A very common skin infection suffered by young children is this condition known as impetigo. Adults too may develop this condition, but this seldom occurs. Older people who live in a compact shelter with more number of persons are likely to contract this infection from the younger infected lot.
Impetigo is of two varieties – bullous and non-bullous.
– Small, inflamed, pimple-like skin elevations that burst open and ooze out a liquid material that dries up and form into honey-colored crusts
– Usually the face, like chin, corners of mouth and nose areas are affected
– Itchiness will be felt
– Swollen lymph nodes will be noted
– Blisters that do not break open quickly
– The blisters can occur on the trunk, extremities, and anywhere on the face as well
– No sense of ill-feeling is felt, though
The impetigo usually starts off as a mild infection, but since often times this is mistaken for a normal rash, it reaches a moderately severe stage before a proper diagnosis is obtained. When the infection reaches a severe stage, treatment process becomes lengthy for there are larger skin areas affected by the bacteria by then. Moreover, due to its severity, individuals will experience malaise, fever, and diarrhea as well.
Treating Adult Impetigo
Any skin infections caused by staphylococcus bacteria generally starts of as tiny red bumps, pimple like which are usually filled with pus. A skin biopsy will need to be carried out to confirm the kind of infection, and if impetigo is confirmed, then the usual route of treatment will be the usage of either oral or topical antibiotics.
Since staphylococcus aureus is a bacterial strain that is resistant to methicillin, the use of antibiotics belonging to the penicillin family should be avoided. However, there are non-penicillin antibiotic preparations that could be put to use, to get the condition under good control, along with proper skin care routines.
Topical antibiotics used are usually Bactroban with mupirocin being its active ingredient, or fusidic acid. With fusidic acid, when used in a repeated manner, it can fail to completely cure the infection, because of the bacteria developing resistance to it. For that matter, any antibiotic creams should be used as directed. By applying the cream over the infected skin areas time and again will not clear the impetigo at a much faster rate.
When the infection has spread to larger skin areas, generally antibiotic applicants are not recommended, for they should not be applied over an extended area of skin. For such impetigo cases then, antibiotic pills are prescribed, usually cephalosporin, erythromycin, clindamycin, or amoxicillin, cloxacillin, dicloxacillin, to be taken orally. These will assist the immune system to ward off the harmful bacteria causing the infection.
When antibiotic applicants are used, the skin area should be thoroughly washed, and scabs removed when possible before applying them over the wounds. Apply the cream liberally over the skin and cover it with sterile gauze, if this is possible.
The thick scabs can be removed by soaking the skin area in a vinegar solution. To 16 fluid ounces of water, add a tablespoon of vinegar and mix well. Dip a cotton ball in it and hold it against the scabs for some time. This will help in getting rid of them.
Wash hands before and after applying topical creams. Also, hands must be washed when the sores are touched.
Wash daily-wear clothes, bed linen, towels and other personal care items in warm water when possible.
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