The high incidence of skin infections in children and adults is due to the fact that the skin is exposed to the irritants as well as pathogens that are present in the environment. Infants and young children are more susceptible to pathogenic skin infections as their immune system has not yet fully developed. Impetigo is one such skin infection that is caused due to exposure to bacteria like Streptococcus or Staphylococcus. These bacteria are normally present on the skin, however, these may enter into the skin through cuts or wounds. This is a superficial and highly contagious skin infection that usually affects irritated or inflamed skin. While exposure to these bacteria emerges as the main impetigo cause, trauma to the skin or skin problems such as eczema, dermatitis or insect bites are some of the major contributory factors for impetigo. Though the topical application of medicated ointments is one of the most effective ways of treating the impetigo rash, one can also try certain home remedies for impetigo.
Signs of Impetigo
Bullous impetigo, non-bullous impetigo and ecthyma are all forms of impetigo. Non-bullous impetigo is one of the common types of impetigo. Also known as impetigo contagiosa, non-bullous impetigo is highly contagious and is characterized by the formation of red sore that usually develops on the face, especially around the nose. The red sore soon turns into a fluid-filled blister, which may ooze and form a light-colored crust. In case of bullous impetigo, fluid-filled blisters could develop on any part of the body. Formation of a dark-colored crust often follows after the fluid oozes from the blister. While the affected skin may itch, one may not experience pain. At times, bacteria may go deeper and affect dermis, which is the skin layer that lies beneath the outermost layer of the skin. This form of impetigo is referred to as ecthyma. The characteristic sign of ecthyma is the development of painful sores, especially on legs or feet. These are usually filled with pus or fluid. These sores turn into ulcers, which crust over, and may sometimes leave behind scars. While use of oral antibiotics or topical application of antibiotic creams may help, one can also follow certain home remedies and self care measures in order to speed up the healing process and prevent the infection from spreading to other parts of the body.
Home Remedies for Alleviating the Symptoms of Impetigo
Since impetigo is contagious in nature, there is a great need to follow certain precautionary measures. Scroll down to find out more about the home remedies along with the precautionary measures for prevention of impetigo.
Preventive Measures: Since bacteria enter through cuts or wounds, one must pay attention to cuts, wounds, insect bites or any injury that may affect the skin. Applying medicated creams on the affected skin and dressing the wounds would certainly lower the risk of such skin infections. Since bacteria can spread through contact, one must not share towels or personal items of the person who has developed such a rash.
Aloe Vera: Aloe vera gel can work wonders when it comes to treating sores or skin rashes. Before you apply aloe vera gel on the sore, make sure that you clean the affected skin with an antibacterial soap. Pat the skin dry using a clean cotton ball, and apply aloe vera gel generously over the sore. Application of aloe vera will not only soothe the irritated skin, but it will also help in speeding up the healing process.
Turmeric Paste: Make a thick paste by mixing turmeric with water. Apply this paste once you have washed the affected skin with an antibacterial soap. Turmeric is an antiseptic, which is the reason why turmeric can aid in faster healing of wounds or rashes.
Tea Tree Oil: Due to its antibacterial properties, tea tree oil is often referred to as an excellent home remedy for impetigo. Application of tea tree oil will not only help in keeping the affected skin clean, but it will also help in dissolving pus from the blisters.
Eucalyptus Oil: Applying eucalyptus oil on the impetigo rash is also one of the effective remedies for impetigo. Eucalyptus oil is antimicrobial in nature which is why it certainly has the ability to speed up healing of skin wounds that are caused by pathogens.
Apple Cider Vinegar: Another effective way to get rid of the crust is to apply diluted apple cider vinegar on the scabs. To make the solution, all you need to do is add a tablespoon of vinegar to about two cups of water.
Lavender Oil: Lavender oil is another aromatic oil that is antiseptic in nature. One can either apply this oil on the skin lesion, or add a few drops in the bath water.
Though the aforementioned home remedies may help in healing the impetigo rash, application of antibiotic ointments or creams is the best way to promote faster healing. If a child has already suffered from an impetigo rash before, precautionary measures must be taken to prevent a recurrence of this contagious bacterial skin infection.