Impetigo is one of skin disorders which is triggered by bacteria infestation to the skin. Normally, it takes quite a long period of 2 to 3 weeks for impetigo-affected area to improve. Although many people do not apply and take any medications for improving the conditions, many others prefer to discuss the condition with professionals, who will likely to give a prescription for certain medications. Despite the fact, medication-taking intended for impetigo should be done with cautions, especially because the infection affect young children more often than adults.
Common treatments for impetigo
Impetigo treatments are similar to those treatments for other kinds of skin infection. These treatments depend on the severity of the symptoms, the areas which are affected, and the characteristics of the victims. It is not uncommon for doctors not to prescribe any medicines to be taken for mild impetigo. Instead, they are going to give directions about proper hygiene practices which help improving the condition. On the other hand, more severe cases, in which impetigo has spread into some areas of the skin all over the body or face, medications—mostly antibiotics might be required.
Antibiotics which are prescribed to heal impetigo by killing the causative bacteria might be in a form of topical or oral antibiotics. Topical antibiotics are usually in a form of ointment or cream which is directly applied to the affected skin. This kind of antibiotics is going to penetrate the wound site, eliminating on-site causative bacteria and giving relieves to the resulted itching and pain. The application of antibiotic cream or ointment can be applied for patients in any age, including infants and young children. Pediatricians may prescribe milder topical antibiotics for children with very young ages, making sure there will no complications of side effects after the application.
Oral antibiotics, in addition, will be given when topical antibiotics do not give any significant healing progress to the affected skin. These oral antibiotics should be prescribed by professionals and not self-chosen. Commonly, liquid antibiotics is given to children suffering from impetigo, while antibiotics pills are suitable for adults.
Will impetigo go away without antibiotics?
Since impetigo commonly affects young children, antibiotic-based medications might be problematic. Although not all, there are children and adults, as well, who are sensitive to antibiotics, especially the oral ones. Some side effects of given antibiotics to clear up impetigo infection include:
- Stomach upset, which may be accompanied by severe diarrhea.
- Dizziness and headache, which can be followed by vomiting.
- Feeling sick and fatigue.
Oral antibiotics may also trigger recurrent impetigo. It is possible for this skin disorder to reappear in the future even after the first breakout is fully healed. This may be caused by stopped antibiotics before the causative bacteria are fully eliminated from the wound site and the entire body. Many people decide to stop taking antibiotic pills or liquid when the symptoms of impetigo have improved, even though the medications should not be finished yet. When this is done, it raises the possibility of the causative bacteria to be resistant to antibiotics, since they are not fully defeated yet. As a result, future breakouts may appear while the same antibiotics might not be as useful as it is previously. Thus, it is important to finish your prescribed antibiotics even though the symptoms have improved in order to prevent bacterial resistance toward certain types of antibiotics.
As a matter of fact, it is possible to get rid of impetigo without taking any antibiotic liquid or pills, or applying antibiotic ointment or cream, as long as the infection is mild. Mild infection of impetigo is signed by small affected area with controllable and endurable itching and burning pain. With young infants, you may skip medications if the affected skin is not severely wetted by drainage fluids from the blisters, and the infants do not seem to be very uncomfortable. You can also skip oral medications when the skin disorder appears on adults’ skin, since the patient should be able to practice proper hygiene practice to improve the condition and is required with or without antibiotics. If you are concerned about the side effects antibiotics can possibly trigger, you might want to try using more natural remedies for improving impetigo-affected skin.