Impetigo: A closer look

Impetigo is a nuisance and can look rather intimidating, but the good news is it’s not usually a serious infection. You'll notice red sores popping up around your face and hands that can be itchy and uncomfortable. But hold on tight, because, with the right treatment, you'll be on the road to improvement in just 7 to 10 days.

While this annoying condition can strike anyone, it tends to be more common in children. But guess what? There are solutions out there to help you recover and wave goodbye to impetigo.

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Types of impetigo

Impetigo comes in two forms: bullous and non-bullous. Bullous impetigo causes fluid-filled blisters, while non-bullous impetigo results in reddish sores that form honey-coloured crusts. Both types can show up on your face, hands, and other parts of your body. But don't worry, treatment can come to the rescue! Acting quickly can help ease those symptoms and stop the spread of impetigo.

Causes of impetigo

Impetigo is caused by two types of bacteria: Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes. These sneaky bacteria can enter your skin through cuts, insect bites, or even existing skin conditions. Now, factors like poor hygiene, living in close quarters, and warm weather can up your chances of getting impetigo, but don't worry, we've got some tricks up our sleeves to help you prevent and manage these causes effectively. Let's get started, shall we?

Impetigo prevention tips

  • Practice good hygiene habits, such as washing your hands regularly with soap and warm water.
  • Keep any open wounds or sores covered with a clean, dry bandage.
  • Avoid sharing personal items like towels, razors, or clothes with others.
  • Teach children good hygiene practices and remind them to not touch or scratch the impetigo sores.

Taking these precautions can reduce your risk of getting impetigo or spreading it to others. Remember, impetigo can be treated, so don't hesitate to contact your pharmacist if you suspect you have the infection.

Can impetigo spread to other parts of the body?

If impetigo is left untreated, this little troublemaker can start spreading to other parts of your body. But don't fret! We've got some tips to help you keep that impetigo in check.

First off, try your best to resist the urge to scratch those pesky sores. It can be hard, but trust us, scratching just helps those bacteria move around, and we don't want that. So keep those hands away from the sores and avoid touching other parts of your body.

As soon as you suspect you've got impetigo, it's time to take action! Timely treatment is super important to control the infection and prevent any nasty complications. Don't shy away from asking your pharmacist for some guidance. They're there to help!

How to prevent spreading impetigo to others

To prevent the spread of impetigo to others, take these simple steps:

  1. Prioritise hygiene: Keep those hands clean by washing them regularly with soap and hot water, especially if you've touched the affected area or any items that might have come into contact with the infection.
  2. Avoid close contact: During a bout of impetigo, try to avoid skin-to-skin contact with others, especially if they have open wounds or compromised skin.
  3. Cover the affected area: Covering those open sores or blisters with sterile gauze or bandages is a good idea too since it helps reduce the risk of spreading the infection.
  4. Avoid sharing personal items: Hold off on sharing your items like towels, clothing, bed linens, or other items until you've said goodbye to impetigo.
  5. Maintain cleanliness: Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that might have come into contact with the impetigo bacteria to keep them at bay.
  6. Educate family and close contacts: Inform family members, roommates, and close contacts about the impetigo infection and the importance of practicing good hygiene to prevent its spread.
  7. Seek timely treatment: If you or someone you know has impetigo, seek medical advice promptly. Early treatment is key to reducing the duration and contagiousness of the infection.

By following these simple steps, you're doing your part to keep yourself and those around you healthy and infection-free.

How long does impetigo last?

The good news is that it usually clears up in two to three weeks. But if you're feeling uncomfortable and want to feel better sooner, some treatments can help alleviate symptoms faster. Remember, it's important to seek medical advice if you have concerns or if your condition worsens. With proper care and attention, you can get rid of impetigo and get back to your daily routine.

Is impetigo painful?

Impetigo can be uncomfortable, but it is usually not painful. The red sores may itch or irritate the affected area, and the accompanying crusts may be unsightly. However, with proper care and treatment, the symptoms can be alleviated. Seek medical advice if you are concerned or if your condition worsens. Remember, there are solutions to help you overcome impetigo and get back to feeling your best.

Can impetigo be recurring?

Impetigo can make an unwelcome recurrence, especially if certain risk factors are present, such as poor hygiene or a weakened immune system. However, with proper treatment and preventive measures like regular hand washing and keeping wounds clean, the chances of recurrence can be minimised.

Impetigo scars and how to treat them

We know those unsightly impetigo scars can be a burden, but here's the good news: they usually fade away on their own over time. It’s all part of the healing process. Treatments like scar creams can improve the skin's texture and reduce scarring. Rest assured, there are solutions to help prevent impetigo from coming back and maintain good skin health.

Impetigo vs Chickenpox

Whilst impetigo and chickenpox do look similar and have similar symptoms, such as itchy rashes and flu-like symptoms, some clear differences set them apart. Unlike shingles and chickenpox, impetigo doesn't originate from the same virus. Treating impetigo is different to chickenpox, impetigo can be treated with antibiotics, whilst chickenpox requires a vaccination.