The front of 5th Street School on a sunny day.

IMPETIGO

A skin eruption, caused by streptococcal or staphylococcal bacteria, that may proceed through vesicular, pustular and encrusted stages.  Infection is spread by direct contact with secretions from these lesions.

 

INCUBATION PERIOD:

Usually 1 to 3 days - streptococcus.

Usually 1 10 days - staphylococcus

 

PERIOD OF COMMUNICABILITY:

In untreated conditions, discharges from lesions are infectious as long as they continue to drain.

 

CONTROL OF SPREAD:

1.  In localized skin infections, application of a topical antibiotic (such as bacitracin) four times per day is adequate.

2.  Draining lesions should be adequately covered at all times with a dressing.

3.  Antibiotics will decrease spread of disease, the incidence of secondary infection, and speed healing.

4.  Hand washing and good personal hygiene limits the spread of disease.

 

HEALTH EDUCATION:

Rheumatic fever does not occur as a result of streptococcal skin infection, but acute glomerulonephritis (kidney inflammation) may develop in a small percentage of cases.  It is not known if treatment with appropriate antibiotics will prevent the inflammation.