Ecthyma - Causes, Symptoms And Treatment
What is Ecthyma ?
Ecthyma is a skin infection similar to impetigo, but more deeply invasive. Usually caused by a streptococcus infection, ecthyma goes through the outer layer (epidermis) to the deeper layer (dermis) of skin, possibly causing scars. Ecthyma is the most serious form of impetigo
Causes of Ecthyma
The bacterium Streptococcus is the most common infectious organism associated with ecthyma. Staphylococcus bacteria can also cause ecthyma. The infection may start at the site of an injury, such as a scratch or insect bite, and is often found on the legs.
An ecthyma may begin with a pus-filled blister, similar to that seen in impetigo. However, the infection goes through the outer layer of skin (epidermis) and into the deeper layer (dermis). An ulcer with raised borders develops. It is covered by a hard crust. Unlike impetigo, ecthyma can sometimes result in scarring.
Symptoms of Ecthyma
Ecthyma lesion usually begins as a vesicle (small blister) or pustule on an inflamed area of skin. A hard crust that is harder and thicker than the crust of impetigo soon covers this. With difficulty, the crust can be removed to reveal an indurated ulcer that may be red, swollen and oozing with pus. Lesions may stay fixed in size and sometimes resolve spontaneously without treatment, or they may gradually enlarge to a sore of 0.5-3 cm in diameter. The areas most affected are the buttocks, thighs, legs, ankle and feet. Occasionally, the local lymph nodes become swollen and painful.
Treatment of Ecthyma
Treatment depends on the extent and severity of infection. some of the common treatment for Ecthyma are :-
The duration of treatment varies; several weeks of therapy may be necessary to completely resolve ecthyma.
How is the Ecthyma infection diagnosed ?
The healthcare professional is usually able to diagnose ecthyma after a complete history and physical examination. A culture may be done of the lesion.
Prevention of Ecthyma
Cleanse all injuries or bites, and encourage your child to avoid scratching or digging at them.
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