|Impetigo - Infected Sores|
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Impetigo of Left Cheek
Impetigo of Elbow
Return to School
|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|
|HOME CARE ADVICE FOR MILD IMPETIGO|
- Impetigo is a superficial skin infection that usually starts in a scratch or insect bite.
- It usually responds to treatment with any antibiotic ointment.
- Remove Scabs: Soak off the scab using an antibacterial soap and warm water. The bacteria live underneath the scab.
- Antibiotic Ointment: Apply an antibiotic ointment 3 times per day (no prescription needed).
- Examples are Bacitracin or Polysporin or 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.
- Avoid Picking: Discourage scratching and picking which spreads the impetigo.
- Impetigo is contagious by skin to skin contact.
- Wash the hands frequently and avoid touching the sore.
- For mild impetigo (1 or 2 sores), can attend school or child care if it is covered.
- For severe impetigo, child needs to take an oral antibiotic for more than 24 hours before returning to school.
- Contact Sports: Generally, needs to receive antibiotic treatment for 3 days before returning to the sport. There can be no pus or drainage. Check with team's trainer if there is one.
- Expected Course: Sore stops growing in 1 to 2 days and skin is healed in 1 week.
- Call Your Doctor If:
- Impetigo increases in size after 48 hours on antibiotic ointment
- New impetigo sore occurs on antibiotic ointment
- Not completely healed in 1 week
- Your child becomes worse
And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the "Call Your Doctor" symptoms.
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: 9/15/2011
Last Revised: 8/1/2011
Content Set: Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker
Copyright 1994-2012 Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.