Impetigo

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We are beginning the process of using an electronic medical record in our practice as required by federal law.  As part of that process, we have established a "Patient Portal" in which patients can enter certain information that will help us, including your medical history.  Prior to your next office visit, we ask that you please access our patient portal by clicking on this link to complete our office forms relating to your medical history.  If we have not previously provided you with your Username and Password, please contact our office through our "Contact Us" page on this website or by calling the office at 518-690-0177.

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  Impetigo_face_child.png
Impetigo: Blisters and crusts on a child’s face are common signs of impetigo.

Impetigo: overview

Also called school sores

Impetigo (im-peh-tie-go) is a common skin infection, especially in children. It’s also highly contagious.

Most people get impetigo through skin-to-skin contact with someone who has it. Children and athletes like wrestlers and football players often get it this way.

It’s also possible to get it by using something infected with the bacteria that cause impetigo. You can get it from an infected towel or sports equipment. Wearing infected clothing is another way to get impetigo.

Staph and strep cause most cases of impetigo. These bacteria cause impetigo by getting into the body. They can get in through a cut, scratch that barely breaks the skin, or bug bite. A rash, sore, or burn also provides a great entry point for the bacteria.

A child may get impetigo by scratching itchy eczema or chickenpox. The scratching breaks the skin, making it easy for the bacteria to get inside.

Sometimes impetigo develops on unbroken skin.

Treatment can quickly cure impetigo.

While highly contagious, impetigo is rarely serious. It often clears on its own in a few weeks.

Treatment, however, is recommended. By treating it, you reduce your risk of developing complications. Without treatment, the infection can cause new sores or blisters to develop for several weeks. The infection can also go deeper into the skin. This can be serious.

Treatment also reduces your risk of spreading impetigo to others.

Image used with permission of the American Academy of Dermatology National Library of Dermatologic Teaching Slides.


References

Craft, N, Lee PK, et al. “Superficial cutaneous infections and pyodermas.” In: Wolff K, Goldsmith LA, et al. Fitzpatrick’s Dermatology in General Medicine (seventh edition). McGraw Hill Medical, New York, 2008: 1695-8.
Halpern AV and Heymann WR. “Bacterial diseases.” In: Bolognia JL, et al. Dermatology. (second edition). Mosby Elsevier, Spain, 2008:1075-6.


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(518) 690-0177
2508 Western Avenue Altamont, NY 12009