Impetigo Skin Infection - Home Doctor

Impetigo (skin infection): what every parent should know

As after hours home doctors in Perth, we come across a large variety of illnesses and one of the (something like more serious ones we encounter) is Impetigo. Impetigo is a contagious bacterial infection of the skin. It’s caused by either staphylococcus bacteria, or, less rarely, streptococcus bacteria; and while impetigo isn’t a dangerous disease it is highly infectious.

Adults and adolescents with eczema are especially likely to develop impetigo, and as impetigo is so easily spread through contact, it’s commonly seen in children’s nurseries and playgroups.

THE SKIN HAS MANY TYPES OF BACTERIA

But when in tactintact it’s an effective barrier against bacteria. However, where there’s a break in the skin, bacteria can enter the body and grow causing infection. Breaks in the skin can occur through insect or animal bites, or injury. Impetigo can occur on the skin where there is no visible break though, and in adults, impetigo can develop after a respiratory infection such as a cold or other viral infection.
Impetigo first appears on the skin as an itchy, red sore that blisters, oozes, and finally becomes covered with a crust. In children, a small yellow spot quickly develops into a blister, the top of which then becomes crusty and weeps while new blisters develop in the same place or on other parts of the body. Impetigo usually starts on the face, especially at the corners of the mouth, on the nose, and at the back of the ears.
Children are far more susceptible to contracting impetigo. They have more colds, more small cuts and scrapes, and tend to stick their fingers in their mouths a lot more than adults do! And children with eczema are even more prone to impetigo. Chicken pox is one time when children are likely to contract impetigo as the blisters allow an entry into the skin for the bacteria, and the associated scratching moves the bacteria inside.
Skin Allergy
Skin Infections

Anyone suspecting impetigo in their child should see their after hours GP immediately, preferably before any risk of infection in others can occur. Many of our home doctors in perth treat impetigo with bacterial ointment such as fusidic acid or mupirocin, but will prescribe oral antibiotics in more severe cases. In treating the disease, it’s important to dissolve the scabs with ointment as the bacteria that cause the disease live underneath them.

A preschool child should not return to nursery or playgroup until all the scabs have fallen off and the child is no longer contagious. School children can usually return to school one week after the start of treatment, even with scabs, providing they don’t scratch or touch them. It’s important that they wash their hands regularly and use only their own comb, brush, face cloth or towel. You might have to explain the nature of the disease to your child’s teacher so he or she understands that the presence of scabs doesn’t necessarily mean that your child is infectious.
A preschool child should not return to nursery or playgroup until all the scabs have fallen off and the child is no longer contagious. School children can usually return to school one week after the start of treatment, even with scabs, providing they don’t scratch or touch them. It’s important that they wash their hands regularly and use only their own comb, brush, face cloth or towel. You might have to explain the nature of the disease to your child’s teacher so he or she understands that the presence of scabs doesn’t necessarily mean that your child is infectious.

A preschool child should not return to nursery or playgroup until all the scabs have fallen off and the child is no longer contagious. School children can usually return to school one week after the start of treatment, even with scabs, providing they don’t scratch or touch them. It’s important that they wash their hands regularly and use only their own comb, brush, face cloth or towel. You might have to explain the nature of the disease to your child’s teacher so he or she understands that the presence of scabs doesn’t necessarily mean that your child is infectious.

If you think your child has contracted impetigo then please contact one of our Perth After Hours Home Doctors immediately so we can administer effective treatment. Our After Hours Home doctor service is available every night and public holiday so we can take care of your children in the most important times.

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