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Conditions

Impetigo

Impetigo (Licensed under CC from Celie - http://www.flickr.com/photos/celie/3145836998/)

Impetigo is an infectious, potentially painful skin infection and though anyone can get it, it particularly affects kids between the ages of two and four. It’s caused by bacteria which thrive in a dirty environment. Kids who already have a skin condition, such as eczema or nappy rash, are more prone than others. It’s a fairly common condition – one in 35 kids under four suffers a bout of impetigo – and though it looks nasty, it’s easily treated and has no lasting effects.

There are two types of impetigo. The commonest is called non-bullous impetigo and causes small, sore, red spots to appear, often round the nose or mouth. Sometimes glands near the infected area also swell up. These red pustules grow larger and then burst, leaking a yellowish liquid until a crusty scab forms over the skin. Bullous impetigo causes larger blisters on the chest or back which last for several days without bursting, but which tend not to hurt. Although infectious, in both cases the sores heal after treatment and don’t leave scars.

The first thing to do with suspected impetigo is seek proper treatment from your doctor. Antibiotic creams can deal with the problem quickly and effectively. Impetigo likes a warm, dirty environment, so it’s important to wash hands after coming into contact with the infected area (or with clothes, towels, soap etc) in order to prevent the condition spreading. Try not to let kids scratch the sores or share sheets with someone who’s infected. Once treatment is underway, impetigo should start to clear up within 48 hours. Apart from infection, poor hygiene is the commonest cause of impetigo, so keeping yourself, your child and any infected areas clean is the best defence.

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When I get dry lips and lick them or they are chapped I get yellow crusty stuff around my mouth. What is it about?





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Hi There everyone, my 5 year old is constantly getting impetigo and like others we think our hygiene standards are fairly high. She's had antibiotics two or three time in a short space of time. Has anyone managed to successfully conquer this please? Any help would be most welcome!





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hi i'm 13 years old and I keep getting blisters on my stomach or around it and are yellow. what do you think I should do ?





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You should tell your parents so they can check it out, if it's bothersome and/or painful have them take you to the doctors. If you are worried about it but don't want to say anything, try calomine lotion. Good luck!

hi my son has impetigo and now in his eye what do i do





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my daughter is 17 months old and seems to constantly haven impetigo, im a very clean person and she has a bath every day sometimes twice so i dont no what im doing wrong. shes mixed race so can get dry skin,i cant think of any other reason why she would get it so often.





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Hi, I have impetigo around my mouth and on my top lip , I used to get it a lot as a child and I haven't had it since I was 12 I am now 20 years old I can't think of anything that could cause this I work with children but no one in the nursery has had this infection. Also my work place ( which is a Nursery ) want me to come into work as they haven't got that many staff and will be out of ratio, I told them impetigo is highly contagious but they seem to think I don't want to come into work even though they have seen me with impetigo on my face. It's embarrassing and highly contagious why would I want to go into nursery and give it to all of the children and plus what on earth will the parents be thinking ? Any advice on how to prove how seriously contagious this is to my work place??





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Hi. My 17 month old daughter had impetigo a few months ago andwas given a cream but it didnt work. But eventually went away as I kept it clean etc. But every now and then sshe sheems to get a white spot in the corner of her mouth (where it was) it seems to goa bit red but goes after a few days please could you let me know why this is happening and how I can get rid of the hhorrible red mark :(





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My son is 11. And this keeps coming back every while, but it seems to be related to Hayfever causing his nose to run badly and get sore, resulting in his hands and fingers touching his nose then maybe picking at a scratch. It's a viscous circle really. I am putting the cream on and covering him in plasters, but he can't really stay off school. But tomorrow I have to as he won't leave it alone if the plasters are off.





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My little girl whos 3, started with a spot looking thing on her tummy, I watched it for a few weeks and it then went to 3 spot looking things, I went to the doctors and they gave me some fungal cream but this didn't work and now after another month they seem to have got slightly bigger and spread more. My 2 year old son also has something that looks very similar on the back of his leg that I just noticed and I hope it's not because it is contagious. I have booked another appointment at the doctors. What do you think it could be?





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my 17month old boy had a raised blistery rash break out on his shoulder 3 days ago but has since taken over his entire upper body and groin and is still spreading to his legs and feet he has been diagnosed with impetigo but im not convinced as it has been spreading drastically by the hour but noone else has any symptoms the doctors at our GP were leaning towards scarlet fever but sent us off to hospital as it was effecting his toungue and looked infected but the doctor their said it was impetigo after only spending 5 minutes checking him over should i seek a second opinion? and should my older son who is not effected go back to nursery?





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It looks like no one else has asked this question, so please fill in the rest of your details below.





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Content supplied by NHS Choices

Impetigo is a highly contagious bacterial infection of the skin. There are two types of impetigo: Read More »