Impetigo is an epidermal condition characterized by the appearance of a series of sores in areas of the face, such as the nose and mouth, although they can also occur in other parts of the body, especially the hands and feet. This skin disease is highly contagious and mainly affects children who come into contact with other babies or children infected by impetigo or simply by touching some personal items such as clothing, towels and toys.
Because impetigo is an infection caused by the accumulation of bacteria on the skin, health personnel usually assign medications with antibiotic properties to eliminate these microorganisms.
Risk factors and symptoms of impetigo
As we have said, impetigo is a skin disease that generally affects children and is characterized by the appearance of a series of reddish sores located mainly on the face. This contagious infection is caused by the entry of bacteria into our body, although according to the Mayo Clinic, there are also a number of factors that increase the risk of impetigo :
- Contact with infected people: as we have said, impetigo is very contagious, so it is likely to develop the disease if we touch a person with it or some of their personal belongings.
- Skin injuries: wounds such as cuts, insect bites or skin rashes facilitate the entry of bacteria into the dermis.
- Poor personal hygiene and/or use of aggressive products that change the pH of the skin
- Suffering from chronic diseases such as diabetes or having suffered from recent conditions that have reduced the defenses of the immune system.
- Age: Children between 2 and 5 years old are more likely to be infected as they frequently visit places with a high risk of infection such as schools and nurseries.
Impetigo can appear on our skin in three different ways, so the symptoms will vary depending on which one the infected person is suffering from. These are the symptoms of impetigo according to its type :
- Non-bullous impetigo: it is the most frequent and is characterized by the appearance of small reddish blisters that burst and turn into brownish crusts. They can cause minor itching and pain.
- Bullous impetigo: In this case, the blisters are larger due to the accumulation of a clear fluid and usually remain much longer without bursting.
- Impetigo ecthyma: In this case, the skin rashes are filled with pus, have more yellowish crusts and are usually surrounded by reddish borders. By penetrating deeper areas of the skin, the sores cause much more acute pain than in other cases.
Home treatment for impetigo – natural remedies
To cure impetigo correctly, it is necessary that we go to the doctor so that he assigns us the most appropriate medications, which are usually antibiotics to eliminate the bacteria that cause the disease. However, in addition to taking these drugs, we can also speed up the healing process of this infection with the following natural remedies, which serve as home treatment for impetigo :
Calendula oil is a natural remedy for impetigo as it has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties that, on the one hand, help relieve itching and pain caused by sores, and on the other, disinfect and clean wounds, accelerating the healing process. these skin rashes.
To use this remedy, you will have to dilute 4-5 drops of this oil in 3 tablespoons of water and then apply the mixture with the help of cotton pads in the area where the rashes are. Do it between 1-2 times a day.
Aloe vera gel
Aloe vera is a widely used plant since it has different medicinal properties: on the one hand, it has great moisturizing power that gives it anti-inflammatory properties that reduce the symptoms of impetigo. And on the other, its regenerative and antiseptic effect helps to eliminate the bacteria that cause the disease and accelerates the healing process of the sores, making them heal correctly.
You can extract the gel if you have an aloe vera plant at home or buy it directly extracted from a herbalist. In any case, apply the gel with the help of a cotton ball to the sores without pressing or rubbing. Use this remedy every day until you notice results.
Thyme is also used as a home treatment for impetigo since it is considered a powerful natural antibiotic, which helps to eliminate the bacteria that are causing these sores to appear. To prepare the infusion, simply boil 2 glasses of water and 2 tablespoons of fresh thyme in a pot, leaving it to rest for 15 minutes with the heat off. Once warm, apply it on the affected areas with the help of cotton pads.
Foods against impetigo
In addition to the natural remedies that we have explained in the previous section, we can also both combat this disease and prevent it from appearing again with the following foods:
Zinc rich foods
Zinc is an essential mineral for any infection since it has immunological properties that help us increase our defenses and strengthen the body to prevent impetigo from reappearing. Although we can find food supplements of this mineral, here is a list of the foods richest in zinc:
- Pork Meat
Probiotic foods are those that have a wealth of “good” bacteria, that is, they provide healthy properties such as improving our immune system, increasing the production of some vitamins and preventing other microorganisms from blooming inside our body causing infections such as impetigo . Among the probiotic foods that we can try to recover faster from this condition are:
- Dark chocolate
- miso soup
- Sauerkraut (or fermented white cabbage)
- Kefir (or fermented goat's milk)
- kombucha tea
Evening primrose oil
Evening primrose oil is a natural product that has a high content of healthy fatty acids, especially omega 6. Thanks to this, this oil has excellent healing and anti-inflammatory properties that help us both to regenerate skin cells damaged by infection and relieve symptoms such as itching and pain.
Evening primrose oil can be purchased at any herbalist in the form of capsules or pearls. To get results with it, you will need to take 2 capsules of 500 mg per day spread over meals.