What is infantigo?
Infantigo is a contagious bacterial infection occurs on the superficial skin surface. Mostly sited around the mouth and nose, but other part of the body can also be affected. This infection is caused by streptococcus bacteria and it is transmitted by close contact with an affected person or by using a towel, cloth or other usable things of the affected person.
It also advisable does not scratch the wound which will be dangerous, as this helps to spread the infection to other parts of the body. Two types of streptococcus species are responsible for infantigo they are Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes.
Image 1: Development of Infantigo
In cold regions of the world Staphylococcus aureus are mostly responsible for spreading infantigo but in warm weather both the species can spread the infection. All aged people can affected with this infection but children are more susceptible. Any open skin injury can progressively convert to infantigo due to poor hygiene. Any type open wound skin injury, wash the affected area and applies some topical antiseptic cream to prevent the entry of the bacteria to interior of the skin. Infantigo and imfantigo is same, only spelling variation is there.
What does infantigo look like?
Initially infantigo looks like red-itchy rash, and then gradually filled with fluid and form blister and then it extended at the site and looks like a dense pimple. Pus like yellow-brown secretion secreted from there and gradually coats the wound, this is classified as non bullous infantigo and another one is termed as bullous infantigo which is also filled with fluid but not rapidly burst.
Image 2: Infantigo on legs
Symptoms of Infantigo
Non bullous infantigo occurs at facial region and bullous infantigo mainly develops at upper and lower extremities. The following symptoms are mainly associated with infantigo
- Itchy red bumps
- Blisters filled with fluids
- Blister is rapidly burst and secretes the fluids is common with non bullous infantigo.
- After bursting of blister, fluid is secreted out. Yellow brown fluid secretion is quickly dried and coats the wound. Gradually red colour disappears and turned to yellow-brown pimples.
- Fever with glands inflammation mainly occurs in bullous infantigo.
- Wounds size is variable. In case of non bullous infantigo the sores are similar and extend as dense pimples. In bullous infantigo, size of the sores is bigger than the pimples but less dense
Image 3: Infantigo turns to yellow-brown pimples
Causes of Infantigo
The following are the causes to develop infantigo
Any cut, animal or insect bites, allows the streptococcal bacteria to enter in the dermis layer of the skin and multiply there. Inflammation occurs at the site of infection due vasodilatation. Poor hygiene, delay wound healing in case of diabetic patient or immune system disorder trigger the progression of infantigo.
Allergy, rashes, eczema are the common skin diseases and these are triggered in warm weather. Untreated chronic skin diseases cause infentigo.
Direct Skin Contact
Infentigo is a contagious disease, direct contact with an infected person transmit the infection. Living in overcrowded areas, activities need direct skin contacts, school going children, scratching the infection cause spreading of infection.
The initial symptoms arise after 4-10 days of the entrance of the bacteria. This period is known as the incubation period. After invading into the skin, the Staphylococcus generates infantigo toxin and bound to surrounded skin proteins and affect the skin cells. The degenerative condition is progressing inside the skin and symptoms occur.
Treatment of Infantigo
For treatment of infantigo, it is important to start with proper diagnosis. Sometimes misunderstanding is created with other skin disease like ring worm or other fungal infection.
After diagnosis, dermatologist initiates the treatment with cleaning the sores with swab. They recommended that maintenance of proper hygiene of the sore at home also. The general practice of dressing the sores are regular wash with mild soap water and the wipe the sore with cotton swab. This helps to restrict the growth of the bacteria and restrict spreading of infection.
In case of non bullous type of infection, usually the pimples are burst rapidly and the secretion is dry fast. Usually simple washing is not useful to remove the coating. It is advisable to soak the wound for easy removal of coating as coating delay the wound healing. Coatings are not allowing the prescribed medicine to reach at the affected site to kill the bacteria.
If the infection is extended in large areas of the body, then antibiotic treatment is essential for control the infection. Depending upon the severity, topical or oral antibiotic is prescribed. In severe cases, both formulations are required to administer. The effective treatment should accelerate healing of sores and normalize the skin texture without any skin mark development.
Usually the antibiotic therapy lasts for seven days. Completion of antibiotic course is important; otherwise it will create secondary infection. Early diagnosis and treatment control the further complication like cellulites, septicaemia, and psoriasis.
Some natural treatments are also effective in case of infentigo.
- Application of the garlic paste at the affected site control the infection, as garlic has natural antibiotic property.
- Aloe vera jell application maintain the moisture content of the affected area and prevents the dryness of the sore which helps to remove coat easily.
- Addition of fruits and vegetables in the diet improve the immune system as they contain anti-oxidant property and fight against the infection.
Infentigo is a contagious disease, so isolation of the patient is important to prevent the transmission of the infection to others. Another approach to prevent infantigo is the maintenance of proper hygiene and encouragement of hand washing habit.
Images of Infantigo
Image 7 – Bullous Vs non bullous Variety