Impetigo is a highly contagious infection of the skin, often caused by staphylococcus aureus, a bacterium that many people carry on their skin and in their noses without causing any problems. This is a bacterium that is known for its opportunistic nature – if there is any weakness, it will take advantage and grow. For this reason, impetigo must always be treated with a suitable antibiotic cream. It usually clears up by itself even if untreated within a week or so, but because it is so contagious and is spread by touch, leaving it to resolve is not really fair to others.
The first thing that anyone must do if they have impetigo is seek medical advice, but also they must not share towels or flannels with other people. If the person is a child – which is the most likely case, as impetigo in adults is far less common – they should be prevented from sharing sleeping areas or from sitting too closely reading or watching television. There is no need to isolate the child, but they and their siblings and friends must be made to understand how contagious the scabs of impetigo can be.
Impetigo can be quite painful and is always itchy as it heals. The patient may fell quite unwell also, with flu-like symptoms if there are many scabs. The best way to treat it is with an antibiotic cream but if it is itching a lot, a warm bath (if the scabs are on the body) or warm face wash with an emollient from the Skin Salveation range will prevent the skin from cracking and getting sore, as well as soothing with the natural ingredients which include naturally occurring healing agents such as aloe vera and wheatgerm. After the bath or wash, the skin should be patted dry with a clean towel, which should then be kept totally separate from everyone else’s to prevent any spread of the impetigo.
Filed under Eczema