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Impetigo - Symptoms, Causes and Prevention

Impetigo in Urdu

یہ ایک عام اور انتہائی سنگین انفیکشن ہے جو بنیادی طور پر بچوں کو متاثر کرتی ہے. یہ منہ اور ناک کے گرد سرخ زخموں کی صورت میں ظاہر ہو سکتا ہے۔ عام طور پر، دوسرے لوگوں میں پھیلائو کو روکنے کے لئے اینٹی بائیوٹک تھراپی کی سفارش کی جاتی ہے. اس کے پیلائو کو روکنے کے لیے ضروری ہے کہ متاثرپ شخٓص گھر میں رہے۔یعنی اس سے متاثرہ بچے کے لئے اسکول نہ جانا ضروری ہے اور بڑے افراد بھی سماجی تعلقات محدود کر دیں تا کہ دوسرے صحت مند افاد متاثر نہ ہوں۔ جب تک کہ یہ زیادہ مہلک نہ ہے، عام طور پر اینٹی بائیوٹک علاج شروع کرنے کے چوبیس کھنٹے بعد اس کا پھیلائو ممکن نہیں رہتا۔

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Summary about Impetigo in English

Impetigo is a common and highly contagious infection that mainly affects babies and children. Streptococcus or staphylococcus bacteria are known to cause this skin infection. Impetigo usually appears as red sores on the face, especially around the nose and mouth of a child, as well as on the hands and feet.  These crusts may appear anywhere on the body. Injuries burst and develop honey-colored crusts. In general, antibiotic therapy is recommended to prevent the spread of impetigo to other people. This is a contagious disease so direct contact with the infected person should avoid. For treatment purposes washing of crusts and antibiotic ointments are prescribed. It is important for your child to stay home after school or daycare until it is no longer infectious, usually 24 hours after starting antibiotic treatment.

Symptoms of Impetigo

The most common symptoms include:

  • Reddish sores that burst
  • After bursting they ooze fluids for some days and then give way to a yellow-brownish surface
  • Sores normally appear near the nose and mouth
  • These can spread with contact
  • Mild itchiness and soreness experienced

One rare type of the disease produces symptoms in the form of big blisters and it occurs on infants’ and young children’s torsos.

Causes of Impetigo

Impetigo occurs on the skin’s surface and is very contagious. Doctors have revealed that this disease is more likely to occur in children who are around 2 to 5 years old. Experts have also stated that humidity and warmth is very crucial in the growth of the bacteria that cause impetigo and is most prevalent in places when people live in close proximity to each other.

Risk Factors of Impetigo

While impetigo is a condition that people of any age could acquire, it typically develops in children who are 2 to 5 years old. As it is contagious, people who live in crowded areas or living conditions are the most likely to spread and get impetigo.

Furthermore, humid and warm areas are good thriving places for the bacteria. This is why those who live in places that have both the above conditions are at a higher risk of getting impetigo. Moreover, athletes who sweat a lot and have to make frequent skin contact with other athletes are automatically more vulnerable to impetigo.


Preventive Measures of Impetigo

Simply washing hands with soap and water can significantly inhibit impetigo from spreading. Furthermore, special care needs to be observed during the first day of the antibiotic therapy as impetigo has been demonstrated to be the most contagious. The infected area should also be covered with a bandage during that period. The incubation is also important; it is the span of time between when the bacteria were first exposed and the first instance when the symptoms showed.

Types of Impetigo

Two types of impetigo have been identified:

  • Nonbullous impetigo. This impetigo type is more common and both bacteria, staph and strep, can cause this. Nonbullous impetigo appears as red bumps that might look like insect bites. These bumps then transform into miniature blisters that further evolve to pustules. These pustules then form scabs that are akin to honey-colored crust which is the identifying symptom of impetigo.
  • Bullous impetigo. Staph bacteria are the only bacteria that can cause this type. Basically, the bacteria generate a toxin that causes the top skin and the lower layer to separate because of the declining adhesion; this is how blisters form. The term 'blister' in itself is called ‘bulla’ in medical terms, hence the name ‘bullous impetigo’. These blisters could appear in many different spots on the skin, particularly around the torso and buttocks. They also carry a yellowish fluid.