Impetigo Treatment in El Cajon, CA
The medical team at East County Urgent Care can help with many health concerns that arise, including impetigo. For more information, call us or book a visit online.
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Impetigo is a fairly common and highly contagious skin infection. It normally affects infants and young children. It most commonly affects the face as reddish sores around the mouth and nose. It can affect the hands and the feet, as well. It takes about a week for the sores to break open and become covered with honey-colored crusts.
Treatment can be done with antibiotics which will limit the spread of impetigo to other people. If your child becomes infected, it is recommended to keep them home from daycare or school until they are not contagious any longer. They are no longer contagious about 24 hours after starting antibiotic treatment.
Impetigo is caused by bacteria related to the staphylococci organisms. The most common cause is a bacteria called staphylococcus aureus. Another source of the bacteria can come from streptococcus. The bacteria spreads through contact, either from contact with an open sore or with things that someone infected has touched.
Anyone can be at risk of getting impetigo, but there are things that can increase a person’s risk:
– Age is the most important factor. Impetigo generally affects children between 2 and 5 years old.
– Close contact with someone who is infected is a risk. Impetigo will spread easily through a family or places where people come together and create situations of close contact, like schools, daycare centers, or during activities like sports where skin-on-skin contact occurs.
– Warm, humid weather gives impetigo more opportunities to spread.
– Broken skin makes it easier for the bacteria to enter. It can enter through an insect bite or even a rash.
– Health conditions can increase the risk of getting impetigo. Children with existing skin conditions are more vulnerable. Older people and people with diabetes or a weakened immune system are also more vulnerable.
Impetigo is not generally a serious problem. The sores that come from the infection are often mild and will heal without scarring.
While complications are rare impetigo can cause the following:
– Cellulitis can happen. This is a life-threatening infection that affects tissues under the skin and can spread to the lymph system.
– Kidney problems are possible because the bacteria that cause impetigo can also damage the kidneys.
– Scarring is a possibility.
The most important thing in preventing the spread of impetigo is to keep the skin clean. It is important to clean cuts, insect bites, scrapes, and other wounds immediately.
If you or your child has impetigo, there are some things you can do to prevent it from spreading to others:
– Wash the affected area gently with mild soap and running water. Then cover the area with gauze.
– Wash the infected person’s clothes and other things like towels every day and use hot water. Do not let anyone else in the house use them.
– Wear gloves when applying antibiotic cream and wash your hands afterward.
– If you have a young child who is infected, cut their fingernails short to prevent them from scratching and getting further infections or other damage.
– Strive for regular hand washing and good hygiene.
– If your child has impetigo, keep them home until your doctor says they are no longer contagious.
Impetigo is very contagious. It spreads very easily from one person to the next. Fortunately, it is not usually serious. It will usually get better in 7 to 10 days if you get it treated.
We are available 7 days a week on a walk-in basis or you can call and make an appointment. We serve patients from El Cajon CA, Hillsdale CA, Alpine CA, Wells Park CA, Rancho San Diego CA, Santee CA, and Jamul CA.
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