Impetigo is a skin disorder characterized by weeping sores that crust over with a hard, yellow-brownish coat. Pus and fluid often accumulate underneath. The skin area surrounding is often inflamed, and may be tender. This is common about the lips, on the face, and on the fingers and hands. The germ is usually caught from others, commonly at school where one infected child can infect an entire school. The lymph glands in the surrounding areas are usually swollen and tender.
Impetigo is an onslaught of the child’s skin by a family of germs called the streptococcus, or occasionally by its friend, the staphylococcus. I might add that it has always been regarded as an “onslaught” because the term comes from the old Latin word impetus, which means attack.
I think mother would like to know what happens after the attack. Germs are often conveyed home from a school, and for this reason are more Impetigo or “school sores,” caused by a streptococcal infection, is highly contagious.
It is probable in children of that age group than babies – but junior may readily infect brothers and sisters from a common source at school. Very rapidly the germs multiply and cause a pus-filled, discharging sore commonly on the face around the lips, chin, but also hands and knees. Any part of the body may be involved, but these are the most common.
They are brownish, ugly, very obvious, and the discharging fluid sets to form a brown crust. But underneath the infection continues unabated. Often the lymph glands nearby, commonly under the jaw or in the armpits or groin with limb infections, swell and become very tender as they produce special cells aimed at quelling the invaders. The germ is highly contagious, and several other skin areas may be infected from the original sore.
Simple bathing of the parts with a weak Condi’s crystal solution (pink only) helps. Gently remove the scabs with bathing. Application of an antiseptic cream helps (although antibiotic creams from the doctor are often superior).
Single sores may be covered with band aids. Painting surrounding areas with spirit or spirit-based lotions and tinctures may help prevent spread to other parts. Severely infected children should be kept home from school to avoid contaminating many other children.
Simple bathing of the infected areas with a weak Condi’s crystal solution is often a good start. Make this a light pink only – not dark crimson or black. Bathe away the scabs and the underlying pus and debris.
This in itself often kills off germs. But applying an antibiotic cream or ointment from the doctor will frequently clear the sores within two or three days. Keep them covered to prevent spreading, both to the child’s skin as well as to others.
Paint methylated spirits around the surrounding skin; this also helps check spreading. Cover the sore for the same reason. Large areas may need a dry dressing and bandaging.
See the doctor for further advice and perhaps more medication. Also, I think the child should be kept home until the sores have healed to check spreading. The germs are extremely contagious and can cause similar sores on others. Also, you can give your child the task of bathing the sores and removing the scabs. This gives the patient something to do, for a child often makes a good nurse!
Impetigo, a bacterial skin infection, is spread by contact, and is common, among children. Adequate attention to underlying causes. Attention to diet and general health is desirable, especially if these bouts are recurrent.
Attention by the doctor may be required if simple measures do not bring a quick response. Other measures available include: Antibiotic applications. The broad spectrum antibiotics, when applied as creams or ointments, usually bring spectacular results. A large number arc available and the doctor will write a prescription for your particular needs (e.g. Soframycin, Neomycin etc).
Antibiotics orally. These may be needed in severe cases, but with local treatment are usually not required. General measures. If severe recurring bouts arc taking place, the doctor will seek underlying causes of general ill health and aim treatment at this.
Boils (Furuncle; Folliculitis). This is a painful infection of a hair root. It usually takes several days to develop. Starting from an area of redness and general discomfort, it can rapidly progress. The infected part swells, becomes hot, red, later tense and a lump develops. This is usually due to localized inflammation of the surrounding skin, and the collection of pus. Then a “core” develops, and this finally points and discharges. it is formed of a yellow plug of tenacious pus-filled material. Once this is removed, the pain Boils are hard, red and painful swellings resulting from an infection of the hair roots by the germ Staphylococcus aureus.