Impetigo is highly contagious.
Impetigo is an infection commonly caused by the streptococcus aureus or staphylococcus pyrenogenes bacteria. Mostly children acquire the condition, but it may affect adults as well. While it usually manifests around the mouth and nose, it can appear anywhere on the body. The condition normally isn’t serious, but it’s highly contagious. The reason why lies in the nature of impetigo’s symptoms.
Impetigo appears as red, itchy sores or blisters that burst. Viscous fluid drains from the sores, and that liquid carries the virus. The sores are itchy, and when a sufferer scratches, the liquid often coats fingers and fingernails and expands the infected area or is transferred to other body parts, clothing, linens, furniture, dishes, pets, and people.
Containment and Treatment
With proper care and consistent actions, impetigo can be contained and cured:
Careful, consistent, and frequent washing of face and hands, especially after contact with an infected area. Use warm water, an antibiotic soap, and clean wash clothes and towels each time; do not share or reuse them until laundered.
Wash clothes and bedding often.
Don’t share eating utensils or dishes.
Apply anti-bacterial topical ointment as prescribed by a physician.
Covering oozing blisters may help resist scratching and containing the infection-laden liquid. Use fresh bandages after washing the face.
Gently scrub away any crusty area on or around open sores. Allowing the “lid” may extend the infection period and ferocity by not allowing the infected fluid to drain and be cleaned away.
Take immune system-boosting supplements during the episode. (Note: Some supplements legitimately help while infected, but they should not be used extensively after the infection is cured. Continued use could kill “good” bacteria that naturally live on or inside the body. One such supplement is goldenseal-good for the short-term but not for the long-term unless supervised by a physician.)
Myrrh oil may help reduce irritation and inflammation. Ingesting a mixture of myrrh and honey greatly reduces the toxins in the blood that contribute to inflammation and directly combats the staphylococcus aureus bacterium, one of the causes of impetigo.
As always, consult a physician before attempting these or other remedies.