If you only have impetigo in a small area of your skin, topical antibiotics are the treatment of choice. Options include mupirocin cream or ointment (Bactroban or Centany) and retapamulin ointment (Altabax).
If the impetigo is severe or widespread, your doctor may prescribe oral antibiotics such as amoxicillin / clavulanate (Augmentin), some cephalosporins, or clindamycin (Cleocin). These drugs may act faster than topical antibiotics, but are not necessarily better at clearing the infection.
Oral antibiotics may also cause more side effects than topical antibiotics such as nausea.
With treatment, impetigo usually heals within 7 to 10 days. If you have an underlying infection or skin disease, it may take longer for the infection to heal.
Impetigo in adults
Although impetigo is more common in young children, adults can get it too. Because it is very contagious, impetigo can be spread through any close contact. Adults who play sports often catch it from skin contact.
Symptoms of impetigo in adults, wounds around the nose and mouth, or other exposed parts of the body, break open, ooze, and then scab.
Impetigo is usually a mild skin condition, but adults have a higher risk of complications than children. These include:
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Impetigo is not the only contagious rash seen in adults.
Impetigo in toddlers
Toddlers are the age group most likely to develop impetigo. The infection looks different in young children than in adults. Parents can see sores on their child's nose and mouth, as well as on the trunk, hands, feet, and diaper area.
In young children, the cause is usually scratching an insect bite or a scratch on the skin. Scratching allows bacteria to enter the skin.
Continued itching can cause a more serious infection or scarring.
Parents can help prevent complications by closing wounds and cutting their children's nails.
Impetigo stages by type
There are three types of impetigo based on the bacteria that cause them and the wounds they create. Each type goes through a series of stages.
Non-bullous impetigo is mainly caused by Staphylococcus aureus. It is the most common type of impetigo and causes an estimated 70 percent of the Trustworthy Case Source.
It goes through the following stages:
It usually starts with reddish, itchy sores around the mouth and nose.
The wounds open, leaving red and irritated skin around them.
A brownish yellow crust forms.
When the scabs heal, there are reddish spots that fade and leave no traces.
Bullous impetigo is almost always caused by Staphylococcus aureus bacteria.
It usually forms larger bubbles or bubbles filled with a clear liquid that can become darker and cloudy. Blisters start on unbroken skin and are not surrounded by reddish areas.
The bubbles relax and clear and then burst open.
A yellowish, crusty wound occurs in the area where the blisters open.
When the blisters heal, they usually leave no traces behind.
This more serious infection is much less common. Sometimes impetigo happens when not treated. Ecthyma goes deeper and is more severe than other forms of impetigo.
The infection creates painful blisters on the hips, thighs, legs, ankles, and feet.
The blisters develop into pus-filled sores with a thicker crust.
Usually the skin around the wounds turns red.
Ecthyma wounds heal slowly and may leave scars after healing.
Home treatment options
The main treatment for impetigo is antibiotics, but home remedies in addition to the treatment your doctor recommends can help the infection heal faster.
Clean and soak three to four times a day until the wounds heal. Gently clean the wounds with warm water and soap and then remove the scabs. Wash your hands thoroughly after treating wounds to prevent the spread of infection.
Dry the area and apply the prescription antibiotic ointment as directed. Then cover the wounds in an area where you can lightly cover them with gauze.
For a minor outbreak, you can use over-the-counter (OTC) antibiotic ointment, apply three times a day after cleansing the area. Then cover the wound with a bandage or gauze. If you do not see improvement after a few days, you should see your doctor.
Another home remedy is a 15-minute bath containing a highly diluted solution of household bleach (2.2 percent). If you use it regularly, this will reduce the number of bacteria on the skin.
Use 1/2 cup of bleach for a full-length bath. Rinse it off with lukewarm water and then pat dry.
Children with impetigo should stay home until the lesions cannot be reliably closed until they are no longer contagious. Adults who work in close contact jobs should ask their doctor when it is safe to return to work.
Good hygiene is good. 1 way to prevent impetigo. Follow these tips:
Wash and wash your hands frequently to reduce skin bacteria.
Cover skin wounds or insect bites to protect the area.
Keep your nails trimmed and clean.
Do not touch or scratch open wounds. This will spread the infection.
Wash anything that comes in contact with impetigo wounds in hot water and bleach.
Change bed linen, towels, and clothing that came into contact with wounds until the wounds are no longer contagious.
Clean and disinfect surfaces, equipment and toys that may have come into contact with impetigo.
Do not share personal belongings with someone who has impetigo.
Impetigo ve egzama
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Impetigo is a highly contagious bacterial skin infection that generally isn’t serious. It clears up faster with antibiotics and requires good hygiene to prevent it from spreading.
If you suspect that you or a loved one has impetigo, contact your doctor for diagnosis.
Bacitracin vs. Neosporin: Which Is Better for Me?
Cutting your finger, scraping your toe, or burning your arm doesn’t just hurt. These minor injuries can turn into bigger problems if they become infected. You may turn to an over-the-counter (or OTC) product to help. Bacitracin and Neosporin are both OTC topical antibiotics used as first aid to help prevent infection from minor abrasions, wounds, and burns.
These drugs are used in similar ways, but they contain different active ingredients. One product may be better than the other for some people. Compare the major similarities and differences between Bacitracin and Neosporin to decide which antibiotic may be better for you.
Active ingredients and allergies
Bacitracin and Neosporin are both available in ointment forms. Bacitracin is a brand-name drug that contains the active ingredient bacitracin only. Neosporin is the brand name of a combination drug with the active ingredients bacitracin, neomycin, and polymixin b. Other Neosporin products are available, but they contain different active ingredients.
One of the main differences between the two drugs is that some people are allergic to Neosporin but not to Bacitracin. For instance, neomycin, an ingredient in Neosporin, has a higher risk of causing allergic reactions than other ingredients in either drug. Still, Neosporin is safe and works well for most people, like Bacitracin.
It’s especially important with over-the-counter products to read the ingredients. Many of these products may have the same or similar brand names but different active ingredients. If you have questions about the ingredients in an over-the-counter product, it’s better to ask your pharmacist than to guess.
What they do
The active ingredients in both products are antibiotics, so they help prevent infection from minor injuries. These include scratches, cuts, scrapes, and burns to the skin. If your wounds are deep or more severe than minor scratches, cuts, scrapes, and burns, talk to your doctor before using either product.
The antibiotic in Bacitracin stops bacterial growth, while the antibiotics in Neosporin stop bacterial growth and also kill existing bacteria. Neosporin can also fight against a wider range of bacteria than Bacitracin can.