Dr. Cedric Strong, MD MBA
Dr. Strong was always inspired by his father, a doctor who also sought to help and serve his community.
After completing his residency at Tufts University in Massachusetts, Dr. Strong worked at hospitals in Florida and New Hampshire before moving to Hawai’i in 2007. (He still wonders how he made it through all those harsh New England winters.)
Dr. Strong experienced the unique pressures of Hawaiian healthcare right away. He traveled between the islands for several years treating patients before putting down roots in Honolulu. Dr. Strong loves his work in Hawaii, and is inspired everyday by the place and people to make a positive difference both in his own life and in the community.
Impetigo is a contagious bacterial infection of the skin that affects many. It easily spreads by coming in contact with the infected person. In fact, people living in warm, humid weather are more prone to it. Most of the time antibiotic creams suffice to clear the infection. However, sometimes an antibiotic syrup or tablet may be required. There are three variations of impetigo skin infection that may occur:
- Staphylococcus aureus- most frequently found cause.
- Streptococcus pyogenes
- Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). It is a relatively newer strain and is quickly becoming resistant to antibiotics.
If the healthy skin is affected, it is a case of primary impetigo. Secondary impetigo infects previously damaged or affected skin. Such as with eczema or a cut. Impetigo on the face or near the mouth may give the impression of being a cold sore. Cold sores are viral infections. They recur in the same spot now and then.
Non-bullous impetigo (most common form)
After one’s infected with impetigo, the rashes begin to appear within 4 to 10 days. Most often, it shows up on the face. Smaller blisters may appear around the original blister site. These are satellite patches. Few blisters filled with fluid appear first. Since they are so small, it is invisible to the naked eye. Soon they burst and leave behind golden scabs that resemble cornflakes. The affected skin may become red or inflamed.
Non-bullous impetigo (most common form)
This type of impetigo will have large blisters. It results in thin layers of skin peeling off of the top of the blisters. Once the skin peels off, it leaves behind raw red patches of inflamed skin beneath. It is more likely to occur in areas that also have eczema. Or other such conditions on the body. In rare cases, the breaks in the skin can become very deep and form ulcers. Such occurrences are ecthyma.
The condition is likely to clear without intervention in 2-3 weeks. However, treatment may be required because of its contagious nature. Doctor’s advise to apply a medicated cream, Naseptin, just inside the nose. It can help clear the infection.
An antibiotic cream suffices to clear small patches of impetigo. Use warm soapy water to clean the affected area. Additionally, remove the crusts before applying the cream. With fever or swollen lymph glands, one should visit a doctor. Additionally, one should take oral medicine.
Antibiotic tablets or liquid syrup may be recommended. This is if the rash is severe. Additionally, they are recommended if it is widespread and recurring in nature. Take a course of antibiotics if the infection continues to spread even after using the cream.
Your doctor may suggest an alternative medication to treat the condition. This is in cases where the particular strain of bacteria is resistant to the antibiotic prescribed. It may be done after performing a swab test of your blister. The swab test determines which strain of bacteria is the culprit. Overall, this will help your physician arrive at the best course of treatment for your condition.
- Avoid touching or coming in contact with impetigo patches. Don’t allow other children to come in contact with the affected skin.
- Wash your hands before and after every application of the cream.
- Avoid sharing towels, bathwater, etc until you are free from the infection.
- Avoid public places at least 48 hours after the infection resolves.
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