Impetigo is an infection of the skin's outer layer. It's usually caused by the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus (often known as staph) or Streptococcus pyogenes (called group A strep). Impetigo is more common in children, although it can affect adults as well. It is more prevalent during the summertime.

Normally, millions of bacteria cover our skin. Many of them are safe, and some may even be good. However, hazardous bacteria may grow on the skin at times. If they penetrate the outer layer of your skin (epidermis), they may begin to multiply. This can result in impetigo.

Types of Impetigo

There are three types of Impetigo:

  • Nonbullous impetigo
  • Bullous impetigo
  • Ecthyma
  • Dedicated Health Services

Symptoms of Impetigo

The initial symptoms of impetigo are red sores on the skin, which are commonly formed around the nose and lips. These lesions quickly turn into blisters, leak, rupture, and form a yellowish crust. Blister clusters may expand to cover a larger area of skin. Sometimes the red spots just create a yellowish crust with no obvious blisters.

Other symptoms include:

  • A pus-filled blister or cluster of blisters that burst swiftly, leaving red, painful skin.
  • Itchy blisters with a crust that oozes yellow or brown fluid.
  • A rash that is very infectious.
  • Skin lesions can appear on the lips, nose, ears, arms, and legs (wounds).
  • Lesions on the skin have the potential to spread to other parts of the body.
  • The lymph nodes in the affected area are swollen.

If you have staph impetigo, you may experience the following symptoms:

  • Reddish skin surrounds red blisters that contain fluids or pus and eventually turn cloudy..
  • Blisters that can explode and leak.
  • Patches with dry, glossy skin with a scabby yellow/brown crust.
Symptoms of Impetigo

When to see a doctor?

Consult a doctor if:

  • You have sores or a rash that is getting worse or more uncomfortable. An impetigo infection needs immediate medical treatment.
  • Small, pus-filled sores with a dark brown crust develop. This is an indication of ecthyma, a deep skin infection that penetrates the skin. If neglected, it can lead to scarring and permanent changes in skin pigmentation.
  • Impetigo sores can be confused with herpes, a viral condition. Impetigo spreads quickly and never forms inside the mouth. If in doubt, consult a doctor for a proper diagnosis.

At Medicover, our team of Dermatologists can help deal with Impetigo with utmost excellence.

Causes of Impetigo

A bacterial infection is the most common cause of this condition. A cut, scrape, rash, or insect bite is the most common way for bacteria to enter the skin. The bacteria Staphylococcus aureus ("staph") is usually the causative organism. These bacteria are also capable of causing strep throat and fever.

Adults and children are more likely to have impetigo if they:

  • Live in a hot, humid climate.
  • Have diabetes or have a weak immune system as a result of HIV or AIDS
  • Have skin problems like eczema, dermatitis, or psoriasis
  • Have a sunburn or other types of burns
  • Have itchy conditions like lice, scabies, herpes simplex, or chickenpox

Impetigo Risk factors

Several factors can lead to impetigo, including:

  • Impetigo spreads quickly among families, in crowded places such as schools and childcare facilities, and via skin-to-skin contact sports.
  • Impetigo infections are more common in hot and humid weather.
  • Impetigo bacteria typically enter the skin by a small incision, insect bite, or rash.
  • Impetigo is more common in children who have comorbid skin problems, such as atopic dermatitis (eczema). It is also more common among the elderly, diabetics, and people with weakened immune systems.


Impetigo is usually not harmful. In mild cases of the sickness, the sores heal without leaving scars. In rare situations, impetigo might result in the following complications:


Cellulitis is a potentially fatal infection that affects the tissues beneath the skin and can spread to the lymph nodes and bloodstream.

Problems with the kidneys

One of the bacteria that causes impetigo has the potential to cause kidney damage.


If ecthyma sores are not treated appropriately, they might leave scars.

Diagnosis of impetigo

The doctor may look for sores on the face or body to identify impetigo. In most cases, lab testing is unnecessary.

If the sores do not heal after antibiotic therapy, the doctor may take a sample of the liquid generated by the sore and analyse it to see which antibiotics would be most effective on it. Certain drugs are no longer effective against some types of bacteria that cause impetigo.

Treatment of impetigo

Impetigo can be treated with antibiotics. The antibiotic you take is dependent on how extensive or serious the sores are. Topical antibiotics are the ideal treatment if you have impetigo in a small area of the skin. If the impetigo is severe, the doctor may prescribe medicines such as azithromycin.

Impetigo Dos and Don’ts

Impetigo is a skin infection caused by bacteria. Impetigo is frequently present on the face, particularly around the nose and lips. However, it can appear anywhere where the skin has been injured. Following these do's and don'ts can help you manage your Impetigo.

Do’s Don’ts
Use the antibiotics and the ointments prescribed by the doctor. Self medicate
Wash your hands frequently after touching the blisters Discontinue the medication in between
Use soap to keep your skin clean Touch the sores and rashes or scratch the skin
Keep your nails short and clean Be in the contact with a person having impetigo
Wear clean and comfortable clothes Share your personal items with others

To fight this condition, strictly follow your doctor’s suggestion.

Impetigo Care at Medicover Hospitals

We have the most experienced team of doctors and healthcare specialists at Medicover Hospitals who provide the best medical treatment to the patients while showing compassion and care. Our diagnostic department is equipped with cutting-edge technology and equipment to diagnose this condition and design the best treatment plan. Our exceptional team of dermatologists and other skin specialists use a comprehensive and multi-disciplinary approach to get the desirable results.


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