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Impetigo Causes & Risks

Causes

Impetigo is caused by one or both of the following types of bacteria:

  • Group A Streptococcus
  • Staphylococcus

These bacteria are normally found on the skin and in the nose. When small cuts, scratches, or insect bites occur, these bacteria can get under the skin. There they can cause infection. Impetigo is often spread from person to person.

Risk Factors

Factors that increase your chance for impetigo include:

  • Age: preschool and school-aged children
  • Touching a person with impetigo
  • Touching the clothing, towels, sheets, or other items of a person with impetigo
  • Poor hygiene, particularly unwashed hands and dirty fingernails
  • Crowded settings where there is direct person-to-person contact, such as schools and the military
  • Warm, humid environment
  • Seasonal: Summer
  • Poor health or weakened immune system
  • Tendency to have skin problems such as eczema , poison ivy , or skin allergy
  • Cuts, scratches, insect bites , or other injury or trauma to the skin
  • Chickenpox
  • Lice infections (like scabies , head lice , or public lice ), which cause scratching

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2019 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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