Impetigo causes

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Usama Talib, BSc, MD [2]


Impetigo is usually caused by Staphylococcus aureus. Streptococci (e.g. Streptococcus pyogenes) have been associated with the non-bullous form of impetigo and ecthyma.Streptococci can either infect individually or co-infect with Staphylococcus aureus. Non-bullous impetigo makes 70% of all the caess of impetigo.[1][2][3][4]


It was previously believed that non-bullous impetigo is caused by group A streptococci whereas Staphylococcus aureus causes the bullous subtype of impetigo. Both bullous and non-bullous subtypes of impetigo are now understood to be primarily caused by S. aureus. Streptococci have been associated with the non-bullous form and ecthyma.[3][5][6][7]

Common causes

The common causes of impetigo include:[8][9][10][11]

Bullous Impetigo

Non-bullous Impetigo


Drug Induced


  1. Darmstadt GL, Lane AT (1994). "Impetigo: an overview". Pediatr Dermatol. 11 (4): 293–303. PMID 7899177.
  2. Demidovich CW, Wittler RR, Ruff ME, Bass JW, Browning WC (1990). "Impetigo. Current etiology and comparison of penicillin, erythromycin, and cephalexin therapies". Am J Dis Child. 144 (12): 1313–5. PMID 2244610.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Stulberg DL, Penrod MA, Blatny RA (2002). "Common bacterial skin infections". American family physician. 66 (1): 119–24. PMID 12126026.
  4. Cole C, Gazewood J (2007). "Diagnosis and treatment of impetigo". Am Fam Physician. 75 (6): 859–64. PMID 17390597.
  5. Kikuta H, Shibata M, Nakata S, Yamanaka T, Sakata H, Akizawa K; et al. (2011). "Predominant Dissemination of PVL-Negative CC89 MRSA with SCCmec Type II in Children with Impetigo in Japan". Int J Pediatr. 2011: 143872. doi:10.1155/2011/143872. PMC 3236481. PMID 22187567.
  6. Shi D, Higuchi W, Takano T, Saito K, Ozaki K, Takano M; et al. (2011). "Bullous impetigo in children infected with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus alone or in combination with methicillin-susceptible S. aureus: analysis of genetic characteristics, including assessment of exfoliative toxin gene carriage". J Clin Microbiol. 49 (5): 1972–4. doi:10.1128/JCM.01742-10. PMC 3122639. PMID 21430094.
  7. Jenney A, Holt D, Ritika R, Southwell P, Pravin S, Buadromo E; et al. (2014). "The clinical and molecular epidemiology of Staphylococcus aureus infections in Fiji". BMC Infect Dis. 14: 160. doi:10.1186/1471-2334-14-160. PMC 3998116. PMID 24655406.
  8. Cohen PR (2016). "Bullous impetigo and pregnancy: Case report and review of blistering conditions in pregnancy". Dermatol Online J. 22 (4). PMID 27617460.
  9. Duggal SD, Bharara T, Jena PP, Kumar A, Sharma A, Gur R; et al. (2016). "Staphylococcal bullous impetigo in a neonate". World J Clin Cases. 4 (7): 191–4. doi:10.12998/wjcc.v4.i7.191. PMC 4945591. PMID 27458596.
  10. Moran GJ, Amii RN, Abrahamian FM, Talan DA (2005). "Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in community-acquired skin infections". Emerg Infect Dis. 11 (6): 928–30. doi:10.3201/eid1106.040641. PMC 3367577. PMID 15963289.
  11. Kuniyuki S, Nakano K, Maekawa N, Suzuki S (2005). "Topical antibiotic treatment of impetigo with tetracycline". J Dermatol. 32 (10): 788–92. PMID 16361729.

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