Impetigo is a common, contagious, infection that affects the skin. This can be caused by a number of bacteria, including the common staphylococcus and streptococcus. This bacteria then infect the outer layers of the skin (the epidermis), specifically around the face, arms, and legs.
The result is the appearance of a rash that often begins in minor cuts or bites. While it can affect people of any age, it is most common in those that are aged between 2-5 years old.
There are different types of impetigo. These are primary impetigo and secondary impetigo, which infects healthy skin and broken skin respectively.
Impetigo is a disease that has been around a long time and the name actually dates to 14th century England. It comes from the Latin work impetere meaning attack.
The condition spreads easily and is highly contagious, which makes the condition common. In fact, it is thought to affect 162 million children around the world at any given time. In this post, we will examine how to quickly identify it so that you can begin to take action and prevent it from spreading more than necessary.
1. Red Sores
The initial sign of impetigo is the appearance of red sores on the skin. These will very often cluster specifically around the nose and lips. These can be itchy and sometimes painful.
If a young child is infected with impetigo, then one of the most difficult jobs for parents will often be trying to help young children stop scratching and itching them. The red sores themselves should not leave a mark. However, if the child is continuously scratching and itching, then they may damage the skin and this in turn could lead to a worse infection, or to a permanent scar. What’s more, is that this can hasten the spread of the infection around the body, or even to other people. For this reason, it is important to help them control the urge.
One of the best ways to accomplish this, is by getting children to wear gloves. This way, they will be less able to easily scratch the area.