Impetigo is a skin infection in the form of a cluster of blisters that usually occurs on the face, but can infect any area of the body. This skin infection can affect all age groups but is most common with toddlers who develop a rash and cannot or do not understand that they need to keep from rubbing or scratching the rash because it could irritate and make the rash bigger and cause other skin or health problems to occur, e.g. impetigo. It is considered as a common skin infection and the most common in America. Ways to prevent and break the chain of infection is to practice regular hand hygiene and sterilize materials and objects that had contact with the infected area.
This bacterial infection is usually caused by the bacteria staphylococcal (staph) or streptococcal (strep) and methicillin-resistant staph aureus (MRSA) is now becoming a common cause of this skin infection (PubMed Health, 2010).
Staphylococcal is a derived from the Greek words staphyle and kokkos, meaning a bunch of grapes and berries because that is how one version of the infection appears, e.g. skin infection (impetigo), in a cluster of boils and the visualization is of grapes under a microscope (Stoppler, 2012). A strain of the staph bacteria, MRSA, is resistant to most antibiotics, making it difficult to treat (Levine, 2010).
There are several strains of strep infections; however streptococcal pyogenes is the strain of strep that causes impetigo. Strep takes on the form of a chain of bacteria or linked beads under the microscope (Fox, 2010).
These bacteria all seep into the open wound and manifest. Staph can usually live on the skin and can easily invade wounds and grow. This is a way that MRSA infects the body; because garden staph is in nature and land on skin due to outside exposure but it is only when there is broken skin and not enough care of the opening that the infection can take hold (Levine, 2010).
Signs and Symptoms:
There are two types of impetigo infection: bullous impetigo, large blisters and non-bullous impetigo, crusted. Both are usually caused by staph or strep. The infection appears as a fluid-filled blister that starts out clear and then cloudy. If popped, the skin underneath is red and raw and left untreated, can grow and spread to other areas of the body and form a yellowish crust (Durani, 2011).
These blisters usually just appear on uncovered skin, such as the face and hands, but can also be found anywhere on the body once they have taken root.
Mode of Transmission:
Breaks in the skin would be a portal of entry in to the body where the body becomes a reservoir for the bacteria to grow and spread. However, even bacteria can grow on unbroken skin surfaces. In the case of impetigo, usually this infection is a result of an already present rash, rash as a reaction due to poison ivy, over-wiping your nose when you have a cold, etc. The constant rubbing and scratching breaks the skin and become infected from the...