Infantigo rash, known by the medical term impetigo, is a highly contagious bacterial skin infection characterized by fluid-filled, crusty sores and blisters, typically occurring around the nose, mouth and face, according to WebMD. Impetigo most commonly affects children, although adults can contract the infection as well.
Impetigo can be caused be either staphylococcus or streptococcus bacteria and most commonly occurs when the skin is already compromised due to injury or a pre-existing skin condition such as eczema, notes WebMD. Children who suffer from frequent allergies and colds are also more prone to developing impetigo.
There are three distinct types of impetigo: nonbullous impetigo, bullous impetigo and ecythma, reports Healthline. Of the three, non-bullous impetigo, also known as impetigo contagiosa, is the most common as well as the most contagious. It is characterized by swollen lymph nodes and itchy sores around the mouth and face. Bullous impetigo typically lasts longer than non-bullous impetigo and occurs mostly in infants and young children, with symptoms including opaque, milky sores and blisters on the body, legs and arms. Ecythma is a dangerous form of impetigo which goes deeper into the skin and infects the dermis, often resulting in painful open blisters and ulcers.
With treatment, impetigo infections typically clear up within three weeks, reports Healthline. Antibiotic ointments are usually prescribed for mild cases, while oral antibiotic medications are used to treat more severe cases. Keeping the skin clean is crucial to halting the spread of infection to other parts of the body.