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Facts about the skin from DermNet New Zealand Trust. Topic index: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z



Impetigo

What is impetigo?

Impetigo is a bacterial skin infection. It is often called school sores because it most often affects children. It is quite contagious.

What is the cause of impetigo?

Streptococcus pyogenes and/or Staphylococcus aureus are the micro-organisms responsible for impetigo.

Impetigo may be caught from someone else with impetigo or boils, or appear out of the blue. It often starts at the site of a minor skin injury such as a graze, an insect bite, or scratched eczema.

What does it look like?

Impetigo presents with pustules and round, oozing patches which grow larger day by day. There may be clear blisters (bullous impetigo) or golden yellow crusts. It most often occurs on exposed areas such as the hands and face, or in skin folds particularly the armpits.

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Impetigo

More images of impetigo

What is the treatment for impetigo?

Treatment depends on the extent and severity of the infection.

Related information

References:

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Author: Dr Amanda Oakley, Dermatologist, Health Waikato.

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If you have any concerns with your skin or its treatment, see a dermatologist for advice.