What is Infantigo ?

An infantigo is one of the common highly contagious skin diseases that affect infant and school-aged children. It starts with a sore and/or blister and will then form a yellowish to brownish crust, which is dominant on the patient’s mouth and nose.

The degree of infection and severity of lesion primarily depends on the type of infantigo the patient has.

There are three types of infantigo: bullous, non-bullous, and ecthyma. The non-bullous type is the most common, but the most severe type is ecthyma.

Infantigo affects infants and children and targets the areas around the nose and mouth image photo picture

Image 1: Infantigo affects infants and children and targets the areas around the nose and mouth.
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What causes infantigo?

Impetigo is a bacterial infection and the two primary causative agents are Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes. These bacteria are normally found on the skin and are harmless. However, in favorable condition, they could cause infection such as in the case of skin break and scratches. They could enter the skin and cause infection.

Other factors that make you susceptible to infection are burns and insect bites (severe type). Non-bullous infantigo can be caused by both Staph and Strep bacteria. The bullous type is caused by Staph aureus alone.

Signs and symptoms

Infantigo The area around the patient’s mouth has honey-colored crusts image photo picture

Photo 2: The area around the patient’s mouth has honey-colored crusts.
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Infantigo signs and symptoms do not automatically show up after being in contact with the bacteria-causing disease. It would take a few days, three days for a Staph infection and 10 days for Strep infection for the signs and symptoms to manifest. The first sign of infection is red lesions/spots on the skin that appear in a cluster in areas surrounding the lips and nose.

After some time, the sores/spots turn into blisters. Once they burst, they form a brownish to the yellowish crust (honey-colored) and they expand to other parts of the body. If the infection is severe, the patient could suffer from extreme itching and pain. There is also a possibility of scarring.

How to treat impetigo?

A topical antibiotic of choice for infantigo image picture photo

Image 3: A topical antibiotic of choice for infantigo.
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There is various course of treatment for infantigo. Typically, it is a combination of oral and topical drugs and some home/natural remedies. Mild cases of infantigo can be treated using home remedies and topical drugs.

However, severe cases of impetigo need a strong course of antibiotic, which is introduced via the oral route.

Oral antibiotic

It has a systemic effect, which is the treatment of choice for people with a severe case of impetigo. However, caution should be given to children and pregnant patients as oral antibiotics may have side effects, which can be potentially harmful to both children and growing fetus inside the mother’s womb. Oral antibiotic choices for impetigo include the following:

  • Erythromycin
  • Flucloxacillin
  • Augmentin

Topical antibiotic

it is in the form of a cream, ointment, and gel. It is the treatment of choice for localized impetigo. For the topical antibiotic to be effective, it should be used as directed by the manufacturer. The affected part of the body should be thoroughly cleaned with warm water and antibacterial soap. It should be gently dried before applying a topical antibiotic. The topical antibiotic of choice includes the following:

  • Fusidic acid
  • Mupirocin

Natural remedies

Some plant and herb extracts can be used to treat, manage, and prevent infantigo. Some of the tested and proven effective natural remedies for infantigo include the following:

  • Garlic
  • Aloe Vera extract
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Grape seed extract
  • Turmeric/ginger
  • Tea tree oil

Quick facts about infantigo

  • Infantigo is also known as impetigo, impetigo vulgaris, and school sores
  • It is a bacterial infection caused by two strains of bacteria namely the Streptococcus and Staphylococcus.
  • It commonly affects infants and children (2 to 6 years old).
  • It rarely affects adults.
  • It is a highly contagious disease that can be spread through direct and indirect contact.



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