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Currant beard

The raisin (impetigo, impetigo vulgaris / contagiosa or child pain) is a rather innocent inflammation of the skin. It is an infectious disease that is caused by bacteria. A currant beard is contagious and mainly occurs in young children. The incubation period is 1 to 3 days.

What are the complaints

With a currant beard, red spots or bumps appear on the face, especially near the nose and mouth. The spots can also be on other parts of the body. Where there is already a wound, inflammation can occur.
The bumps change into vesicles with moisture in them. When the vesicles open, they become wet spots with yellow crusts. These spots can quickly become bigger, hurt and itch.

How do you get a raisin beard?

The bacteria is in the nose and throat of someone who is infected. Many people carry the bacterium without them getting symptoms themselves. By coughing, sneezing and talking, small droplets with the bacteria are released into the air. People can breathe in these droplets and become infected.
The moisture in the vesicles is very contagious. By sitting on the spots, the bacterium comes on the hands. This way you can infect yourself in other places on your body. It can also end up on toys and other items. This can cause someone else to become infected.

Who can get a raisin beard?

Everyone can get raisin beard. Currant beard is most common in young children. The chance of a currant beard increases if the skin is already broken by, for example, eczema, an open scribbled mosquito bite, chicken pox or abrasions.

The raisin can occur at any age, but is clearly much more common in children between the ages of 2 and 12 years. Adults have now developed a certain resistance against it. Yet there is no complete immunity. A person can therefore go through the infection several times during his life.

How do you prevent currant beards?

Try not to touch the fluid from the vesicles. Have you been in contact with the moisture? Then wash your hands immediately. Immediately clean the toy if there has been liquid from the vesicles.

Use a paper handkerchief and throw it right after use. No handkerchief at hand? Then cough in the fold of your elbow.
Always wash your hands after coughing, sneezing and blowing.
Keep newborn babies away from coughing and sneezing people.
Also teach children to sneeze and cough in a good way.
Keep your nails short.
Do not stick plasters on a raisin beard. This can actually increase the places.


If you think your child has a currant beard, discuss this with your doctor. With a good treatment your child will soon be rid of it again. The best remedy for currant beard is not to scratch the vesicles. In order to reduce the itch, zinc ointment can help in places, which has the added benefit of allowing the blisters to dry out faster.
A currant beard is no longer contagious if the blisters are dry and / or 2 days after the use of medication.


The healing is greatly accelerated by the local application of (a cream or ointment with) antibiotics. Usually the GP will initially use a cream with e.g. prescribe fusidic acid or tetracycline, with which the risk of infection has disappeared within 48 hours. Children with currants can thus go back to school 48 hours after treatment, unless they are sick and relieved. The ointment works best when the blisters or wounds are open and the active ingredient can reach the bacteria. It is therefore of great importance to remove the thin skin on the blisters before applying the ointment; in places where the skin is thin, this is easiest by rubbing it over once with a rough, damp washcloth. This is generally hardly painful.

Video: Jim Carrey on His Famous Beard & Leaving the Spotlight (April 2020).