What is Impetigo?
Impetigo is a highly contagious bacterial skin infection. It’s caused by the Staphylococcus Aureus bacteria. While an Impetigo skin infection is more common among children, skin-to-skin contact athletes, like wrestlers and BJJ artists, are also susceptible.
Impetigo emerges when the bacteria enters through breaks in the skin.
Examples of breaks in the skin include:
• Insect bites
• Open wounds
In many cases it may also affect the healthy skin.
As the infection develops it causes red sores which develop into blisters. These red sores are commonly mistaken for pimples. If you think you may have a Impetigo infection we recommend that a dermatologists examine the sore(s) for a more precise diagnosis.
What are the symptoms of an Impetigo skin infection?
Impetigo generally has a few common symptoms.
• First appears as a red spot or spots
• Mature into blisters.
• Blisters eventually break and oozing a clear or cloudy like fluid
• Fluid dries into a yellow-brown crust.
• Sores can be itchy and painful
Impetigo also causes flu-like symptoms that may cause:
• Weakness of muscles
• Headaches and vomiting.
What parts of the body are affected by Impetigo?
Impetigo can affect the skin anywhere on the body.
It generally appears on:
• Behind the knees
Are there different Types of Impetigo?
Yes, The three variations of the Impetigo infection is Impetigo Contagiosa, Bullous Impetigo and Ecthyma.
The most common form of Impetigo usually begins as pimple-like lesion surrounded by reddened skin. These lesions get filled with pus, and then break down over 4–6 days and form a thick, honey-colored crust. People who suffer from cold sores have shown higher chances of suffering from impetigo. Those who normally suffer from cold sores should consult a doctor if normal treatment has no effect.
Bullous impetigo primarily affects infants and children younger than 2 years. It causes painless, fluid-filled blisters - usually on the trunk, arms and legs. The skin around the blister is usually red and itchy but not sore. The blisters, which break and scab over with a yellow-colored crust, may be large or small, and may last longer than sores from other types of impetigo
Ecthyma is a more serious form of impetigo in which the infection penetrates deep into the skin's second layer, the dermis. Signs and symptoms include:
- Painful fluid- or pus-filled sores that turn into deep ulcers, usually on the legs and feet
- A hard, thick, gray-yellow crust covering the sores
- Swollen lymph glands in the affected area
- Little holes the size of pinheads to the size of pennies appear after crust recedes
- Scars that remain after the ulcers heal
How does Impetigo Spread?
Impetigo is highly contagious and can be transmitted through contact or by sharing personal items like towels, pillows, sheets, gloves, socks, clothing or other items that come in direct contact with the infected skin. Scratching can also spread the sores to other parts of the body. It is not common in most adults except the athletes participating in contact sports like MMA, Wrestling, BJJ and Rugby etc.
How to Prevent & Treat Impetigo?
Impetigo can be prevented by maintaining good body/hand hygiene and a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables. When washing your body opt to use an all-natural tea tree oil soap like Defense Soap rather than a chemically derived antibacterial soap that will likely do more harm than good. For more Information visit: Impetigo Prevention & Treatment