Impetigo is a condition which has been spread all across the world. More than 160 million children are affected with impetigo at this point of time. Such a high number is an indication of how potent and harmful this disease is. The incidence of this disease has not gone down in the last five centuries.
Bacteria are moist loving creatures. They enjoy growing in warm conditions. Hence, monsoons and summers are the main seasons during which incidences of impetigo are on the rise. The incidences of impetigo are more common in tropical countries than the ones having a temperate climate. The incidences of Impetigo have been reported in countries lacking in proper sanitation and food supply. This condition is highly contagious in nature. Although, it can be effectively curbed by the timely administration of anti-biotics, it can be spread very quickly!
What is Impetigo – the Disease?
Impetigo is caused by a special type of bacteria known as the Staphylococcus bacteria. This type of bacteria commonly attacks the outer layers of the skin. The areas commonly affected by the infection include face, arms and legs.
The infection occurs mainly through infected skin (caused due to a minor injury or an insect bite). The broken skin then harbors the said bacteria in order to proliferate the disease further.
Who can get the Disease?
The disease can affect all age groups, but it is more common in children within the age range of 1 to 5 years. This is one of the most common pediatric skin problems faced by clinicians across the globe.
How is the Disease Transmitted?
The disease leads to the formation of spores. These spores, when open, are highly infectious. Scratching of the affected skin transmits the bacteria on the fingertips and the nails of the hand being used. This can then be transmitted on to other people by touch or mutual sharing of items. If a person ends up using the same towel, cutlery or other day to day materials, he/she is likely to be infected by impetigo.
Hygiene is the only way out from this disease. Make sure that you sterilize and disinfect every item that your child uses. This holds prime importance as sharing of items is the only cause of this infection to spread from one person to another.
What are the Different Types of Impetigo?
The sores formed after the infection by the bacteria are of three different types:
1. Non-Bullous type:
This is the most common form of the impetigo caused in humans. This can be seen as reddish spots which usually develop into large blisters. The most common sites include the mouth and nose. This type of impetigo is very itchy.
2. Bullous Type:
This is characterized by the formation of huge blisters filled with a straw colored fluid. These type of blisters usually occur on the torso and limbs of an individual.
3. Ecthyma type:
This is characterized by the eruption of small sores with a pus filled core. These sores have a thickened crust on the outside. This type of impetigo is highly painful and itchy. These occur on the buttocks and the thighs of an individual.
Make sure to report these to your health provider as soon as possible!
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