Impetigo is a very contagious, superficial, bacterial skin infection that easily spreads among people in close contact.
Most cases occur in children and resolve spontaneously without scarring in approximately 14 days.
Ecthyma is a deeply ulcerated form of impetigo that extends to the dermis.
It has "punched-out" ulcers with yellow crust and elevated violaceous margins.
Most cases occur in children and elderly.
It may be a de novo infection or superinfection.

Patient Education

  • To prevent spread, patient should avoid contact w/ noninfected persons & avoid sharing of towels, sheets, etc
  • Child must not return to daycare or school until 24-72 hours after initiation of antibiotic treatment
  • Practice simple cleanliness eg washing hands after contact w/ lesions of infected persons
    • Daily bath w/ soap & water
  • Daily cleaning of the lesions w/ an antiseptic soap & water may prevent recurrence at distant sites
  • Advise the patient to keep fingernails short & to avoid scratching the lesions
  • Improve nutritional status & treat underlying conditions
  • Routine follow-up is not needed but patient should be advised to return if condition did not improve 7 days after starting therapy or sooner if condition worsened
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