Symptoms and treatment of impetigo

Author: Fruzsina Anna Kovács MD


Thy symptoms of impetigo

Impetigo is a highly contagious, common skin disease which appears in the form of non-healing, gradually spreading scars. The scars are painful, they itch, and are covered by thick, honey-yellow slough. Developing blisters is common in the case of children, but we can only rarely see a blister with an upright border, we often only notice the seeping lack of epithelium, then the sloughy symptom. The scars characteristically appear around the nose and mouth, but with the hands, clothes, or towels they can easily spread throughout the body.


The formation of impetigo

Impetigo is a bacterial infection caused by Streptococcus pyogenes, or perhaps Staphylococcus aureus, which in most cases only affects the upper layers of the skin, but rarely, the inflammation can spread to the deeper layers of the skin, as well. If left untreated, it can lead to the formation of echtyma, too. Most frequently, we can expect the recovery to be without any complications, but rarely, the inflammation can leave behind a scarry sequelae.


Diagnosing impetigo

There is no need for specific examinations for the diagnosis, usually the treatment based on experience is sufficient. In the majority of cases, in the treatment of impetigo, the use of a local antiseptic is enough. If several mutations have developed, the therapy is more efficient if we give the antibiotics orally, in the form of a medication.


The treatment of impetigo

Apart from the medical care, the treatment of the patient needs to continue at home, as well. If someone has symptoms consistent with impetigo, on top of the antibacterial treatment, it is important to carefully soak off the sticky slough that is rich in bacteria, and also to clean using running water, and to bandage the wounds regularly. It is recommended to separate the patient's clothes, towels and bedclothes from those of the rest of the family, and also to wash them regularly on a high temperature. During local treatment, transmitting the infection can be avoided by wearing disposable rubber gloves, washing hands frequently, and cutting the nails short. We should not let infectious, symptomatic children into communities, until the doctor does not give permission to do so.


Which factors increase the risk of infection?

Given the skin structure of children, it is predominantly the age group between 2-5 years that gets infected, but we can also encounter the symptoms of impetigo in older age groups. Closed, bigger societies (kindergarten, nursery) increase the risk. Sports that necessitate physical contact (e.g. wrestling), and smaller skin injuries (even shaving) enhance the chances of transmitting the bacteria, therefore, they might facilitate the spreading of impetigo. Echtyma, which is the deeper and more severe form of impetigo, can be more frequently observed in diabetics, and patients with a weakened immune system. 

Our experienced dermatologists are here to help you with the treatment of impetigo!
Make an appointment with:
Nóra Sárdy MD
Nóra Sárdy MD
Fruzsina Anna Kovacs MD
Fruzsina Anna Kovacs MD
Iringó Ágnes Ottó MD
Iringó Ágnes Ottó MD
Réka Szandányi MD
Réka Szandányi MD
László Képíró MD
László Képíró MD
Brigitte Diczig MD
Brigitte Diczig MD