Symptoms of the most common form of impetigo include red sores that rupture quickly then ooze pus that forms honey-colored crusts, according to Mayo Clinic. The sores usually break out around the mouth and nose but can be spread to other places by infected fingers, towels or clothes.
Bullous impetigo,a less common type, involves large blisters that form on the abdomen or diaper area of younger children and infants, Mayo Clinic reports. Ecthyma, a serious form of impetigo, features large fluid- or pus-filled blisters that form deep within the skin. These painful blisters eventually form deep ulcers. This condition is more common in adults, especially those with diabetes or compromised immune systems.
Impetigo is highly contagious and usually found in children between the ages of 2 and 6, Mayo Clinic states. Parents should keep children infected with it home from school or day care until the sores fade away or 24 to 48 hours after the start of antibiotic treatment to keep from spreading the condition to other kids. Antibiotics can be applied directly to the sores, but if there are many sores, an oral antibiotic is usually used. Impetigo is spread by touching the sores or by touching something exposed to the sores, such as towels, bed linens and toys. The condition usually clears up on its own in two or three weeks.