Impetigo CAN recur.
The superficial skin infection impetigo, more prevalent among children than adults, can most definitely recur.(1) Caused primarily by the bacteria streptococcus and straphylococcus, it can be either bullous (with blisters) or non-bullous (without).
When a case of impetigo has been established as recurring, antibiotic creams such as fucidin applied to the infected area(s) are no longer sufficient.(2) To properly get rid of recurring impetigo, antibiotics will usually need to be taken orally, for a period of a week and a half.
Children can easily be re-infected with the bacteria, typically incubated in the nose area. The nose itself does not typically show impetigo, but if a child whose impetigo has not been fully flushed picks or scratches his nose, he can easily re-infect schoolmates or close family members.
Confirmation of just how recurring impetigo can be was offered in 2006 by means of a patient Internet posting.(3) For ten straight years, this patient wrote, they have suffered from daily outbreaks on the face or around the ears. At certain points, the infections were so bad that the blister crusts sealed shut this patient’s eyes and mouth.
Despite having visited two separate Mayo Clinics and Johns Hopkins University, as well as tried every topical cream and antibiotic on the market for impetigo, this patient was only finally able to contain the skin infection with a product called Bactroban. They must apply the product every night to keep the problem in check, but it still cannot prevent outbreak on the eyelids areas. A doctor consulting this patient on the page was at a loss to prescribe a solution to the eye problem. Others chimed in to suggest that perhaps hypnosis might work.
Overall, impetigo is not often a fatal disease. Recent statistics show that Brazil had recorded the most deaths from the ailment, followed the United States, Nicaragua, and Peru.(4)
(1) American Oesteopathic College of Dermatology – Impetigo, Retrieved June 26, 2011 from http://www.aocd.org/skin/dermatologic_diseases/impetigo.html
(2) The Daily Mail – How Can I Banish Impetigo, Retrieved June 26, 2011 from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-195325/How-I-banish-impetigo.html
(3) MedHelp – Recurrent Impetigo Every Day for Ten Years, Retrieved June 26, 2011 from http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Dermatology/recurrent-impetigo-every-day-for-10-years/show/244339
(4) Nation Master – Mortality Statistics: Impetigo, Retrieved June 26, 2011 from http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/mor_imp-mortality-impetigo