The Symptoms, Causes, Treatment and Prevention of Impetigo

Impetigo is a common, very contagious skin disease. The infection is caused by bacteria, most often Staphylococcus aureus or streptococcus pyogenes. The two main types of impetigo are bullous and nonbullous, with the former being less common. The S. aureus bacteria is the cause of bullous impetigo and is mostly seen in newborn babies. S. pyogenes or a mix of bacteria causes nonbullous impetigo.

Information. Impetigo is a very common affliction of babies and young children. About 162 million children around the world are afflicted with this disorder at any one time. An ancient disease, the name comes from the Latin word for “to attack.”  Impetigo is present all year long in much of the world, but since the bacteria grow best in conditions of heat and high humidity, it is most often seen during the warm months. It is so widespread that it is hard to prevent in children who attend day care or preschool. The good news is that impetigo often clears up on on its own or after a course of antibiotics. Complications are rare, and children can go back to daycare or school when the risk of passing the disease on is over. They’re no longer contagious when the blisters stop oozing and crusting over. This takes about two to four weeks.