The highly infectious skin disease Impetigo caused by infection with bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus. These bacteria are usually found in the nose and are thought to be transmitted to the skin by sneezing.
If the bacteria fall onto damaged skin, they can infect the skin causing the very unsightly weeping blisters and yellowish brown scabs associated with impetigo. The scabs are very infectious and are usually found on the face but can easily be transmitted to other parts of the body or to other individuals.
It is essential to treat the infection immediately, especially in children where the condition may be more severe. Infected scabs should be removed by washing with a saline or antibiotic solution and an antibiotic cream should be applied regularly throughout the day.
More severe infections can be treated with oral or intravenous antibiotics (especially penicillins). All infected individuals should use separate eating utensils and flannels, which should be boiled regularly to prevent further spread of the infection.
If left untreated the infection will spread and may last for several months.
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