Before I get into some of the facts about Infantigo which can also called Impetigo, I want to first talk about the biggest organ on our bodies, and that is our skin. Believe it or not, it wasn’t until a few years ago that I became aware that our skin was even considered to be an organ.
And out of all the organs in our bodies, our skin could be considered as being the most important. I know you’re probably thinking about our heart, brain, liver, kidneys and stomach, but think about it. It’s our skin that hold all these things together, so in my book that makes it more important.
Our Skin Is Made Up Of Three Different Layers
- The outside layer is the epidermis.
- The next layer is the dermis, and this contains all our nerve endings, blood vessels, oil glands and sweat glands. It also contains elastin and collagen.
- The third layer is the subcutaneous which is made mostly of fat and helps our bodies stay warm. It also helps hold the skin to all the tissues underneath it and absorbs trauma or shock to our bodies.
Our skin is also the first defense against any bacterial infections, and even though many bacteria already live on the surface, only healthy skin can protect us from any infections.
The most serious complication of Impetigo is a severe kidney disease that occurs following a strep infection, but this only occurs in less than 1% of the cases and mostly occurs in children. So let’s go over some of the facts about Impetigo…
It Is A Bacterial Infection Of The Surface Of The Skin
Yes, Impetigo happens to be a highly contagious bacterial skin infection which can show up anywhere on your body, but generally attacks your exposed areas. Children tend to get Impetigo on their face, especially around their mouth and nose, and sometimes even their legs or legs.
The bacteria responsible for this infection depends on which form of Impetigo you have. If you have the Non-Bullous form, the bacteria responsible would be either Staphylococcus or Streptococcus. If you should be suffering from the Bullous form of the disease, this is caused by the Staphylococcus bacteria.
The areas that are infected can range from dime to quarter size and start out as tiny blisters that break to expose moist, red skin. After a few days, the infected area gets a golden, grainy crust that gradually spreads.
This infection Is More Common In Children Than In Adults
The reason Impetigo is so common among children is because it can be easily spread to them by other children in school or pre-school. This is why it is also called “school sores.” It has been said that this disease really loves skin that has had other skin problems like poison ivy, skin rashes from allergies or eczema.
If your child has contracted Impetigo, you should keep them home from school or day care until they are no longer contagious, which is usually 24 to 48 hours after you begin treatment with the antibiotics. Without antibiotics, Impetigo will remain contagious until the sores go away.
During this time you have to be careful with their bed linen, clothes, towels and wash clothes. The key is to keep them separate from your other laundry and wash them daily. I suggest this because Impetigo can also be spread to other members of your family if they come into contact with items that have been handled by your child while they were still contagious.
Another thing is to try your best to keep the infected area as isolated as possible. If your child touches any other part of their body with hands or fingers that have touched the infected area, that area will also become infected.
This is why it’s important to start treatment of Impetigo as quickly as possible. The faster healing begins, the less you have to worry about this infection spreading.
There Is An Extreme Form Of Impetigo
The extreme form of Impetigo is called Ecthyma. If not treated quickly and properly the infection could invade down to a deeper layer of your skin. Because of this, some people call Ecthyma, “deep impetigo.” The one thing to be aware of if the infection gets this advanced is that the sores could cause permanent scarring and pigment changes.
Scarring And Permanent Skin Damage Is Very Rare
Impetigo is not serious and is easy to treat, but the key is to treat it in the early stages. It could clear on its own in two to three weeks, and of course if you decide to use antibiotics this can shorten the course of the disease and stop it from spreading to others.
It doesn’t leave scars or damage to the skin, but as I stated above, if you don’t treat it right away, and it advances to Ecthyma, then there will be scarring after it heals.