The origins of the word “Impetigo” track back to the 14th century. It is a Middle English term, derived from the Latin word “impeter”, which means to attack, designating an extreme and very contagious form of surface skin disease.
Bullous Impetigo is a much rarer form of the ailment, usually striking children ages five and under, that encompasses liquid filled blisters. Bullous Impetigo is particularly prevalent among newborn children, but the good news it can be effectively treated in any community with access to medical care.
Topical and Systemic Therapies
If the outbreak is mild, the condition can be treated with fusidic acid or mupriocin. More severe cases may require the oral or intravenous intake of a substance called flucloxacillion, marketed in pharmacies by GlaxoSmithKline under the product name Floxapen.
One of the ways bullous Impetigo is transmitted is by the mucus of the nose. So it’s customary, when a young child is diagnosed with a mild or severe outbreak, to nasally swab immediate relatives and friends who may have come in contact with the young child.
Learning from Pemphigus
There is another rare skin disease, called Pemphigus, which is triggered by antibodies rather than the “Staphylococcus aureus” root of bullous Impetigo. Both are basically blistering skin diseases, but what scientists have been able to do over the past few centuries of modern medicine evolution is use data gathered by the analysis of one to aid in the treatment of the other.
Research into Pemphigus allowed scientists to gain further understanding of how such rare blister forms are triggered in the young human organism. Overall, Impetigo is actually a fairly common form of child skin infection. One in ten children treated for skin diseases by U.S. pediatricians are suffering from some sort of Impetigo, making it the third most common form of skin disease among children. It is particularly prevalent in the seasons of summer and fall.
U.S. National Library of Medicine
Treatment of Bullous Impetigo and the Staphylococcal Scadled Skin Syndrome in Infants
New England Journal of Medicine
emphigus, Bullous Impetigo, and the Staphylococcal Scalded Skin Syndrome