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Infantigo Definition: It is a bacterial skin infection that causes red sores that can break open, ooze fluid, and develop a yellow-brown coating. These sores can arise anywhere on the body.

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What Is Infantigo?

Impetigo or Infantigo is a bacterial skin infection that can affect people of all age groups. It is mostly found to affect young children between the age group of two to six years.  It is extremely contagious and occurs as red sores on the face, especially around the nose and mouth. The sores can burst and become brown coloured crusts.

The main culprit of this contagious skin infection is staphylococcus aureus or staphylococcus pyogenes (very rarely). It is the most common bacterial skin infection is major parts of North America, Europe and Canada and in places which are warm.  It is hardly ever deadly and vanishes in a couple of weeks if proper treatment is administered on time.

Types Of Infantigo

It can be divided into three types:

1) Non Bullous Infantigo :- This is the most common type of Infantigo and is also known as Infantigo Contagiosa. In the initial stage, it comes across as a red sore near the mouth or nose which soon ruptures and oozes liquid. The sores later form brown-honey coloured crusts which leave permanent scars on the skin. They caused lot of itching and irritation but are less painful. Scratching the affected area and touching the other parts of the body with the same hands can cause contamination and spreading of infection. 

2) Bullous Infantigo :- This type of Infantigo is more prevalent in young children. It starts as small, liquid filled boils generally on the arms, legs and trunk which are surrounded by patches of red rashes or red skin. After they rupture, they leave yellow marks or scars on the skin.

3) Echthyma :- This type of Infantigo is more painful than the other two. The fluid filled sores or boils that normally appear on the legs and arms turn into ulcers and penetrate further into the dermis. After they rupture, they turn into thick, yellow scabs and leave behind scars on the affected area. It can also affect lymph nodes in the nearby area which can lead to lymph node swelling and fever.

Signs & Symptoms Of Infantigo

There are quite a few signs and symptoms that typically appear with the onset of infection. While Infantigo can affect any part of your body, it is common to have Infantigo on the face, especially around the nose and mouth.

There are common symptoms that are seen in case of non-bullous and bullous Infantigo:

  • The peculiar “Infantigo Rash” :- Red or pink bruises or sores appear near the mouth and nose. This is the very first evident sign and symptom of Infantigo.
  • Oozing liquid from the sores :- The sores soon burst and leak liquid and pus that further goes on to form thick brown colored crusts.
  • Excessive itching and irritation :- Infantigo is often very itchy and irritating in nature. It is important to beat the urge of itching and prevent yourself from further causing damage to the affected area and spreading the infection to other parts of the body.
  • Swollen lymph nodes :- If lymph glands are situated near the affected area, in some cases they may become infected and swell.
  • Fever :- If the lymph glands are involved and are swollen, the patient can experience bouts of fever.

Infantigo Causes

It is caused by bacteria that enter your bloodstream and create havoc by multiplying once they encounter favourable conditions for their growth. The two bacteria strains that can cause Infantigo are: Streptococcus pyogenes (strep) and Staphylococcus aureus (staph). Both bullous and non-bullous can occur due to Staphylococcus aureus and in very rare cases, Streptococcus pyogenes can cause non-bullous Infantigo.  These bacteria enter our skin through cuts, wounds or open sores and bruises.

Supporting Factors

Some factors that support the growth of bacteria and spreading of the disease are:

  • Poor hygiene
  • Anaemia
  • Warm weather
  • Low immunity

Transmission :- In case of Infantigo, contamination can happen through direct contact with sores or nasal discharge. The gestation period is 1–3 days after contact with Streptococcus and 4–10 days for Staphylococcus. Scratching may further spread the disease.

How Is Infantigo Diagnosed?

It is not very difficult to diagnose Infantigo and can be diagnosed by just examining the affected area. The doctor can inquire the patient about recent sores, bruises, rashes or blisters.

The doctor may also recommend further tests if:

  • Symptoms are very acute
  • Disease has spread to different parts of the body
  • Patient is not responding to any sort of treatment
  • The infection does not seem to go and keeps coming back

To check with bacteria is causing trouble; the doctor will gently wipe a crusted area with a swab and examine it.  The doctor can also take a sample of your mucous to see if the same if the source of infection.

Is Infantigo Treatable?

Yes, it is treatable and is like any other bacterial infection that can be treated with the help of antibiotics, both oral and topical.

Infantigo Treatment

Anti-microbial medicines or antibiotics form the base of Infantigo treatment. These drugs can be used in the form of oral tablets or in topical form like creams and lotions. The very first thing that you must do before applying a cream is bathe the affected area in warm water to remove germs and covering coatings.

If your infection is severe, then your doctor may prescribe anti-microbial medicines in oral form.

Topical Antibiotics :- They are applied on the affected area of the skin. Before applying it, the coated sore must be cleaned thoroughly so that the cream can penetrate deep inside the skin and attack the bacteria. It is greatly recommended that you use latex gloves while applying this cream to avoid further spreading of the infection to other parts of the body. After application wash your hands with medicated hand wash to get rid of any bacteria that you may have encountered while applying the anti-microbial cream on your wound. 

Oral Antibiotics :- These are usually prescribed when the infection is severe and refusing to go even after applying anti-microbial creams. The choice of drug depends on the type of bacteria causing the infection and other factors like patient’s general health, age, gender and response to certain drugs.

The course of anti-biotic may range from 5-10 days depending upon the severity of the infection. Remember to take a probiotic drink or tablet along with antibiotics to save your body from killing good bacteria. The infection will only get over once the antibiotic course is completed. Leaving the course in between will be of no help.

Home Remedies For Infantigo

Well, definitely yes! There are several home remedies and treatments that can help you prevent and cure Infantigo.

  • Maintain hygiene :- The only way you can stop this contagious infection from spreading is by maintaining hygiene and keeping the wounds clean. Gently wash the affected areas with mild soap and lukewarm water from time to time. As soon as you are done, sanitize your hands properly and ensure that they are germ free before you proceed to other activities.

Also it is very important to wash the patient’s bed sheets, blankets, towels and clothes daily.

  • Take care of your diet :- Avoid eating foods that increase skin irritation and inflammation. Take anti-inflammatory natural food that can help you in Infantigo. Turmeric is a very good anti-inflammatory food. You can make a juice of ginger, turmeric root, cucumber, carrot and mix it with coconut water to get relief from inflammation. Take the juice 2-3 times a day and you will definitely notice changes in the inflamed areas. You can also opt for garlic in your food or take garlic supplements to support your body in Infantigo.
  • Apply Tea Tree Oil :- Tea Tree Oil is a magical potion when it comes with bacterial infections like Infantigo. This miraculous oil is an anti-bacterial and helps a great deal in killing the infection. You can apply lotions or creams that have tea tree oil base or directly apply the oil by diluting it in a moisturizer and applying it on the affected areas.
  • Prepare your own antibiotic recipe :- You can simply make your own antibiotic by mixing a spoon of white polished vinegar in water and applying on the affected area for 10-15 minutes only.
  • Cover the affected area :- You can cover the infected area with a thin gauze or bandage to prevent further infection. It will also help you to overcome your urge to itch or scratch the affected area.

Infantigo Pictures

Check out these images below and this will help you identifying Infantigo sores and scabs.

infantigo pictures in cheek

Infantigo pictures

Infantigo pictures 2

Infantigo pictures 2

Infantigo pictures 3

Hopefully,  by now you must have an idea of what Infantigo looks like.