
Impetigo is categorised in two ways:
- Primary impetigo – this infection affects healthy skin
- Secondary impetigo – this is when the bacteria gets into the skin that has been damaged by another condition such as scabies or eczema
Non-bullous impetigo is the most common type of impetigo. It manifests itself as red sores or spots around the mouth and nose.
Bullous impetigo is less common (more common in newborns). It is characterised with the appearance of blisters on the middle and central part of your body.
With both forms of impetigo, sores and blisters will eventually burst, forming golden-brown crusts that can spread, grow, itch and be painful.
Symptoms tend to be mild and will usually get better without treatment within 7 to 10 days. However, to speed up recovery it is recommended that you seek treatment. This will also help to reduce the spreading of the infection to other people and other parts of your body.
As impetigo is a bacterial infection, antibiotic treatment should be all that is needed to speed up recovery. The antibiotic treatment takes two forms, which are:
- Antibiotic cream – usually for minor infections or if a small area is infected
- Antibiotic tablets – if the impetigo does not improve and is more severe
If you think you may have impetigo you should speak to one of Ahmeys prescribers to receive quick treatment to speed up recovery and prevent the infection from spreading further. You can speak to one of Ahmeys healthcare professionals who will listen to your symptoms, undertake an examination and treat accordingly.