Many people take the health of their skin for granted, assuming that it will remain healthy and unblemished on a day-to-day basis. However, this is not always the case. There are many different types of conditions that can affect the skin, one of which is known as impetigo. Get to know some of the important facts about impetigo, a common skin infection. Then, if you ever show signs or symptoms of this condition, you can see your family doctor for diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible. 

Impetigo Is a Bacterial Infection

Impetigo is a skin infection caused by bacteria. Specifically, it is caused by Staphylococcus aureus and/or group A streptococcus. This means that impetigo can be considered a staph infection. It is not necessarily caused by a lack of cleanliness, as bacteria always live on the skin. It just comes from exposure to the wrong type of bacteria in an area of the body that is vulnerable, such as an area with a cut or blemish already. 

Impetigo Is Most Common in Children

Impetigo is a skin condition that is most commonly associated with children. It is highly contagious and easily spread when people are in close proximity such as children in a daycare. One of the reasons why it is so common in children is that young children especially tend to put things in their mouths or touch their faces a lot with hands that are not necessarily clean. This means bacteria can be more easily transferred. 

While impetigo is more common in children, this does not mean that it does not occur in adults. Adults, especially those in close contact with children, can get the infection as well. 

Impetigo Has Telltale Symptoms

Impetigo usually has symptoms that are telltale that it is impetigo rather than another type of infection. The sores are usually red with a honey-colored crust that develops when the sores drain. This crust, in particular, is a telltale sign. 

Additionally, the sores are most often found on the face, near the mouth or nose. When most doctors see sores in this area, impetigo is the first suspect. 

Impetigo Can Be Easily Treated (Most of the Time)

Impetigo, though highly contagious, is usually quite easy to treat. Oral antibiotics for 7 to 10 days will usually clear the infection up, and generally, the person is no longer contagious after 24 to 48 hours after the first dose of antibiotics. Topical antibiotics may also be prescribed.

However, sometimes there are cases of impetigo that are more stubborn and difficult to treat. If the sores do not appear to be getting better within 3 days after the first dose of antibiotics, there is a fever, or there are swollen glands or other such symptoms involved, additional treatments may be necessary, including antibiotic shots or even IV antibiotics. 

Now that you know more about impetigo, you can be sure you go to the doctor at the first sign of trouble and get the immediate treatment you need. 

For more information, contact a doctor's office like the Snow Creek Medical Center.