impetigo in children

Impetigo in babies is caused by a bacteria that causes a skin infection. Generally, It usually appears around the mouth, nose and ears. The main route of infection is direct contact with the lesion.

It has a higher incidence between 2 and 6 years of age., because it is these children who suffer the most scratches and cuts and also scratch the most; this leads to the spread of bacteria.

However, it can be submitted at any time of the year seen more often in the warm months due to temperature and humidity conditions.

How does impetigo manifest itself on the skin?

Impetigo appears on the skin as sores covered with scabs that are similar in color to honey. They are usually not accompanied by fever and the patients maintain good general condition. Normally, the sores heal on their own after a while without leaving any scars.

Being a superficial skin infection, it can cause itching, burning and even pain if it is located in the perioral area. Sometimes it presents with adenopathies close to the area of ​​infection. These nodes are mobile and can cause pain.

It has antimicrobial activity

Causes of impetigo in children

In about 90% of cases, impetigo is caused by the Staphylococcus aureus, while in the rest, the cause is the Streptococcus pyogenes. Streptococcus is also the cause of sore throats, for example.

The vast majority of us carry both bacteria on our skin. However, with any wound, bite, scrape or cut, the bacterium is capable of causing an infection and causing impetigo.

types of impetigo

There are two main types of impetigo:

  • nonbullous impetigo: mostly caused by strep. It erodes the skin surface after minor wounds or trauma, resulting in larger ulcers that are later covered with a myelic crust. Usually, multiple lesions can be seen in the same child, the product of self-injection. It is not related to blisters.
  • bullous impetigo: caused by staphylococcus. It causes clear fluid-filled blisters and blisters on the skin. They break easily and cause a shiny, exposed area of ​​the dermis that crusts over with a yellowish crust.


Impetigo diagnosis in children
The history and physical exam are essential for the diagnosis of impetigo.

On physical examination during the medical examination, the specialist makes the diagnosis based on the characteristics of the rash and the history. Your pediatrician may find it necessary to request a lab culture to determine which bacteria is causing the condition.

There are several dermatological diseases that lead to a difficult differential diagnosis:

  • Bullous pemphigoid.
  • Herpes simplex virus infection.
  • scabies
  • Allergic reaction to a sting.
  • Dermatophytosis.

That is why we emphasize the need to consult a qualified doctor. This, through the clinical history and physical examination, will proceed to the correct differential diagnosis. However, the definitive diagnosis is given by the microbiological culture of the exudate of the lesions.

Appropriate treatment of impetigo in children

The goal is to eliminate the infection; Like this, the indicated treatment is antibiotics. These can be applied topically or orally, depending on the extent of the lesions on the body surface area or if they are accompanied by systemic symptoms.

The use of emollient creams helps maintain the function of the skin barrier.. Adjuvant symptomatic treatment can be covered with antihistamines for itching or anti-inflammatories if needed. It is important to apply a sun protection factor to avoid hyperpigmented areas remaining on the damaged skin.

Impetigo in children is contagious until the lesions completely disappear. Sometimes two days of treatment are enough and the improvement is evident. However, one must be careful.

How to prevent and control the infection

Some of the recommendations to prevent the spread of impetigo in children are as follows:

  • Keep children’s nails short and clean.
  • Teach them not to scratch the skin lesionsas this causes the bacteria to thrive.
  • In case of contact with the wounds, wash the exposed site with soap and water.
  • Contact with other children should be avoided. in this period.
  • In case of scratches, clean them with soap and water and apply an antibiotic cream.
  • Don’t share dirty clothessheets or towels from someone with an active skin infection.
  • Maintain proper skin hydration to activate the skin barrier.

Impetigo in children is common but needs to be controlled

Although we consider impetigo in children to be a localized skin infection only, treatment must be established quickly due to its great contagious power.

See a doctor if symptoms persist or there are suspicions that the infection has gotten worse, such as pain, fever, or increased swelling.

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