Staph Infections (Boils, Impetigo, etc...)
“IMPETIGO” is a skin infection usually caused by one of two types of bacteria, group A Streptococci, and Staphylococcus (Staph) aureus. Impetigo is spread from person to person through direct contact with the discharge from the lesions. This infection can spread rapidly among persons in close contact.
“BOILS” also call furuncles, are another type of skin infection caused by Staph. They usually occur at a scratch or break in the skin and may appear as a reddened, tender swelling. A physician should be consulted when a person has boils because there can be complications.
SYMPTOMS:The signs of Impetigo usually begin 1-10 days after exposure to the bacteria. Impetigo begins as small blisters. When the blisters open, they produce a thick, golden yellow discharge that dries and crusts over the sores. Itching often occurs around mouth and nose.
CONTAGIOUS PERIOD: A person with impetigo may spread the disease to others as long as the sores are draining. Persons with Impetigo should not handle or prepare food for other persons because the bacteria can cause food poisoning.
TREATMENT:A pharmacist can help you choose an over-the-counter ointment for mild Impetigo. Prescriptions may be needed if the infection is more extensive. It is important to wash the sores daily with soap. If crusts are present, gently scrub with soap and water. Keep fingernails short and hands well washed to avoid scratching and spreading the infection. Wear gloves when applying any antibiotic ointment that a physician may recommend and wash hands afterwards.
Call your doctor if the infection does not go away after treatment or appears to be getting worse.