What Is It?
Impetigo is a highly contagious bacterial skin infection, usually caused by Group A streptococcus or Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. Impetigo is most common in children. However, it sometimes occurs in adults who have other itchy skin conditions, such as eczema. Other conditions that increase your risk of developing impetigo include chickenpox, reactions to insect bites, burns of the skin and diabetes.
Impetigo often appears around the nose and mouth. However, it can develop wherever the skin is broken by cuts, scrapes, scratching, or cold sores, and where bacteria can enter.
Impetigo causes small bumps or blisters that burst. The skin underneath is moist, tender and red, and it oozes a clear liquid. A honey-colored crust, which may itch, then forms over the reddened area. If the disease is more severe, you also may have a fever and swelling of the lymph glands (swollen glands) in the face or neck.