It’s (finally) summer, which means your kids are outside and their skin is getting a workout! For little ones, it seems like summer doesn’t officially begin until their knees get scraped on the sidewalk. Older kids get covered in scratches from running through bushes in the neighborhood, and teens enjoying the outdoors in the evenings can be mosquito meals in a matter of minutes.
All these cuts, punctures and abrasions are the perfect opening for impetigo. Caused by staphylococcus or streptococcus bacterias, impetigo can be a mere nuisance or a miserable mess. Alzein Pediatric Associates is here to give you the information you need to quickly respond to an infection of impetigo.
What does impetigo look like?
Crusted impetigo is most common, forming small blisters that burst and weep, then are crusted over, resembling brown sugar.
Bullous impetigo is larger, clear blisters that turn cloudy and may not burst.
Where does impetigo usually appear?
You’ll usually find impetigo around the mouth and the nose, then on the hands and forearms. In infants and toddlers, it may appear in the diaper area. However, impetigo can be found anywhere on the body, so if you see those weeping blisters on your child’s legs, don’t rule impetigo out.
Do I need to call Alzein Pediatric Associates?
If you suspect impetigo, call Alzein Pediatric Associates immediately. We will usually prescribe a topical antibiotic ointment that you can apply, then covering the infected area with gauze and tape. Keep the infected area clean, washing with warm water and soap twice daily.
If the impetigo is severe or your child is not responding to the topical treatment, we may prescribe a course of oral antibiotics. Impetigo must be treated completely to avoid a more serious infection.
Is impetigo contagious?
YES! Prevent it from spreading to friends and family by keeping the infected area covered. Separate your child’s clothing, sheets, towels and other linens from the rest of the family’s and wash in hot water. Wipe kitchen, bathrooms, tables and other surfaces often with soapy hot water or an alcohol-based cleanser, such as Purell.
My kid is covered in scratches! Can I prevent impetigo?
Good hygiene is critical to the prevention of this infection. Make sure your child bathes or showers daily and washes with warm water and soap often throughout the busy day. Keep those skin injuries especially clean and covered.
If you have any questions about impetigo or other skin infections, call Alzein Pediatric Associates at 708-424-7600. We can make an appointment in the evening or on the weekends to fit your schedule!