Impetigo is a contagious skin infection. The infection usually occurs around the nose or mouth, but can occur on all parts of the body. It is especially common in young children.
Impetigo is caused by a bacterium (staphylococci). Infection usually takes place through toys or hands. It can also be transferred by coughing or sneezing. Impetigo is contagious until the wounds are dried or cured.
Impetigo begins with a few wounds, red spots and sometimes blisters with yellow pus. Sometimes it occurs in places where there is already a wound or eczema site. The inflamed areas can expand rapidly. The scab dries up, and then a yellow crust forms. If there are many wounds, vesicles and yellow crusts around the nose and mouth, it may look like a bunch of grapes. The child may occasionally be feverish and suffer from itchiness. Furthermore, in the face there are sometimes swelling in the throat in the face. These are glands that swell in response to the infection.
Try to touch or prevent scratches from the wounds. Your child must wash the hands regularly. Keep your nails clean and short and wash your child once a day with special soap (ask your doctor). Allow your child to use their own towel and put them in the laundry after use. Unfortunately, infestation among children is unavoidable.
The GP may advise to brush a cream with an antibiotic on the spot three times a day. This cream should not be used for more than 14 days. You can also use an antibacterial shower gel (for example, Dettol) when you shower. The GP can prescribe a cooling gel for the itch. If your child is also ill and has fever, or if the wounds continue to spread, your child usually needs an antibiotic cure. Impetigo usually only last one to two weeks.
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