Impetigo tends to develop in areas of the skin that have already been damaged through some other mechanism (a cut or scrape, burn, insect bite, or vesicle from chickenpox).
In more serious, widespread cases of impetigo, or when the child has a fever or swollen glands, antibiotics may be given by mouth or even through a needle placed in a vein (intravenously).
Certain factors, such as heat and humidity, crowded conditions, and poor hygiene increase the chance that this type of impetigo will spread rapidly among large groups of children.
There is also a chance that if transmitted to the face or other parts of the body the bacteria in the sty can cause impetigo, a contagious skin infection.
If left untreated, the type of bacteria causing this type of impetigo has the potential to cause a serious kidney disease (glomerulonephritis).
Even when impetigo is initially caused by strep bacteria, the vesicles are frequently secondarily infected with staph bacteria.
Impetigo caused by the bacteria called group A streptococci (also known as strep) are most common in children ages two to five.
Epidemic impetigo can be caused by staph or strep bacteria and (as the name implies) is very easily passed among children.
The first sign of bullous impetigo is a large bump on the skin with a clear, fluid-filled top (a vesicle).
Impetigo caused by the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus (also known as staph) affects children of all ages.