Bullous Impetigo

By: Nicole Misiorski

Symptoms Provided

-only 6 months old

-pustules on her face and hands

-after the pustules burst, the healing region has a golden crusty appearance

What is Bullous Impetigo?

Bullous impetigo is a contagious bacterial infection which can occur in the superficial layers of the skin. It is rarer than nonbullous impetigo and not as contagious. While nonbullous impetigo is caused by both Streptococcus Pyogenes and Staphylococcus Aureus, bullous impetigo is only caused by strains of Staphylococcus Aureus, which releases toxins to signal the creation of large, fluid filled pustules. This form is most commonly found in children, especially children under the age of 2. Many infants can contract this infection through a diaper rash. A child is more likely to develop impetigo if they already have a rash, cut, sore, or other skin problems. This infection is is the most common bacterial skin infection in children and the third most common skin disease overall, after dermatitis and viral warts. It is not deadly, and will normally disappear after two weeks without treatment.

People With Bullous Impetigo


Symptoms for bullous impetigo include...

  • red sores that pop easily and leave a yellow crust
  • fluid-filled blisters
  • itchy rash
  • skin lesions
  • swollen lymph nodes
  • rarely, one may experience a fever, fatigue, diarrhea,

Bullous impetigo has clear, yellow fluid contained within a bullae, which will evertually turn cloudy and a dark yellow color. Many of these can rupture easily, and leave a rim of scale. The lesion will later gain a scalded skin appearance.


Treatment of this infection differs depending on the severity. In some cases, people have no sought any form of treatment and the infection went away in about two weeks. If someone has a mild form of this infection, a doctor may recommend that they wash the area thoroughly every day, pat it dry, and put an anti-bacterial or over-the-counter antibiotic on the skin. Once this is done, a band-aid should be placed over the skin to prevent it from spreading. This method, however, may not be as effective as an antibiotic may be.

If the infection becomes serious or it does not go away using an at-home treatment, a patient should go to their doctor, and receive a topical antibiotic or an oral antibiotic. Some doctors will prescribe an antibiotic cream, such as mupirocin or penicillin derivatives like amoxicillin, depending on the severity of the spread and infection. If the bacteria is drug-resistant staph, a doctor may prescribe other antibiotics like clindamycin.


Bullous Impetigo is not fatal, and normally will go away in a few weeks. While it can be unpleasant to look at while you have it, the pustules go away and rarely leave any scarring. It only will impact a persons lifestyle for a few weeks at the most. Rarely is there a long lasting affect of this infection on ones body.

For More Information, Go To


To contact this organization, contact the Editorial Office at

11400 Tomahawk Creek Pkwy

Leawood, KS

Telephone: 913-906-6205

Fax: 913-906-6086

E-mail: afjournal@aafp.org

or go to their contact page on their website



Coles, Charles, and John Gazewood. "Diagnosis and Treatment of Impetigo." American Family Physician. American Academy of Family Physicians, 15 Mar. 2007. Web. 05 Apr. 2016.

Gupta, Rupal. "Impetigo." KidsHealth - the Web's Most Visited Site about Children's Health. The Nemours Foundation, June 2014. Web. 05 Apr. 2016.

Johnston. "Result Filters." National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, June 2004. Web. 05 Apr. 2016.

Lewis, Lisa S. "Impetigo Clinical Presentation." Impetigo Clinical Presentation: History, Physical Examination, Complications. 31 Mar. 2016. Web. 05 Apr. 2016.

Lewis, Lisa S. "Impetigo." : Practice Essentials, Background, Pathophysiology. Medscape, 31 Mar. 2016. Web. 05 Apr. 2016.

Marieb, Elaine Nicpon. Human Anatomy and Physiology. Redwood City, CA: Benjamin/Cummings, 1995. Print.

Martel, Janelle. "Impetigo." Healthline. 28 Jan. 2016. Web. 05 Apr. 2016.