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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What is impetigo?
Impetigo, commonly known as school sores, is a bacterial skin infection. It is characterized by itchy, red sores and/or blisters that may pop to produce a yellow-to-brown crust. It can develop anywhere on the body, but is most common around the mouth and nose.
Does impetigo leave scars?
Although impetigo may be itchy and unsightly, it generally does not cause long-term scarring. However, scarring may occur if the skin is scratched too much, which leads to deeper skin damage.
How is impetigo spread?
Impetigo is easily spread through direct contact with an infected person. Sores and fluid from the nose and throat contain large numbers of Streptococcus pyogenes and/or Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. These spread to other areas of the body or another person by …
How is impetigo diagnosed?
Your doctor will most likely diagnose impetigo by looking closely at your skin and asking you about your symptoms. If symptoms do not respond to treatment or keep coming back, your doctor may take a swab of the blisters or sores to see which bacteria are present. …
What causes impetigo?
Impetigo is caused by infection of the outer layer of the skin with Streptococcus pygoenes or Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. Both types of bacteria can live on the skin and in the nose without causing any harm. Impetigo generally occurs when the bacteria get past the …
Does MRSA cause impetigo?
In recent times, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), has become a more common cause of impetigo. The term 'methicillin-resistant' means that these bacteria are no longer destroyed by penicillin-based antibiotics, which are a common therapy for …
Should impetigo scabs and crusts be removed?
Yes, impetigo scabs and skin crusts can be gently removed after soaking them in warm water for about 20 to 30 minutes. Removal helps the skin to better absorb antibacterial medications.
About this article
Author: Lauren Donley BSc (Hons)
First answered: 18 Sep 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.9 out of 5
Votes: 1013 (Click smiley face below to rate)