Impetigo is a common reason that children require the attention of a medical doctor, or a dermatologist in Fort Worth, TX. Impetigo is an infection spread either through contact with an infected person or by the bacteria they leave behind on surfaces. Common surfaces involved in the transfer of impetigo among children, include doorknobs, light switches, and toys. It is so contagious, it can even spread from the primary site to other locations on the body simply by touching the lesion. Most cases of impetigo will resolve quickly with proper treatment. However, if it is untreated, complications can occur and healing may take as long as a month. Contact Compassion Dermatology today to schedule a consultation with a dermatologist in Fort Worth, TX.
What it Is
Impetigo is a common bacterial skin infection caused by staphylococcus aureus or streptococcus pyogenes. It is highly contagious and will spread quickly, especially among children. It often occurs in breaks on the skin, such as cuts, bug bites or rashes. When impetigo begins through a break in the skin it is considered secondary impetigo. Primary impetigo can occur on unbroken skin. It can occur on any persons regardless of socioeconomic status.
The Risk Factors
Impetigo occurs often in daycares and schools due to children being in close quarters. Great care must be practiced to prevent its spread. It occurs more frequently in hot climates with moist conditions. As a result, it is seen more often during the summer months. The use of antibacterial soap is often recommended, but infection may still occur.
The primary symptom of impetigo is the itchy, red rash. It often begins near the mouth as small sores, progressing to pus filled blisters that may ooze, burst and crust over. Some patients complain of severe pain, while others report only itching. Untreated it can spread to other areas of the body, swelling of the lymph nodes may occur, along with fever. It is also possible impetigo may infect deeper in the skin. When this occurs, erosion occurs, and it is called ecthyma, which can lead to scarring. Additional complications of untreated impetigo can also include cellulitis, meningitis, or post streptococcal glomerulonephritis. In addition to potential secondary infections, untreated impetigo further exposes others to the disease. It is best to seek treatment early with a dermatologist in Fort Worth, TX.
If you suspect you or a child has impetigo, contact your dermatologist in Fort Worth, TX. Your doctor will typically diagnose impetigo by inspection of the rash.
However, if your dermatologist in Fort Worth, TX suspects an infection more severe than impetigo, a sample may be taken for a culture test to determine the type, and the most effective treatment.
Treatment may vary depending on the severity of the infection. Your dermatologist in Fort Worth, TX will determine the treatment that is right for you. In most instances, a topical antibiotic is prescribed. Use it as directed, and do not skip applications. If the infection is widespread, oral antibiotics may also be prescribed. With any antibiotic treatment of all disease, it is important to take all of the medicine as directed until they have been used up. Never stop taking an antibiotic, because you think you are better. Infections can reoccur, and can possibly lead to a bacterial infection that is harder to treat.
Care of Affected skin
Standard care may be individualized to your specific condition. However, typical treatment includes washing the affected skin twice a day with soap and water. Remove the crusts and dry the site completely. Be careful not to touch the items used on the affected areas of the body elsewhere to prevent additional spread. Once the area is clean and dry, apply the topical antibiotic. Cover the wound with a gauze bandage to prevent contamination with bacteria to clothing and bedding. Once treatment is complete, be sure to wash your own hands thoroughly and reduce your contact with other people. Use a new washcloth and towel each time, and use a new hand towel each time you wash your hands after treatment.
Impetigo is extremely contagious, and requires careful practice to prevent its spread. In day cares and schools surfaces should be disinfected daily while children are present, including light switches, toys, door knobs, faucet handles and toilet flush levers. In addition, others should avoid skin to skin contact with infected persons. Scratching the sores can result in the spread of the infection to other locations on the body, and should be avoided. Your dermatologist in Fort Worth, TX can provide a medication for reducing the itching.
Frequent hand washing with soap and warm water is recommended. Frequent showers and baths can also reduce the amount of bacteria. While the infection is present, wash clothing and linen of the affected person often, and separately from those of other family members. This will reduce the number of bacteria on the skin and helps to prevent the spread. The best practice of prevention is to clean new scratches and wounds with soap and water, and apply an antibiotic ointment and a bandage.
Compassion Dermatology offers a number of services for your medical and cosmetic needs. With summer approaching and yard chores, with children playing outdoors careful attention is required for injuries, even when minor. We are available for your concerns when you need a dermatologist in Fort Worth, TX. In addition, do not forget to protect your skin with sunscreen this summer!