Do you panic and worry when your child falls sick? Are you always thinking about ways to prevent and protect her from any illnesses? As a parent, you are always on your toes trying to ensure your infant or toddler is fine and well taken care of.
There are various ailments that occur during the initial years of your child’s development. But some of these can be really uncomfortable for your little one and disconcerting for you as a parent. One such infection that is very commonly seen in infants and toddlers is impetigo.
If you suddenly see red and itchy blisters on your baby’s nose and mouth area, it is probably impetigo. Read on to find more.
What Is Impetigo?
Impetigo is one of the most common skin infections in infants and toddlers. It is a contagious skin infection that is mainly caused by either Staphylococcus or Streptococcus bacteria. This particular skin infection is more common in the warmer months.
The bacteria enter the skin through a cut or scrape. This condition is mostly seen in the age group between two to six years.
There are two types of impetigo infection:
1. Bullous impetigo: You will notice large blisters filled with fluid or pus. These may take quite a few days to burst.
2. Non-Bullous impetigo: You will notice small, red blisters around the nose and mouth. It can spread to other parts of the body too. These are mostly itchy and will burst quickly.
Though impetigo in itself is not that dangerous, in some cases it can lead to other problems like permanent scarring or kidney infection.
[ Read: Psoriasis In Babies ]
Causes Of Impetigo In Infants And Toddlers:
As the infection is highly contagious, it is very common for infants and toddlers to get affected. Here are a few ways your infant or toddler could have picked it up:
1.Coming in contact with a person who is already affected.
2. Using an object that was touched by an infected person.
3. Suffering a cut or scrape through which the bacteria entered the skin. Sometimes the bacteria may simply be present on the surface of the skin.
4. The skin may already be affected with conditions like eczema or even an insect bite. These make the skin prone to further infection.
[ Read: Allergies In Babies ]
Symptoms Of Impetigo In Infants And Toddlers:
Depending on the type of infection your infant or toddler is afflicted with, the symptoms may vary. You can notice the following impetigo symptoms in toddlers or infants:
1. A group of red blisters filled with liquid. These may ooze and burst.
2. These generally have a tendency to spread to other parts of the body.
3. Larger blisters that take a long time to burst and heal.
4. Redness around the area where the blisters are.
5. When the pus begins to dry, you can notice a yellowish-brown crust on the area.
[ Read: Hives In Babies ]
Treating Impetigo In Toddlers Or Infants:
When you notice the blisters initially, it is important you ask your paediatrician to take a look. In extreme cases, your doctor may refer a skin specialist.
- The doctor may recommend keeping the area clean and dry.
- The doctor may recommend a dose of antibiotics.
- Ensure you give the full course of medication even if the symptoms have gone.
- The doctor may prescribe an antibiotic skin cream.
- The doctor may ask to keep the area gently covered with a gauze bandage.
- The doctor may do a tissue culture in case the infection does not cure after some days. This helps determine the exact type of infection.
- For this, a skin swab will be taken as part of a skin sample of the infected area.
- The results will usually arrive in a day or two, following which medication can be renewed.
[ Read: Chicken Pox In Babies ]
Helping Your Infant Or Toddler Through Impetigo:
In addition to the medication, you will need to follow a few tips at home.
- Ensure that the infected area is always clean.
- Use warm water to gently wash away all the scabs.
- Use an antibacterial soap.
- Pat the area dry, never rub on it.
- You may use a paper towel to pat dry and dispose of. If you are using a regular towel, ensure it is not used again by anyone.
- Always trim your infant or toddler’s fingernails to prevent scratching.
[ Read: Eczema In Toddlers ]
It is true that these infections look extremely worrisome, especially as it is uncomfortable for your infant or toddler. Always ensure you follow a proper hygiene for your baby and take care of any cuts or scrapes, no matter how small. Keep a watch on the symptoms and how they are healing. In case you do not notice any improvement, talk to your baby’s pediatrician for a repeat check.
In case you have experienced impetigo in your infants or toddlers, do share your tips here with other moms.
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