|Impetigo - Infected Sores|
|When to Call Your Doctor|
|Call Your Doctor Now (night or day) If|
|Call Your Doctor Within 24 Hours (between 9 am and 4 pm) If|
|Call Your Doctor During Weekday Office Hours If|
|Parent Care at Home If|
|Causes & Health Information|
- Sores smaller than 1 inch (2.5 cm)
- Often covered by a soft, yellow-brown scab or crust
- Scabs may drain pus or yellow fluid off and on
- Starts as small red bumps. These change quickly to cloudy blisters or pimples. Then, they become open sores which drain fluid or pus.
- Sores increase in size
- Any sore or wound that grows and doesn't heal is usually impetigo.
- A skin infection caused by a bacteria. It starts in a small break in the skin. Examples are a scratch or insect bite.
- The most common bacteria are Staph and Strep.
- Impetigo often spreads and increases in number from scratching.
Return to School
- For mild impetigo (1 or 2 sores), can go back if sores are covered.
- For severe impetigo, child needs to take an oral antibiotic more than 24 hours. Then your child can go back to school.
|CARE ADVICE FOR MILD IMPETIGO|
- What You Should Know:
- Impetigo is a skin infection. Most often, it starts in a scratch or insect bite.
- It usually responds to treatment with any antibiotic ointment.
- Here is some care advice that should help.
- Remove Scabs:
- Soak off the scab using soap and warm water. The bacteria live underneath the scab.
- Antibiotic Ointment:
- Put an antibiotic ointment on the sores. Do this 3 times per day.
- Examples are Bacitracin or Polysporin. No prescription is needed. You also can use one you already have.
- Cover it with a Band-Aid to prevent scratching and spread.
- Repeat the washing, ointment and Band-Aid 3 times per day.
- Do Not Pick at the Sores:
- Help your child not to scratch and pick at the sores. This spreads the impetigo.
- Return to School:
- Impetigo is spread to others by skin to skin contact.
- Wash the hands often. Try not to touch the sores.
- For mild impetigo (1 or 2 sores), can go to school if it is covered.
- For severe impetigo, child needs to take an oral antibiotic for more than 24 hours. Then your child can go back to school.
- Contact Sports. In general, needs to be on antibiotics for 3 days before returning to sports. There must be no pus or drainage. Check with the team's trainer if there is one.
- What to Expect:
- Sore stops growing in 1 to 2 days.
- The skin is healed in 1 week.
- Call Your Doctor If:
- Impetigo sore gets bigger after 48 hours on antibiotic ointment
- Gets new impetigo sore on antibiotic ointment
- Not healed up in 1 week
- Your child becomes worse
And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the "Call Your Doctor" symptoms.
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Disclaimer: This information is not intended be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.
Last Reviewed: 9/1/2012
Last Revised: 1/13/2013
Content Set: Child Symptom Checker
Copyright 1994-2012 Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.