- Impetigo is a skin infection caused by bacteria which is common in children
- Conventional doctors treat Impetigo with antibiotics, which can be harsh on the body and immune system and can create more health problems later.
- Natural treatments like Ozone therapy & UVBI therapy are effective, all natural treatment options.The most prevalent upper respiratory infections are the common head cold, influenza (flu), bronchitis, and pneumonia.
What is Impetigo?
Impetigo is a highly contagious bacterial infection which causes red, scabby blisters on the skin. It is most commonly contracted by children and blisters are usually found clustered around the nose and mouth.
Impetigo is a common condition and accounts for about 10% of all skin related pediatric visits. Most impetigo infections are caused by the bacteria staphylococcus aureus and aren’t life threatening, however, complications can occur.
Any contact with the bacteria, including contact with clothing, toys, or blankets, that have been touched to someone carrying the bacteria can cause the infection to occur. The disease is especially prevalent in developing countries and is commonly contracted while traveling.
Who is at Risk for Contracting Impetigo?
Children ages 2-5 are the most likely to contract impetigo, although infants, elderly people, people with diabetes, and those with weakened immune systems are also at risk. The following factors may also increase the chance of getting the infection:
Impetigo Risk Factors
- Broken Skin: a rash, insect bite, or cut can allow bacteria to enter the body
- Humid, warm weather: infections are more common in summer months
- Crowded Areas: the bacteria spreads easily in crowds and is especially prevalent in school, day-care, and other group settings
- Contact Sports: participating in wrestling and other contact sports increases risk of coming in contact with the bacteria
Impetigo is characterized by red sores, or blisters, that rupture and ooze for a few days and then form a tan-colored crust before healing. The blisters can itch and be painful, but discomfort is usually mild. In some cases there may be a fever and swollen glands present as the body fights the infection.
Blisters are commonly found on:
- The area of skin around the mouth and nose
- Hands and feet
- The trunk (more common in infants)
In most cases, blisters last for a few days and then leave a red mark for about a week. In mild forms of the infection, blisters heal without scarring.
Different Types of Impetigo:
There are a few other forms of impetigo that are more severe and can affect different populations:
- Bullous Impetigo: Usually found in infants and toddlers, symptoms include larger blisters that reside on areas between two skin folds such as in the armpit, groin, between fingers, toes, breasts, and buttocks. This form of impetigo is less common and can create a ring of blisters that surrounds the diaper area, causing discomfort to the infant.
- Ecthyma: This more serious form of the infection is sometimes referred to as “deep impetigo” as it effects deeper layers of the skin. The blisters are small with red borders, sometimes pus-filled, and more painful. Ecthyma blisters can turn into ulcers and are more likely to cause scarring.
Complications of Severe Impetigo
Impetigo typically isn't dangerous, but there are complications that can occur in severe cases such as:
- Scarring: The deeper, more severe blisters associated with ecthyma can leave a scar after healing.
- Cellulitis: an infection that occurs underneath the top layer of skin can potentially spread and become life-threatening if left untreated.
- Kidney Problems: a strain of bacteria that can cause impetigo can also cause damage to your kidneys.
Prevention and Containment
Because this bacteria spreads so easily, the best way to keep infections at bay is to maintain proper hygiene. Keep skin clean, especially cuts, scrapes, insect bites, and dry skin.
If you do contract impetigo, a few precautions can be taken to protect others:
- Stay home, keep children home from school and other outings until no longer contagious
- Abstain from itching/scratching and keep nails short to prevent skin damage and spreading of bacteria to other areas of the skin.
- Wash infected area with soapy water and cover with gauze or another protective barrier.
- Wash all clothes, towels, toys, and bedding of infected people and don’t allow sharing among siblings
Conventional Treatment for Impetigo
Most conventional doctors will treat impetigo using topical ointments, dressings and antibiotic therapy. Antibiotic therapy for impetigo is typically applied topically or in combination with systemic antibiotics.
It is becoming widespread knowledge that unnecessary use of antibiotics is not healthy for a child’s or an adult’s gut health, which is where the majority of our immune system lies. Overuse of antibiotics has led to superbugs and disruption of gut microbiome function, which can lead to all kinds of problems later in life. For this reason, we take an alternative approach and seek to minimize the user of antibiotics where possible.
Natural Impetigo Treatment
At LifeWorks Wellness Center, we’ll help you heal from Impetigo and safely manage infections to minimize the chance of developing complications. Impetigo can be uncomfortable but with safe, all natural treatment, we can help you get your healthy skin back.
LifeWorks Therapies for Impetigo
A natural approach to impetigo may include one or more of the following:
Ozone Therapy: Ozone therapy for impetigo may involve topical ozone therapy, if the area of the body affected is a limb which can be encased in a bag, which is then flooded with ozone. The ozone makes contact with the limb and is absorbed by the skin. Other forms of ozone therapy may also be administered, depending on what your practitioner recommends.
Nutritional Supplementation: There are many supplements that can be taken to improve the health of the skin and support your immune system. Vitamin D, zinc, and antioxidants can all support your body’s ability to fight infection and improve skin health. Our practitioners will determine through testing, which supplements you might benefit from taking. Also, silver gel which is applied topically may be recommended.
Naturally Eliminate Impetigo Before it Spreads!
Impetigo is extremely contagious and can affect the whole family. If you suspect that you have been exposed, and want help eliminating the bacteria before it spreads, we can help. If you already have an outbreak, we can support healing of the skin to make sure blisters heal without leaving scars or developing complications and without the unnecessary use of antibiotics.
If you want help discovering what natural health treatment options are available to you for Impetigo, give us a call at 727-466-6789 or submit an online inquiry.
*Disclaimer: Individual patient results may vary based on a patient's medical history and other factors.