Impetigo classification

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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 can be classified in various ways. It can be classified as bullous, non-bullous and ecthyma. It can also be classified as primary or secondary to a disease or process e.g burns, surgery, pregnancy, diabetes and trauma. Another classification pattern is with respect to the involved pathogen as Staphylococcal or Streptococcal impetigo. Non-bullous impetigo also known as "impetigo contagiosa" is caused by both Staphylococci and Streptococci and is estimated to make almost 70% of its cases.[1]


Impetigo can be classfied according to different basis as follows:[2][3][4]

On the Basis of Mode of Infection

On the Basis of the Type of Lesion

  • Bullous impetigo
  • Non-bullous impetigo
  • Ecthyma

On the Basis of Causative Organism


  1. Cole C, Gazewood J (2007). "Diagnosis and treatment of impetigo". Am Fam Physician. 75 (6): 859–64. PMID 17390597.
  2. Pereira LB (2012). "Impetigo". An Bras Dermatol. 87 (5): 804. PMID 23044585.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Cohen PR (2016). "Bullous impetigo and pregnancy: Case report and review of blistering conditions in pregnancy". Dermatol Online J. 22 (4). PMID 27617460.
  4. CEDEF (2012). "[Item 87--Mucocutaneous bacterial infections]". Ann Dermatol Venereol. 139 (11 Suppl): A32–9. doi:10.1016/j.annder.2012.01.002. PMID 23176858.
  5. Aikins K, Prasad N, Menon S, Harvey JG, Holland AJ (2015). "Pediatric burn wound impetigo after grafting". J Burn Care Res. 36 (2): e41–6. doi:10.1097/BCR.0000000000000070. PMID 24823337.
  6. Romani L, Steer AC, Whitfeld MJ, Kaldor JM (2015). "Prevalence of scabies and impetigo worldwide: a systematic review". Lancet Infect Dis. 15 (8): 960–7. doi:10.1016/S1473-3099(15)00132-2. PMID 26088526.
  7. Tanus T, Scangarella-Oman NE, Dalessandro M, Li G, Breton JJ, Tomayko JF (2014). "A randomized, double-blind, comparative study to assess the safety and efficacy of topical retapamulin ointment 1% versus oral linezolid in the treatment of secondarily infected traumatic lesions and impetigo due to methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus". Adv Skin Wound Care. 27 (12): 548–59. doi:10.1097/ PMID 25396674.
  8. Rodríguez Bandera AI, Gómez Fernández C, Vorlicka K, Ruiz-Bravo Burguillo E, Herranz Pinto P (2015). "Severe folliculitis with secondary impetiginization in the scalp of a woman treated with panitumumab". Int J Dermatol. 54 (6): e226–9. doi:10.1111/ijd.12342. PMID 25040914.
  9. "Management of simple insect bites: where's the evidence?". Drug Ther Bull. 50 (4): 45–8. 2012. doi:10.1136/dtb.2012.04.0099. PMID 22495051.
  10. Atzori L, Pau M, Aste N, Aste N (2012). "Dermatophyte infections mimicking other skin diseases: a 154-person case survey of tinea atypica in the district of Cagliari (Italy)". Int J Dermatol. 51 (4): 410–5. doi:10.1111/j.1365-4632.2011.05049.x. PMID 22435428.
  11. SHOOTER RA, SMITH MA, GRIFFITHS JD, BROWN ME, WILLIAMS RE, RIPPON JE; et al. (1958). "Spread of staphylococci in a surgical ward". Br Med J. 1 (5071): 607–13. PMC 2028078. PMID 13510743.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Pereira LB (2014). "Impetigo - review". An Bras Dermatol. 89 (2): 293–9. PMC 4008061. PMID 24770507.

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