Impetigo is a contagious skin infection that usually produces blisters or sores on the face, neck, hands, and diaper area and is one of the most common skin infections among children. Symptoms often develop when there is a sore or a rash that has been scratched repetitively. Many people are looking for natural care and prevention of this condition.
This condition is generally caused by one of two bacteria: staphylococcus aureus or group A streptococcus. It usually affects pre-school and school-age children.
A child may be more likely to develop this disease if the skin has already been irritated by other skin problems, such as eczema, poison ivy, and insect bites.
Signs and Symptoms:
Skin anywhere on the body can become affected but commonly occurs around the nose and mouth, hands, and forearms and diaper area in young children.
There are two types of this condition: bullous (large blisters) and non-bullous (crusted). The non-bullous or crusted form is most common. This is usually caused by staphylococcus aureus but can also be caused by infection with group A streptococcus.
Non-bullous begins as tiny blisters. These blisters eventually burst and leave small wet patches of red skin that may weep fluid. Gradually, a tan or yellowish-brown crust covers the affected area, making it look like it has been coated with honey or brown sugar.
Bullous symptoms are nearly always caused by staphylococcus aureus, which triggers larger fluid-containing blisters that appear clear, then cloudy. These blisters are more likely to stay intact longer on the skin without bursting.
Symptoms may cause itching and kids can spread the infection by scratching it and then touching other parts of the body.
This condition is contagious and can spread to anyone who comes into
contact with infected skin or other items, such as clothing, towels, and
bed linens, that have been touched by infected skin.
A strong recommendation in caring for this condition includes gently washing the areas of infected skin every day. Be sure to use a clean gauze and a natural, anti-bacterial "non soap" cleanser. Soak any areas of crusted skin in warm soapy water to help remove the layers of crust (it is not necessary to completely remove all of it).
Then apply a rich and natural anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-microbial cream that will help repair and restore the skin. It should also provide anti-itch properties and add a layer of protection again environmental influences.
To keep your child from spreading the rash or blisters to other parts of the body, you may want to cover the infected areas of skin with gauze and tape or a loose bandaid. I also recommend that you keep your child's fingernails short and clean.
Good hygiene practices, such as regular hand washing, can help prevent this condition. Have kids use soap and water to clean their skin and be sure they take baths or showers regularly. Pay special attention to areas of the skin that have been injured, such as cuts, scrapes, bug bites, areas of eczema, and rashes such as poison ivy. Keep these areas clean and covered.
Anyone in your family who become affected should keep fingernails cut short and any sores covered with gauze and tape. Prevent infection from spreading among family members by using anti-bacterial soap and making sure that each family member uses a separate towel. If necessary, substitute paper towels for cloth ones until the impetigo is gone.
Separate the infected person's bed linens, towels, and clothing
from those of other family members, and wash these items in hot water.
(Important Note: Because impetigo can sometimes lead to complications, your child's doctor may choose to treat impetigo with an antibiotic ointment or oral antibiotics.)
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