Impetigo

Definition of Impetigo

Impetigo is a common skin infection.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Impetigo is caused by streptococcus (strep) or staphylococcus (staph) bacteria. Methicillin-resistant staph aureus (MRSA) is becoming a common cause.

Signs and tests

Diagnosis is based mainly on the appearance of the skin lesion.

Treatment

The goal is to cure the infection and relieve the symptoms.

Expectations (prognosis)

The sores of impetigo heal slowly and seldom scar. The cure rate is extremely high, but the condition often comes back in young children.

Review

Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 10/5/2010

Impetigo, bullous on the buttocks
Impetigo on a child

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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