The highly contagious skin infection known as “impetigo,” which primarily affects infants and children, is caused by streptococcal or staphylococcal bacteria, or both. The infection produces symptoms of red sores, often on the face, especially around a child’s nose and mouth. The condition starts as tiny, barely perceptible blisters on the skin, usually at the site of a skin abrasion, scratch, or insect bite. The sores then burst and develop honey-colored crusts. Because impetigo spreads through contact and may spread quickly to other children, it should be treated immediately. Impetigo may clear on its own in two to three weeks, but antibiotics can shorten the course of the disease and help prevent the spread to others.

When properly treated, the lesions of impetigo heal with little to no scarring. Prompt, effective treatment also diminishes the chances of serious secondary complications that could affect the kidneys, joints, bones, and lungs. When you have any dermatological problem, you may call ELMHURST DERMATOLOGY at 630-832-2111. We strive to provide the highest quality care to our patients.

Todd T. Davis, MD
Board Certified Dermatologist

P.S. While impetigo typically is not dangerous, potential complications include kidney problems.