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What is infantigo?

It is a bacterial infection caused by Staphylococcus aureus. It affects both adult and children, men and women. The other term for infantigo is impetigo.

Infantigo is usually the term used for infection in infants and children. It appears as a red sore on the face particularly in the nose and mouth areas. Eventually, the sores will burst and turn to honey-colored crusts. About 70% of infantigo cases is children, especially preschoolers. (1, 10, 11)

What does impetigo look like?

Impetigo begins with red bruises around the mouth and nose. They will burst and leave crusted red rashes. They are not painful, but can be very unsightly. (5)

Infantigo Pictures

A comparison image between bullous and non-bullous infantigo.image

Photo 1: A comparison image between bullous and non-bullous infantigo.
Picture Source: images.medicinenet.com

A severe form of impetigo.photo

Image 2: A severe form of impetigo.
Photo Source: www.scielo.br

An advanced stage of impetigo.image

Photo 3: An advanced stage of impetigo.
Picture Source: diseasespictures.com

Types of Infantigo

  1. Non-bullous infantigo – It is the most prevalent type. It begins as a red sore on the mouth and nose area. The sores will then rupture spilling a liquid or fluid discharges. Once it dries, it will form a honey-colored scab and will eventually go away without leaving any scars.
  2. Bullous infantigo – It is common in kids 2 years old and above. It begins as a liquid filled rankles on the arms, trunk, and legs. Rankles will eventually break leaving yellow scabs.
  3. Ecthyma – It is a special type of infantigo, which infiltrates into the skin. It creates thick liquid or pus filled sore, which leads to ulceration. (1, 2, 3)

Symptoms of Impetigo

  • Red bruises that burst rapidly
  • The bruises form around the nose and mouth, but can also spread in other parts of the body.
  • Rankles on the trunk and diaper areas in babies and young children.

The severity of impetigo symptoms varies from one person to another. Those with strong immune system have milder symptoms than those with weak immune system. (7)

What causes impetigo?

It is primarily caused by Staphylococcus aureus. A few reported cases are caused by Streptococcus pyogenes. (7)

The prevalence rate

Those who live in warm weather areas are prone to infantigo. Other predisposing factors include anemia, poor cleanliness, and unhealthy health habit.

Is infantigo contagious?

Infantigo is a highly contagious disease. If your kid has infantigo, you should isolate him/her from other people. Infantigo is spread via direct contact with the blisters and nasal discharges. Impetigo incubation period is 1 to 3 days after

Streptococcus exposure and 4 to 10 days after Staphylococcus exposure. Scratching can spread the sores. (4, 7, 10, 11)

How to diagnose infantigo?

The doctor will examine the affected areas of the body. The doctor will then ask important questions, especially if the patient has any recent scrapes and cuts. Further testing is needed if the patient’s clinical manifestations are severe and spread to various parts of the body.

The condition can be very alarming if the infection is recurring and does not respond to treatment. The doctor will order for culture and sensitivity test to find out what type of organisms is causing the infection. (8, 9)

Infantigo Treatment

Infantigo disease is highly contagious and so it is important to come up with an effective cure for infantigo. The causative agent should be determined first for the doctor to know what type of drug will be given to the patient.

  • Topical antibiotics – Soak the affected area in warm water to get rid of the overlying scabs. Topical antibiotic are applied directly onto the skin. While applying the topical antibiotic, make sure you wear latex gloves. Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly after application of antibiotic. In a few days, you will be able to see a significant improvement.
  • Oral antibiotics – It is prescribed in patients with severe infantigo. It is also the preferred route if the infantigo is unresponsive to topical antibiotics. The antibiotic treatment is usually a one week course. Make sure you finish the entire course to prevent recurrence. (5, 6, 7, 8)

Home remedies for infantigo

How to treat impetigo using natural remedies? Mild cases of infantigo can be treated using essential oil and herbs. Some of the effective treatments for impetigo include tea tree oil, coconut oil, garlic, and honey. They can significantly improve the symptoms of infantigo. (2, 4)

What are the possible infantigo complications?

Infantigo should be treated immediately. If the condition gets worse, it could lead to a more serious medical conditions which include the following:

  • Guttate psoriasis – It is characterized by red scaly patches on the skin.
  • Cellulitis – It is a severe complication of infantigo. It happens when the bacteria multiply and spread into the deep layer of the skin. Cellulitis causes red and inflamed skin lesions, fever, and pain.
  • Sepsis – It is a condition in which the bacteria spread in the blood leading to confusion, fever, dizziness, vomiting, and rapid breathing. Sepsis is a fatal complication of infantigo. Hence, you should watch out for any signs of sepsis.
  • Scarlet fever – it is a rare bacterial infection caused by Streptococcus pyogenes. Clinical manifestations are fine pink rash across the body, pain, and nausea with or without vomiting.
  • Post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis – It is a fatal complication characterized by infection of the small blood vessels. It is an extremely rare complication of infantigo. Typical clinical manifestations include hypertension and dark colored urine. (2, 3, 5, 7)

What you can do to prevent infantigo?

  • Cleanliness is the key to protecting yourself from infantigo and other forms of diseases.
  • If you have cuts, brushes, and scratches, you should keep them clean to prevent infection.
  • If somebody you know has impetigo, you should keep his/her belongings segregated. As mentioned above, infantigo is a highly contagious disease. So, better safe than sorry. Make sure to isolate the patient until the infection clears up.
  • Make sure you take a bath every single day.
  • Keep your nails short and clean so that bacteria can’t thrive under your nails.
  • You should not touch the items used or touched by a person with impetigo. This includes clothing, utensils, sheets, towels, and toys.
  • As much as possible, you should avoid close contact with person who has impetigo unless the infection completely goes away.
  • Always wash hands to prevent the spread of infection. (9, 12)


  1. https://emedicalupdates.com/infantigo-impetigo/
  2. https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/tc/impetigo-overview#2
  3. https://infantigo.info/
  4. https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/tc/impetigo-overview#1
  5. http://m.kidshealth.org/en/kids/impetigo.html
  6. https://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=199999
  7. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/impetigo/manage/ptc-20202600
  8. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/impetigo/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20352358
  9. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/impetigo/symptoms-causes/syc-20352352
  10. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/impetigo/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20352358
  11. https://www.hse.ie/eng/health/az/I/Impetigo/Preventing-impetigo.html
  12. http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/impetigo/Pages/Introduction.aspx
  13. https://www.healthline.com/health/impetigo#overview1
  14. https://medicalxpress.com/news/2016-11-skin-infection-impetigo.html

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