Impetigo By: Jessica Ziegler

(Above: Staphylococcus bacteria)

Impetigo- The Basics

  • It is a bacterial infection of the skin caused by either the streptococcus or staphylococcus bacteria.
  • It affects the integumentary system.
  • It is an acute infection.
  • It is not lethal.

The Symptoms

  • Small, itchy red sores on the skin.
  • Can ooze and look crusty.
  • Easily increases in number and size- spreads quickly.
A blood agar plate containing streptococcus and staphylococcus bacteria.


  • Can be caused by either streptococcus or staphylococcus bacteria.
  • It is easily treated by an antibiotic ointment (for minor cases) or by antibiotic pills (for severe cases). The ointment is placed on the infected area as prescribed for about a week. The pills are taken as prescribed for about a week. After such week the sores should be completely gone.

How Common Is It?

  • It is extremely common in the US with over 3 million cases per year.
  • Northern Europe has recently experienced a rise in impetigo cases through the past 10 years.
  • In Africa, impetigo is the 30th most common skin infection.
  • It is most commonly found in children rather than in adults.

Works Cited

  • Rørtveit, Sverre, Dag Harald Skutlaberg, Nina Langeland, and Guri Rortveit. "The Decline of the Impetigo Epidemic Caused by the Epidemic European Fusidic Acid-resistant Impetigo Clone: An 11.5-year Population-based Incidence Study from a Community in Western Norway." Scandinavian Journal of Infectious Diseases. Informa Healthcare, Dec. 2014. Web. 10 Mar. 2017.
  • "Impetigo - Topic Overview." WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2017.
  • Hees, Colette Van., and B. Naafs. Common Skin Diseases in Africa: An Illustrated Guide. Voorburg: Van Hees, 2001. Telemedicine. Telemedicine. Web. 10 Mar. 2017.
  • HansN. "Beta-hemolysis." Beta Hemolysis on Blood Agar; Beta-hemolytic Colonies of Group A Streptococcus (Streptococcus Pyogenes), Beta and Gamma Hemolytic Colonies on Blood Agar. Bacteria Photos, n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2017.

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