Infantigo, also known as impetigo is a highly contagious skin disease affecting mostly children and infants than adults. It appears as red colored sores initially, but increases in size and even changes look in some cases. In this article, we’ll discuss what is infantigo of impetigo, how to get rid of infantigo and the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and home remedies for infantigo or impetigo. So stay tuned.
What Is Infantigo?
Infantigo or impetigo is a contagious, bacterial infection occurring on the surface of the skin. It crops up mostly on or around the nose or mouth, but can affect other parts of the body as well.
What Does Infantigo or Impetigo Look Like?
Infantigo initially appears as a red rash, but fills with water gradually and form blisters. In some cases, yellowish brown puss secretes from blister and coats the wound. This condition is called non bullous infantigo. Whereas in bullous infantigo, the fluid filled inside the wound does not burst.
Causes Of Infantigo Or Impetigo:
Infantigo is caused by streptococcus bacteria and transmitted by close contact with the affected person. The two types of streptococcus bacteria responsible for infantigo are streptococcus pyogenes and Staphylococcus aureus. Staphylococcus and streptococcus bacteria exist within the layers in harmony, without causing any diseases of problems. It’s when they enter the skin; they wreak havoc. So the causes which can lead to infantigo include:
- Skin Damage:
Cut, burns, insect bites or any kind of injury can expose the skin to staphylococcus and streptococcus bacteria assault. During flu and the cold, the skin and corners of the nose tend to get damaged. This is the main reason for infantigo on or around the nose.
- Skin Diseases:
Skin diseases like eczema, allergies or psoriasis can also pave the way for streptococcus bacteria.
- Direct Skin Contact With The Affected Person:
Since infantigo or impetigo is a contagious disease, being in direct contact with the person suffering from it can also be the cause behind it. This is mostly prevalent among people living in overcrowded regions or school going children.
- Poor Hygiene:
Poor hygiene or poor cleanliness can also lead to infantigo, especially if you reside in warmer regions.
Symptoms Of Infantigo Or Impetigo:
The initial symptoms of infantigo are seen within 4 to 10 days from the invasion of the bacteria in the skin. After the invasion, the Staphylococcus bacteria generate infantigo toxins, leading to the formation of pimples or lesions with a reddened look to it. Over the next few days, these pimples or lesion are filled with pus. The non-bullous infantigo bursts and secretes the puss, forming a thick brown crust over time. And the bullous infantigo remains the same. The other symptoms of infantigo or impetigo include:
- Itchy red bumps that increase in size. Infantigo lesions can grow up to the size of a coin.
- Fever with gland inflammation
Is Impetigo Or Infantigo Contagious?
Yes, infantigo is contagious and can spread easily by coming in contact with the infected person or using his clothes or towel.
Diagnosis Of Infantigo:
For the proper treatment of infantigo, you need, to begin with the diagnosis. Early diagnosis will prevent further complications like psoriasis, cellulitis, and septicemia. First and foremost, the doctor will do a careful analysis of the lesions to determine if it’s infantigo or other skin condition, like scabies. He will then proceed with the treatment by cleaning the sores, first with mild soapy water and then with a cotton swab. In the case of non-bullous lesions, the wound is first soaked to remove the coating easily. If the infection spreads to the rest of the body, then antibiotics, depending on the severity of the blister will be prescribed. In case of intensive infantigo, antimicrobial drugs will be given.
If the infantigo/impetigo does not heal, even after taking or applying antibiotics, then your physician will make you undergo Bacterial culture and sensitivity test to understand the condition. He can even send the fluid oozing out from the blisters for tests.
Treatment For Infantigo Or Impetigo:
As mentioned above, antibiotics are the pillar upon which infantigo treatments stands. The medications can be used in the topical or oral form.
- Topical Treatment:
Topical treatment, which includes anti itch cream, is the most common treatment for infantigo. Before applying the topical antibiotic, wash the affected region with warm, soapy water first. And it would be even better if you wear latex gloves while applying the cream. Repeat the method for seven days.
- Oral Antibiotics:
Antibiotics are prescribed when the patient is not responding to topical treatment, or the infantigo is intense. If the doctor has prescribed antibiotics for you or your child suffering from infantigo, it would be wise to stay home for at least 24 hours. If possible, take two-day rest to help the body recover fully. Typically, the antibiotic therapy lasts for just seven days. And it’s crucial to complete the course, lest it will create a secondary infection.
Home Remedies For Infantigo/Impetigo:
If you want, you can soothe itching associated with infantigo with home remedies. Below listed are some of the most effective home remedies for infantigo/impetigo.
- Tea Tree Oil:
Tea tree oil is one of the best natural treatments to get rid of infantigo. It has anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antibacterial properties, and terpinen-4-ol, a powerful compound, which can treat infantigo within a matter of few days by destroying the bacteria. Even a scientific report by The Journal of Hospital Infection has reported the efficacy of tea tree oil in killing MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus).
All you need to do is mix two to three drops of tea tree oil in any carrier oil of your choice and apply on the affected area twice or thrice daily.
The antibiotic properties of garlic can control infection of infantigo, thereby preventing the disease from spreading. It contains a compound called allicin, which is proven to destroy the strains of harmful fungi and bacteria. Because of its effectiveness in treating and resisting S. aureus, garlic is now also infused in several topical creams.
Crush a small clove of garlic, and leave it to sit for 10 minutes. It will help the formation of allicin compound.
- Aloe Vera:
The healing properties of aloe vera is well documented. So it should be no brainer than it can help cure infantigo as well. An application of aloe vera on infantigo will maintain the moisture content and prevent dryness, thereby helping you remove the coating easily. It will even reduce the swelling and itchiness associated with infantigo.
The herb, goldenseal can fight the infection and relieve all the symptoms of infantigo. It has antibacterial properties, which can speed up the healing process of sores, wounds, and blisters. The extracts obtained from goldenseal are also effective against MRSA and dangerous strains of bacteria.
You just have to purchase a goldenseal infused cream and apply on the affected regions twice or thrice a day.
- Manuka Honey:
This natural, the antibacterial ingredient will soothe, itchy and dry skin and will even inhibit the growth of both Streptococcus pyogenes and Staphylococcus aureus bacteria strains.
Just apply a small quantity of Manuka honey directly on the sores and blisters thrice daily to treat the infection.
Tips To Note:
- Quit scratching if you want to prevent infantigo from spreading to the other parts of the body. If your little one has impetigo, cut short his nails to keep him from scratching.
- Keep the infected region covered with a gauze, tape or a loose plastic bandage. If by mistake, you’ve touched the infected area, wash the hands thoroughly before touching anything else. You need to instruct the same to your child too.
- When infantigo begins healing, gently wash the region with an antiseptic soap and gauze. Do not pick off the scabs if you notice any area of crusted sores. Just let it soak in warm, soapy water.
How To Prevent Infantigo?
- There’s a saying that prevention is better than cure and it holds true in case of infantigo as well. Below are some tips that can help prevent infantigo.
- Include plenty of antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies in your and your child’s diet to prevent infantigo from recurring. Anti-inflammatory foods, like garlic, should also be included in the diet.
- Practice proper hygiene to prevent the risk of developing infantigo. Wash your hands as frequently as you can, and also towels and bed linens.
- Treat cuts, grazes, scrapes and insect bites at the earliest.
We hope our article on infantigo resolved all your queries. If you have any more queries pertaining to infantigo or impetigo, leave us a comment below.