All Children's Hospital Logo

Health Information Library

Parents > A to Z > I > A to Z: Impetigo
A to Z: Impetigo

A to Z: Impetigo

Impetigo is a contagious skin infection caused by bacteria.

More to Know

One of the most common skin infections among kids, impetigo usually is caused by one of two bacteria: Streptococcus pyogenes (also called group A streptococcus, which also causes strep throat) or Staphylococcus aureus. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is also becoming an important cause of impetigo.

Impetigo causes blisters or sores around the nose and mouth, neck, hands, forearms, and diaper area. The two types of impetigo are bullous impetigo (large blisters) and non-bullous impetigo (crusted):

Keep in Mind

Doctors can usually diagnose impetigo based on its appearance. Occasionally, they may need to take a sample of fluid from blisters. Impetigo is typically treated with either an antibiotic ointment or medication taken by mouth.

Good hygiene can help prevent impetigo, which often develops when there is a sore or a rash that has been scratched repeatedly (for example, poison ivy can get infected and turn into impetigo).

All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.

Related Articles
P    Impetigo
K    Impetigo
T    Impetigo
P    Skin, Hair, and Nails
P    Staph Infections
T    Staph Infections
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 1995-2014 KidsHealth® All rights reserved. Images provided by iStock, Getty Images, Corbis, Veer, Science Photo Library, Science Source Images, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com

Additional Info

Pocket Doc Mobile App
Maps and Locations (Mobile)
Programs & Services
Employment
For Health Professionals
For Patients & Families
Contact Us
Find a Doctor
News
CME

All Children's Hospital
501 6th Ave South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 898-7451
(800) 456-4543

Use Normal Template
© 2014 All Children's Hospital - All Rights Reserved