Impetigo is both a skin condition and a bacterial infection.  Impetigo is classified as highly contagious and can be transferred from an infected person to a healthy person if a healthy person is to simply touch items belonging to the other.  Generally, impetigo affects children between the ages of three to six, but has been known to travel to people of all ages.  One can recognize impetigo if they spot red blisters around the mouth or nose of a person or themselves and these blisters will later break out and form a sort of crusty, yellow layer on and around the affected area.  In certain cases of bullous impetigo, the blisters may be quite larger in size and will take an extended period of time to break open.  Note that impetigo can be classified into one of three types, which are:  Bullous impetigo, non-bullous impetigo and ecthyma.

Impetigo infections can occur when a type of staph bacteria like Staphylococcus Aureus penetrates a human’s system through some sort of breakage in the skin.  This breakage of skin which is used by the bacteria to penetrate into the host can be caused by any number of occurrences such as insect bites, wounds and any other occurrence that results in even the slightest breakage of the skin.  When the bacteria locate breakage in host skin, they will attempt to damage the protein binding between the host’s skin cells and will work to spread to the rest of the body.  As fore mentioned, a person can easily come into contact with the bacteria left from an infected personal through the most simple personal items and even not so personal items, so be wary, especially of anyone you know to be infected.  Extreme cases of impetigo have led to severe complications such as PSGN and to other staph infections like MRSA.

Depending on the severity and the type of impetigo, there are various treatments.  Both oral antibiotics and bacterial ointments will be used depending on the condition and severity of the infection.  If the impetigo infection is on the mild side, a doctor will likely recommend certain bactericidal ointments which will be applied to the affected area or areas.  On the other hand, if the infection is severe or deadly, oral antibiotics will likely be applied to the case instead.  Prevention is one of the best tools to use against a bacterial infection of this caliber.

Two famous celebrity Impetigo sufferers are Amy Winehouse and Pete Doherty. Click their name to see a photo!

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