Impetigo is a superficial skin infection most common among children age 2–6 years. People who play close contact sports such as rugby, American football and wrestling are also susceptible, regardless of age. The name derives from the Latin impetere ("assail"). It is also known as school sores.
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians - "Nonbullous impetigo was previously thought to be a group A streptococcal process and bullous impetigo was primarily thought to be caused by S. aureus. Studies now indicate that both forms of impetigo are primarily caused by S. aureus with Streptococcus usually being involved in the nonbullous form"
The infection is spread by direct contact with lesions or with nasal carriers. The incubation period is 1–3 days. Dried streptococci in the air are not infectious to intact skin.
Signs and symptoms
One or more pimple-like lesions surrounded by reddened skin. Lesions fill with pus, then break down over 4–6 days and form a thick crust. Impetigo is often associated with insect bites, cuts, and other forms of trauma to the skin. Itching is common.
People who suffer from cold sores have shown higher chances of suffering from impetigo. Those who normally suffer from cold sores should consult a doctor if normal treatment has no effect.
The diagnosis is made based on the typical appearance of the skin lesion.