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What Causes Impetigo

Impetigo, sometimes known as school sores, is a infection common amongst young children. It is usually a minor illness that causes painless blisters filled with fluid that occur on the arms, legs, face and trunk. These blisters may be red and itchy and eventually break and turn into a scab. In some cases the infection spreads into the second layer of skin. This is known as ecthyma and it is a far more serious problem. Symptoms of ecthyma include painful blisters that turn into ulcers and eventually cause scarring and swollen glands. Let’s take a look at what causes this infection.

What causes impetigo?
There are two bacteria that cause impetigo and the most common is known as Staphylococcus aureus. This bacteria is also known as golden staph and causes a wide variety of illnesses. About 20% of all people are carriers of this bacteria in their nasal passages. A smaller number of cases are caused by Streptococcus pyogenes. The infection spreads by direct contact with the sores or from people that carry the bacteria. It takes about 1-3 days to start showing symptoms after being infected. The best prevention against impetigo is to practice good hygiene and avoid contact with people who show signs of being infected.

What is the treatment for impetigo?
The most common treatment for this infection is oral antibiotics or antibiotic cream. It is important to seek medical advice if you suspect you have impetigo.

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