Infantigo


Infantigo is a medical condition characterized by the presence of red colored sores on the skin secondary to bacteria. In the medical field, the condition is called impetigo but many calls it infantigo. Thus, the two words are used interchangeably. However, one must remember that the correct term is impetigo. It is common in children (70% of all cases), especially preschool children. A small number of adults can be affected too, especially those who play contact sports. The common term for impetigo is school sores because it mostly affects school-age children. (1, 2, 3)

A non-bullous type of infantigo; lesions-sores around the child’s mouth and nose image photo picture

Image 1: A non-bullous type of infantigo; lesions/sores around the child’s mouth and nose.
Picture Source: images.medicinenet.com

A bullous infantigo in the patient’s arm image photo picture

Picture 2: A bullous infantigo in the patient’s arm.
Photo Source: wikihomenutrition.com

The most severe form of infantigo image photo picture

Photo 3: The most severe form of infantigo.
Image Source: www.tabletsmanual.com

Impetigo is classified into different types:

  1. Non-bullous – it is the common type characterized by red sores on the face particularly the nose and mouth. The sores are painful and cause irritation and discomfort. The sores will eventually break, spill fluid, and form scabs. Touching the sore can spread it to other parts of the body.
  2. Bullous – It is common in kids 2 years old and above. Unlike the non-bullous type, it affects the arms, legs, and trunk. The distinct characteristic is the presence of little fluid-filled rankles, which breaks and leave yellow scabs.
  3. Ecthyma – this is the severe type because the sores turn into ulcers and infiltrate the dermis layer of the skin. Scabs are formed and leave scars. (2, 4, 5)

What are the signs and symptoms of infantigo?

  • Red bruises that burst rapidly
  • Bruises/sores around the nose, mouth, arms, legs, and trunk
  • Big rankles are visible on the trunk, especially in the diaper zone on babies (1, 4, 6)

What causes impetigo?

S. aureus bacteria are the common cause of impetigo image photo picture

Image 4: S. aureus bacteria are the common cause of impetigo.
Picture Source: upload.wikimedia.org

A closer look at S. pyogenes image photo picture

Picture 5: A closer look at S. pyogenes.
Photo Source: www.sciencesource.com

The primary cause of impetigo is Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes; both are Gram-positive bacteria. (2, 3)

Who is prone to impetigo?

  • People with poor hygiene
  • Anemia
  • People who live in a warm/humid climate
  • People who are into contact sports
  • People with a weak immune system/immune compromised (5, 7, 8)

Is impetigo contagious?

Impetigo is a highly contagious disease. It can be transmitted in two ways: direct contact to sores/blisters and nasal discharges. Scratching is one of the easiest ways to spread the infection. An indirect contact can also transmit the infection such as touching the things that come in contact with the infected person’s sores/lesions like the linens, towels, clothes, toys, and the likes. (2, 6, 8, 9)

Why is it more common in children than adults?

Impetigo commonly affects children because their immune system is not yet fully developed. (1, 3)

What are the possible complications?

Impetigo complications are rare but are possible. Some of them include:

  • Cellulitis which is a result of an infantigo infection spreading into the deeper layer of the skin.
  • Guttate psoriasis characterized by red and scaly patches on the skin.
  • Scarlet fever characterized by fine pink rashes all over the body along with pain, nausea, and vomiting.
  • Sepsis; a bacterial infection of the blood. Classic manifestations include fever, rapid breathing, dizziness, confusion, and vomiting.
  • Post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis; the small blood vessels in the kidneys are infected. It is a rare complication of impetigo characterized by hypertension and dark color urine. (3, 8, 9, 10)

Treatment of impetigo

How to get rid of impetigo? Can it be treated at home? Will it require hospitalization? There are numerous ways to treat and prevent infantigo. The common treatment modalities include the following:

It is the topical antibiotic of choice for infantigo photo image picture

Photo 6: It is the topical antibiotic of choice for infantigo.
Image Source: www.dx-health.com

1. Antibiotics – Antibacterial/antimicrobial drugs play an important role in fighting off bacteria causing impetigo. It can be given in the form of oral and/or topical antibiotics. It depends on the doctor’s assessment of your condition.

  1. Topical antibiotics – A topical antibiotic is applied to the clean skin. The skin should be thoroughly washed with lukewarm water and mild soap. The topical antibiotic of choice is mupirocin (Bactroban). Aside from making sure that the skin is clean, the one applying the drug should wear gloves to prevent the spread of infection. It would take a few days to see a significant improvement. It is important to apply the antibiotic religiously to hasten the healing process.
  2. Oral antibiotics – An oral form of antibiotic is prescribed if the infection is intense and cannot be eradicated by topical antibiotics alone. The patient should take the oral antibiotics for the entire week. The antibiotic of choices varies depending on the patient’s health profile, age, and severity of the infection. (2, 5, 7, 9)

Natural remedies/Home remedies

Some of the best home remedies for impetigo image photo picture

Image 7: Some of the best home remedies for impetigo.
Picture source: www.naturogain.com

Impetigo can be treated using the ingredients/products readily available in your home. These include

  • Tea tree oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Olive oil
  • Manuka honey (1, 4)

Impetigo Prevention

  • Maintain cleanliness; both in personal hygiene and the environment.
  • If there are cuts and scratches, they should be thoroughly washed in a clean running water and mild soap.
  • The personal belongings of people with impetigo should be segregated from others to avoid contamination.
  • People with sores/skin lesions should refrain from touching it.
  • Wear gloves and other forms of protective barriers when applying topical treatments to open cuts and sores.
  • Observe the habit of hand washing as it is the universal way to prevent the spread of infection. (3, 6, 9, 10)

Hand washing is one of the effective ways to prevent the spread of infection image picture photo

Picture 8: Hand washing is one of the effective ways to prevent the spread of infection.
Photo Source: encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com

Quick Facts about impetigo

  • It is a bacterial infection commonly caused by Gram-positive organisms like Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes.
  • It is highly contagious and can be transmitted through direct contact, nasal discharge, and contact with the infected person’s personal belongings.
  • It is more common in children than adults.
  • The prevalence is higher in school-age children as well as adults who are into contact sports.
  • The symptoms usually go away without treatment but severe cases require antibiotics treatments’ both oral and topical antibiotics.
  • Infantigo is medically recognized as impetigo although the two can be used interchangeably.
  • A seven-day course of antibiotic should be completed to get rid of the infection and prevent it from coming back.

References:

  1. http://diseasedefinition.info/infantigo-definition-symptoms-causes-treatments-pictures/
  2. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/162945.php
  3. https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/understanding-impetigo-basics
  4. https://www.healthline.com/health/impetigo
  5. https://www.healthrewire.com/infantigo/
  6. http://www.actforlibraries.org/infantigo/
  7. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/impetigo/
  8. https://www.medicinenet.com/impetigo/article.htm
  9. https://www.livestrong.com/article/30979-causes-infantigo/
  10. https://www.doctorshealthpress.com/skin-care-articles/infantigo-symptoms-causes-treatment/

Published by Dr. Raj MD under Uncategorized.
Article was last reviewed on March 14th, 2022.

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