Advanced Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery

The largest dermatology practice in America, Advanced Dermatology provides complete clinical and cosmetic skin care. Immediate appointments available at one of our 180+ locations.

Causes and Risk Factors of Impetigo

Impetigo is a common skin condition that often impacts infants and children. It is extremely contagious, but fortunately, it is rarely serious and is typically easily treated by a pediatric dermatologist. Here is a closer look at the causes of impetigo and who is most at risk of contracting it.

Impetigo is a bacterial infection. It occurs when they bacteria enters the skin, usually through some sort of injury such as an insect bite or cut. Bacteria associated with strep and staph infections are the most common culprits in impetigo outbreaks. Impetigo is extremely contagious and can be passed through skin-to-skin contact or via a surface that has been touched by someone who is infected. For instance, it can be transmitted by sharing a towel or toy with someone who has the condition.

Risk Factors
Impetigo is much more common in kids than in adults. Kids between the ages of two and five are most likely to develop it. However, anyone can catch impetigo. Generally, adults who get it have been infected by a child with the condition.

There are additional risk factors for impetigo:

  • Crowded conditions. Because impetigo is so contagious, it easily spreads in crowded environments where multiple people are touching the same surfaces. Schools and daycares are especially prone to impetigo outbreaks.
  • Humid conditions. The bacteria that cause impetigo thrive in humid conditions. As such, impetigo occurs more often in the summer months and in places with humid climates.
  • Participation in some sports. Any sport that involves skin-to-skin contact increases the risk of impetigo. Football players and wrestlers are particularly vulnerable. Sharing equipment such as helmets and facemasks also increases the risk.
  • Weakened immune system. Anyone with a chronic medical condition, such as diabetes, that weakens the immune system is more vulnerable to impetigo infections.

Could you or your child have impetigo? Visit a dermatologist at Advanced Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery for a diagnosis and treatment plan. Our pediatric dermatologists and medical dermatologists diagnose and treat a wide range of skin conditions. To make an appointment, call (866) 400-3376.