Classic signs and symptoms of impetigo involve red sores that quickly rupture, ooze for a few days and then form a yellowish-brown crust. The sores usually occur around the nose and mouth but can be spread to other areas of the body by fingers, clothing and towels.
A less common form of the disorder, called bullous impetigo, may feature larger blisters that occur on the trunk or diaper area of infants and young children.
A more serious form of impetigo, called ecthyma, penetrates deeper into the skin — causing painful fluid- or pus-filled sores that turn into deep ulcers.
When to see a doctor
If you suspect that you or your child has impetigo, consult your family doctor, your child's pediatrician or a dermatologist.
May 15, 2013
- Kliegman RM, et al. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1608/0.html. Accessed Feb. 26, 2013.
- Habif TP. Clinical Dermatology: A Color Guide to Diagnosis and Therapy. 5th ed. Edinburgh, U.K.; New York, N.Y.: Mosby Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-7234-3541-9..X0001-6--TOP&isbn=978-0-7234-3541-9&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed Feb. 26, 2013.
- Baddour LM. Impetigo. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 26, 2013.
- AskMayoExpert. Impetigo. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2012.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2013:5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-08373-7..00002-9&isbn=978-0-323-08373-7&about=true&uniqId=343863096-23. Accessed Feb. 27, 2013.
- Impetigo care. American Academy of Pediatrics. http://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/skin/Pages/Impetigo.aspx?nfstatus=401&nftoken=00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000&nfstatusdescription=ERROR%3a+No+local+token. Accessed Feb. 27, 2013.
- Gibson LE (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 12, 2013.
- Wolff K, et al. Fitzpatrick's Color Atlas and Synopsis of Clinical Dermatology.6th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2009. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=45. Accessed Feb. 28, 2013.
- Baddour LM. Patient information: Impetigo (beyond the basics). http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 28, 2013.