What starts as a redish rash, soon becomes small, highly-contageous rupturing blisters with a yellow-brown crust.
Impetigo causes sores that can form commonly around the nose and mouth but can occur anywhere on the skin. These small blisters rupture, ooze for a few days, and develop a yellow-brown crust. It is incredibly contagious and should be treated immediately to avoid further transmission.
Most people get impetigo through skin-to-skin contact with someone who has it. Children and athletes like wrestlers and football players often get it this way. It's also possible to get it by using something infected like an infected towel or sports equipment. Wearing infected clothing is another way to get impetigo.
Staph and strep cause most cases of impetigo. These bacteria cause impetigo by getting into the skin. They can get in through a cut, scratch that barely breaks the skin or bug bite. A rash, sore, or burn also provides a great entry point for the bacteria.
While highly contagious, impetigo is rarely severe. It often clears on its own in a few weeks. Treatment, however, is recommended. By treating it, you reduce your risk of developing complications. Without treatment, the infection can cause new sores or blisters to grow for several weeks. The disease can also go deeper into the skin, which can be severe if untreated. Treatment also reduces your risk of spreading impetigo to others.