May 26, 2017

Impetigo

What is impetigo? What causes impetigo?

Impetigo (pronounced im-puh-TIE-go) is a contagious, superficial infection of the skin caused by Staphylococcus (staph) and Streptococcus (strep) bacteria. Impetigo is more common in children (especially 2- to 5-year-olds) than in adults. Impetigo is most likely to occur in warm and humid environments and is most commonly spread by close contact (such as between family members). Many years ago the formal name for this disease was "impetigo contageosum."

A rarely used ecthyma is the term for a rash similar to impetigo, but the infection penetrates the skin more deeply. (Its therapy is similar to impetigo.)

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Reviewed on 5/3/2017