Impetigo: Symptoms & Signs

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Medically Reviewed on 3/21/2019

Impetigo is a bacterial infection of the skin that is most common in young children. The infection is superficial, meaning it is usually limited to the skin. Warm and humid environments are also a risk factor for the development of impetigo. The condition is contagious and can spread from person to person.

Signs and symptoms of impetigo include a red rash that typically includes fluid-filled blisters. It is common around the nose and mouth areas but can occur elsewhere on the body. After these blisters burst, a dark or honey-colored crust on the skin can be seen. Other associated symptoms can include mild itching and discomfort. With impetigo, the skin usually heals without scarring.

Causes of impetigo

Both Streptococcus (strep) and Staphylococcus (staph) bacteria cause impetigo.


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/21/2019

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