The most common symptom of impetigo is red sores around the nose and mouth that quickly burst and then ooze and dry with a yellow to brown crust in a few days, states Mayo Clinic. These sores can be spread to other areas of the body by fingers, towels or clothes.
Less common variations of impetigo include bullous impetigo and ecthyma, which cause somewhat different symptoms, Mayo Clinic explains. All variations of impetigo are most common in infants and young children. Bullous impetigo causes larger blisters on the trunk or diaper areas. Ecthyma is a more serious type of impetigo that penetrates deep into the skin, causing more painful fluid-filled sores that can become deep ulcers. Impetigo is a bacterial skin infection that spreads very easily through contact. The infection can cause complications including kidney damage, scarring and cellulitis.
Impetigo often resolves itself after between two and three weeks, says Mayo Clinic. The use of antibiotics can both shorten this time and help prevent the transmission of the disease to others. Unless antibiotics are used, impetigo can potentially be spread until the sores are healed. Antibiotics can be applied directly to the sores, but if there are many sores, an oral antibiotic is usually used.