What is Infantigo?
It is a superficial skin infection that is highly contagious. Most cases of infantigo is caused by Staphylococcal bacteria. The germ that causes infantigo can invade the skin, especially if the skin has scape, cut, or insect bite.
People with pre-existing skin conditions are prone to infantigo such as the ones with scabies, chicken pox, and eczema. (1, 2)
What does Infantigo look like : Pictures
Picture 1: A child with skin lesions, typical characteristic of infantigo.
Picture 2: Comparison images of bullous and non-bullous infantigo.
Image 3: An ecthyma type of infantigo, a severe type.
- Bullous – This type of infantigo is caused by Staph bacterium causing toxin, which breaks the top and bottom layers of the skin. Its distinct characteristic is blister in the different areas of the body, especially in the buttocks.
- Non-bullous – It is the most common type, which is typically caused by Staph and Strep bacteria. It commonly affects the nose and other parts of the face. It is characterized by small blisters/scab forming yellowish crusts.
- Ecthyma – It is the most severe type wherein the blisters become painful and filled with pus. It leads to deep ulceration, which increases the possibility of scarring. (2, 3, 4, 5)
Clinical manifestations : Symptoms
Small red bumps that form small blisters and would progress to sores covered with a yellowish crust.
There is a pus draining from the lesions. If the infantigo is bullous type, you will notice large blisters that flatten out when the fluid is removed. (2, 3)
Is Infantigo contagious?
Infantigo is highly contagious. It can be spread from one part of the skin to another by simply scratching or touching around the wound. Infantigo can be spread to other people through direct contact with the wound or getting in contact with contaminated object used by infected person.
As much as possible, you should refrain from touching or scratching the sores as it increases the possibility of spreading the disease to other parts of the body and to other people. Make it a habit to wash the hands frequently using germicidal soap. (5, 6, 7)
Most cases of infantigo do not require treatment for they will dry up on their own and eventually go away. Mild infantigo is treated by simply keeping the infected area clean. If there are crusts, they should be removed carefully.
A prescription antibiotic ointment can also be applied on the affected areas of the skin. For severe infantigo, an oral antibiotic treatment might be necessary. If you think that you have an infantigo and it is not clearing on its own, then you need to seek medical advice. Always remember that the doctor knows what’s best for your health condition. (7, 8, 9)
Natural Home Remedies for Infantigo
- Grapefruit seed extract – it has antifungal and antibacterial properties, which makes it effective in treating disease caused by Staphylococcus bacteria.
- Apple cider vinegar – It is a gentle and effective skin care product. Dab a small amount of apple cider vinegar on blisters and lesions to ease inflammation and get rid of bacteria.
- Ginger – It fights off disease-causing bacteria, boosts the immune system, and reduces inflammation. It hastens the healing process. Add an ample amount of ginger in your diet. You can also add ginger to natural fruit juices.
- Coconut Oil – It contains lauric acid, which makes the skin inhospitable to pathogens such as bacteria. If applied on the skin, it creates a barrier between the skin and harmful organisms like bacteria, fungi, and viruses. (3, 7, 9, 10)
What can you do to prevent infantigo?
- Stay away from people who have infantigo as the disease is highly contagious. Do not touch or use the things used by people infected with infantigo such as towels and beddings.
- You should keep your skin clean at all times. Make it a habit to take a bath on a daily basis. Washing the skin can minimize the spread of harmful bacteria.
- If you have skin breeches, you should keep it clean with soap and water. Once the wound has dried, you should apply an antibiotic ointment. Do not touch the wound to prevent infection.
- Make sure you take good care of your skin. As much as possible, you should prevent the occurrence of abrasions or cuts. Children love to explore, which makes them prone to wound and scratches. To somehow prevent the occurrence of wounds, you should let your child wear guards and soft paddings in areas prone to injuries.
- If your child has wounds that appear to be infected, you should immediately seek medical help.
- Let your child develop the habit of washing hands on a regular basis.
• Make sure the fingernails are short and clean at all times to prevent infective organisms from residing or hiding under your nails.
- Boost your immune system response. Make sure you eat healthy foods, especially fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. (2, 3, 6, 8, 10)