Best Treatment for Impetigo

Impetigo is a bacterial skin infection that easily spreads by skin contact, either by touching the infected person directly, or coming in contact with items used by them more frequently.  Approximately 3%-5% of kids would have developed this infection by the time they reach four years of age.  This is not perceived as a dangerous infection, but a common condition that requires prompt treatment only because of its highly contagious nature.

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The bacteria, either streptococcus or staphylococcus bacterial strains, cause this impetigo condition.  These bacterial strains actually are found residing on human skin in small numbers, and when a cut in the skin’s protective barrier occurs, these then find a way to enter the epidermis and trigger this infectious skin condition.

Any individual who develops impetigo will note small skin elevations with fluid filled in the top of their protruded skin, that break open rapidly to weep its liquid content, which will harden to form scabs.  Very soon, new rash-like appearance will be noted around the existing abnormal skin patches, and has to be diagnosed and treated early on to prevent its spread to other body areas.

Best Treatment Methods for Impetigo

The best treatment for impetigo until date is considered to be the use of topical antibiotics, though there fail to be sufficient documentation available to suggest that topical antibiotic use is more effective than oral antibiotic use.  However, it is safe to consider that topical antibiotics is equally effective as oral antibiotics, but topical use is preferred for this is more of a superficial skin condition.  Moreover, use of topical antibiotic applicants are well tolerated by most sufferers when compared to oral, since antibiotics taken orally often cause side effects like – stomach uneasiness, acidity, indigestion, bowel problems, etc.

Antibiotic topical ointment/cream usually prescribed for impetigo patients are – topical mupirocin or fusidic acid.

–       The mupirocin topical cream will have to be applied over the infected skin areas thrice in a day to prevent multiplication of the bacterial strain.

–       Fusidic acid does not kill the bacteria itself, but destroys the proteins that these bacterial strains need for their survival.  This will check the growth of bacteria, with the immune system destroying the existing bacterial colony.

Fusidic acid cannot be used for an extended period of time though, for it has been found that the bacteria develops a resistance to it with its frequent use.  The cream application can be done for only three times in a day, and by increasing the number of applications beyond this will not provide any faster recovery.

But the effectiveness of topical antibiotic creams will depend largely on the severity of the impetigo infection.  Generally, mild cases of impetigo skin infection responds well to topical therapy.  In case the condition is more severe, with the infection covering an extremely large area of skin, the topical use alone will not be sufficient to bring the condition under good control.  In such a situation, then combination therapy – topical along with oral antibiotic – will need to be followed.

Oral Antibiotics for Impetigo Cure

Oral antibiotics belonging to the penicillin family are generally preferred for treating impetigo.  However, if the bacterial strains are found to be resistant to methicillin, then antibiotics like bactrim or keflex will be prescribed.

Unless it is necessary, the use of antibiotics should not be prolonged, for the risk of developing antibiotic resistance remains generally high when used for an extended period of time.  Then, treating the condition becomes difficult; so, follow the physician’s instructions carefully.

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