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Washington Heights Dermatology
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Treating Impetigo

Treating Impetigo

Just before a child is born everything is serene and the baby is healthy, incased and protected in an environment where no one can touch it and bacteria cannot enter. Labor and being born has various challenges to the mother and baby. When the baby came, leaving the safety of the womb the baby’s skin picked up organisms that had made a home in the walls of the birthing canal. This bacteria found comfort on the bay’s skin and grew and developed over time as the baby developed it began to cover the baby’s body. There integration with the baby works so well that it helps to protect the baby from more dangerous diseases and bacteria.

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The Initial Stages

While the baby, now a few months old, remains healthy the skin is capable of remaining resistant to infection. A large range of bacteria will try to penetrate the skin. The outer layer of the skin Stratum Corneum is a thin but strong layer that can protect the skin. While the layers grows and sheds it keeps the bacteria away from any inner levels of the skin and internal body. This effective layer only really works when its dry.

This baby is now a toddler and moves around gets a cut or scrape or the skin becomes irritated from a common cold, weather or from warm clothes or a diaper that causes the skin to sweat. Irritation causes inflammation and impacts on the Stratum Corneum layer of the skin and affects the security of the layer. Some children will get more infections than others and the disposition is a genetic link amongst families.

The Disease

The bacterial skin conditions come in the form of Folliculitis and Impetigo. Folliculitis is an infection in the hair follicles and impetigo is a small infection of the skin. Impetigo starts as flat red lesions which become blisters and then sores. These lesions spread through the skin to other parts of the body. While the skin area is healthy the bacteria can not develop. When the baby scratches the aggravated area it allows the bacteria to enter the scratched and irritated skin. Now He has also got the bacteria on his fingers so when he scratches a new untouched area the bacteria spread. Like many skin diseases keeping nails short will help protect the bacteria from spreading. Antibacterial soap will also go a long way to help rid the baby of the bacteria.

Treatment

Topical antibiotics is the most effective approach for treating these lesions. There is a high percentage of relapses because the bacteria stays under the scabs. Soaking in warm water and antibacterial soap helps to remove the scabs and the bacteria and the n the ointment cause be more active in the effected areas. Older children use a little bleach in warm water to treat the scabs effectively reducing the bacteria in the skin.

Oral antibiotics can deliver fast and effective relief to tougher cases specifically if the disease has spread throughout the body or deep in the skin.

Topical steroids can reduce inflammation and the pain but does not treat the disease.

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