Key Points

  • Impetigo is a highly contagious superficial cutaneous infection due to Staphylococcus aureus or Streptococcus pyogenes that most commonly affects children.It typically presents as honey-colored, crusted erosions, though other forms exist such as bullous impetigo and ecthyma (a deeper, more purulent infection that is a separate entity from ecthyma gangrenosum).
  • The diagnosis is usually made clinically. Bacterial cultures for the determination of species and antibiotic sensitivity are recommended when treatment is being considered.
  • Impetigo is mostly self-limited, though antibiotic treatment should be considered when extensive involvement occurs; when deeper involvement occurs, as in ecthyma; or during outbreaks.
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