The diagnosis of impetigo is usually based on clinical features, but laboratory tests may be performed to confirm the diagnosis or rule out other conditions. A culture of the fluid from the blisters or crusts can identify the bacteria causing the infection.
The treatment of impetigo depends on the severity of the infection. Mild cases can be treated with topical antibiotics such as mupirocin or retapamulin. More severe cases may require oral antibiotics such as cephalexin or clindamycin. Treatment typically lasts for 7-10 days. In addition to antibiotics, keeping the affected area clean and covered with a sterile dressing can help prevent the spread of infection.
The prevention of impetigo is focused on reducing the risk of exposure to the bacteria that cause the infection. Good hygiene practices, such as washing hands regularly, can help prevent the spread of bacteria. Avoiding contact with people who have impetigo or other skin infections is also important. Children with impetigo should be kept home from school or day care until they are no longer contagious.
Several recent studies have focused on the management of impetigo in children. A randomised controlled trial published in the British Medical Journal in 2018 compared the effectiveness of oral and topical antibiotics for the treatment of impetigo in children. The study found that both oral and topical antibiotics were effective in treating impetigo, but that oral antibiotics had a slightly higher cure rate.Another study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology in 2019 examined the use of a combination of retapamulin and benzoyl peroxide for the treatment of impetigo. The study found that the combination therapy was effective in treating impetigo and had a lower risk of side effects compared to other treatment options. In addition, a study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology in 2020 investigated the immune response to impetigo in children. The study found that children with impetigo had higher levels of inflammatory cytokines in their blood compared to healthy controls. The study suggests that targeting these cytokines may be a potential therapeutic approach for impetigo.
References available on request.