Impetigo- Symptoms and Causes

Impetigo is one of the most common contagious bacterial disease. This disease is spread globally by the bacteria known as Staphylococcus. This bacteria is very potent in action and causes major dermatological problems. 

What are the common symptoms associated with Impetigo?

The infection starts with the untimely occurrence of bright red spots on the skin of the affected individual. This the very first sign of an upcoming impetigo infection. These red spots turn into sores. The sores formed hereby have a specific pattern of growth. The sores grow into painful blisters. As the size of these blisters increase, they eventually burst. After the burst, the open blisters form a yellow crust (honey colored) like thickening on the outside. The blisters soon spread from one area to another as the infection proceeds. 

The sores are itchy in nature. Although, they do not pain most of the times, some special patients observe a painful sensation at the affected areas.

Impetigo can be a cause of uncomfortable feeling in infants. The diaper-clad areas of a child can be infected by a different type of impetigo. It consists of special fluid filled vesicles which are popped open at maturity.

These itchy bumps leave an outline after their disappearance.The associated effects include fever and headache.

What are the Causes of Impetigo?

The nose and the mouth contain special substances which help in removing or destroying the pathogenic (disease causing) bacteria that infect the body. Although, sometimes these mechanisms fail to act and certain bacteria by pass the safety barrier. The entry of the Staphylococcus bacteria is a brilliant example of the same.

The staphylococcus bacteria can also enter the body via broken skin caused due to an accident, a scratch, a blister, etc. The bacteria start feeding on the nutrition provided by the body. This ensures that the bacteria multiply continuously to form a huge community.

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Within 2 weeks of the initial infection by the bacteria, the painful and itchy blisters of impetigo appear. The main mechanism involved in the appearance of these blisters include the degradation of the epidermis (top most layer of the skin) by the toxins produced by the staphylococcus bacteria.

These bacteria are present in the nasal membranes and the membranes of the mouth by almost 50% of the general population. Hence, the rate of infection is very high.

What are the factors which help in the development of Impetigo?

1. Improper Hygiene

Improper hygiene is the main cause of the transmission of this disease. Washing hands before every meal and after every bathroom session ensured that the incidents of impetigo were reduced to less than 20%.

2. Excessive Sweat

Moist and sweaty skin is a brilliant medium for the development of staphylococcus bacteria. One should make sure that he/she bathes at least once a day to be safeguarded from Impetigo and other related infections.

3. Wearing tight apparel

Excessively tight apparel and footwear are one of the main reasons due to which bacterial infections are on the rise lately.

4. Living in a dirty environment

Infection is spread from the community one lives in. Make sure you maintain the utmost environmental sanitation in your area.


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Janet Fudge

Janet Fudge writes on general health topics for She holds a post-graduate diploma in Public Health with a major in epidemiology. During the outbreak of COVID-19, Janet actively volunteered in vaccination drives throughout the state of Iowa. She lives in Iowa with her husband and two children.