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What are the symptoms of impetigo?

It first appears as a small scratch or itchy patch of eczema - skin inflammation - on seemingly healthy skin. A small red, itchy spot quickly develops into a blister containing a yellow substance. Later, the top of the blister becomes crusty and weeps while new blisters develop in the same place or on other parts of the body. Impetigo usually begins on the face, especially

around the corners of the mouth, the nose and back of the ears.

Impetigo causes small bumps or blisters that burst. The skin underneath is moist, tender and red, and it oozes a clear liquid. A honey-colored crust, which may itch, then forms over the reddened area. If the disease is more severe cases, you also may have a fever and swelling of the lymph glands (swollen glands) in the face or neck.

Impetigo has two general forms: ordinary impetigo and bullous impetigo. Ordinary impetigo is scabby and pustular (little pimples full of pus) in appearance and is generally caused by strep germs. It starts as a small blister or pustule that ruptures and leaves a reddish base which is then covered by a honey-colored crust. In children, this condition often begins on the skin near the nose, though it may spread. Ordinary impetigo is also known as impetigo vulgaris and streptococcal impetigo. Bullous impetigo produces large, fragile blisters and is caused mostly by staph germs. It also often affects the face, but may appear elsewhere. The blisters it forms have very thin walls that collapse, leaving a bright red, inflamed, moist base. Bullous impetigo is also known as impetigo bullosa and staphylococcal impetigo.

More information on impetigo

What is impetigo? - Impetigo is a skin infection caused by Streptococcus (strep) and Staphylococcus (staph) bacteria. Impetigo usually appears around the nose and mouth.
What are the symptoms of impetigo? - Impetigo has two general forms: ordinary impetigo and bullous impetigo. Impetigo causes small bumps or blisters that burst.
What causes impetigo? - Impetigo can be caused by the Staphylococcus aureus (staph) or group A Streptococci (strep) bacteria. Epidemic impetigo can be caused by staph or strep bacteria.
What's the treatment for impetigo? - Impetigo usually is treated with antibiotics. The treatment involves washing with soap and water and letting the impetigo dry in the air.
How to prevent impetigo? - To help prevent impetigo, take a bath or shower every day, and always keep your skin clean. 
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All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005,, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005