- Highly contagious
- A Pus forming infection
- caused by Staphylococci and/or Streptococci
- Skin Lesions from scabies, mozzie bites or eczema can become infected with bacteria. Although it can occur on apparent healthy skin too.
- It usually starts on the face an speads over the body. The scratching and abrasions can result in new lesions as well as transmission to those in close contact
- It can be spread by contact onto objects, like hands and furniture..
- There are two forms of Impetigo:
-Bullous Form – caused by Staphylococcus Aureus
– Non Bullous Form – caused by Staphylococci and/or Group A streptococci.
- The Non Bullous Form is characterised by small blisters that rupture easily and result in a weepy, honey coloured crust that dry and will eventually heal themselves.
- Bullous lesions are larger and have a clear fluid that will become cloudy and yellow, after they rupture, the crust that will cover them will be a brown colour.
- Unless deeper Tissues are involved, there will be no systemic illness.
- It will usually heal itself within 2 weeks.
- Diagnosis is based on the culture of a swab of a lesion.
- Scalded skin Syndrome can occur as a complication of impetigo or cellulitis. It is caused by strains of Staphlycoccus Aureaus that produce exfoliatin, this causes layers of cells in the epidermis to separate and the outer sheets are shed, exposing the new skin, creating the appearance of scalded skin. From here septicaemia may occur and death can follow,
Want To See an Example?
Timothy, a four-year-old boy, was taken to the doctor with brownish crusted lesions on his legs. His mother told the doctor that he’d had a number of mosquito bites on his legs about a week previously from his first day at preschool. Despite trying a number of ointments, she could not stop him scratching them. She told the doctor that the bites turned into what looked like blisters, and other blisters started to appear. The blisters broke and turned into the crusted lesions that he now had. The doctor told Timothy’s mother that she thought he had impetigo and prescribed ampicillin for him.
a. What is impetigo?
Impetigo is highly contagious and is a pus forming infection.
Blisters form on the skin and will become open wounds before a crust will cover them.
There are two forms of Impetigo: Bullous and Non Bullous Form.
b. What microorganisms are usually responsible for this type of infection?
Impetigo is caused by microorganisms: Staphylococci Aureus and/or Streptococci
c. How did Timothy develop impetigo
Impetigo has a nickname: School Sores, as it is very common for young children to get it from preschool or primary as it can be transmitted through touch of objects. These Mosquito bites may be confused as impetigo, but bites from Mosquitoes can get infected with bacteria and then form lesions.
d. How easily is this infection transmitted?
Transmission is very easy as Impetigo is highly contagious and can spread through a preschool very easily if precautions are not taken. Impetigo is transmitted through touch. Touching the lesions then touching a handle or object can infect others who touch it.
e. What infection control precautions should be taken regarding Timothy’s attendance at preschool?
Precautions such as:
- Isolation from public until the lesions are crusted over, no contact with babies
- Frequent hygiene precautions regularly, for example: washing hands every time contact with lesions is made.
- the lesions should be covered and washed reguarly
- all clothing objects and towels should not be shared.
- Wash the infected persons clothes and linen daily at high temperatures.