Impetigo- Important Tips
Impetigo is a common infectious disease caused by two kinds of bacteria: streptococci and staphylococci. It usually appears on the face in the form of golden crusts, gummy or sticky to the touch, especially around the nostrils and the mouth. It is chiefly a disease of children other family members, including adults, can also be infected. Impetigo usually begins with a scratch, a mosquito bite or at the site of a previously existing condition, such as atopic dermatitis (see Chapter 2) or chicken pox. Scratching the infected area transfers the bacteria to the fingers and from there to other parts of the body and to other people. If impetigo is not treated in time it can lead to fever, general weakness and enlargement of the lymph glands. After initial infection the disease can continue for several weeks and in some cases affect internal organs such as the kidneys.
Treatment of impetigo -
Treatment of impetigo includes removal of the crusts and washing the skin four times a day with special antibacterial soap. Particularly gummy crusts can be removed by dipping gauze pads in hot water and applying them to the crusts for several minutes. After the affected areas have been washed, an antibiotic ointment prescribed by a dermatologist should be applied. The sores should not be bandaged: exposure to the air will lead to faster healing. Sometimes it is necessary to take antibiotics orally, in the form of either syrup or pills.
SOME SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPETIGO
- Wash your hands frequently with antibacterial soap.
- Avoid touching affected areas.
- Keep your fingernails short.
- Change your towels every day.
- To prevent infection, keep healthy children away from impetigo patients.
- Continue medication at least a week after the crusts have disappeared.