Impetigo (infected sores)

By Rachel Harper,2014-04-29 19:39
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Impetigo (infected sores)



Diagnostic Findings

    ; Sores are less than 1 inch in diameter.

    ; Sores begin as small red bumps that rapidly change to cloudy blisters, then

    pimples, and finally sores.

    ; Sores (any wounds that don’t heal) increase in size.

    ; Sores are often covered by a soft, yellow-brown scab.

    ; Scabs may be draining pus.

    ; Sores increase in number.

    ; First sores are usually near the nose or mouth.


    Impetigo is a superficial infection of the skin, cause by Streptococcus bacteria

    (60%) or by Staphylococcus bacteria (40%). It is more common in the summer when the skin is often broken by cuts, scrapes, and insect bites.

Expected Course

    With proper treatment, the skin will be completely healed in 1 week. Some blemishes will remain 6-12 months, but scares unusual unless your child picks his/her sores.


Antibiotic (oral or injectable)

    Most children with impetigo need an antibiotic. Your child’s antibiotic is

     . Your child’s dosage is given each day for days.

Removing the Scabs

    The bacteria live underneath the soft scabs, and until these are removed, the antibiotic ointment cannot get through to the bacteria to kill them. Scabs can be soaked off using a warm 1:120 bleach solution (1 tablespoon of bleach to 2 quarts of water). The area may need to be gently rubbed, but it should not be scrubbed. A little bleeding is common it you remove all the crust.

Antibiotic Ointment

    After the crust has been removed, antibiotic ointment should be applied to the raw surface three ties daily. Buy Betadine ointment (or Bacitracin ointment) at your drugstore. You wont need a prescription. Apply for 7 day or longer if necessary. The area should not be washed with any antibacterial soap (Dial or Safeguard) each time. Any new crust that forms should not be removed since this delays healing.

Preventing spread of Impetigo to other areas of the body

    Every time your child touched the Impetigo and then scratches another part of the skin with that finger, he can start a new site of Impetigo. To prevent this, discourage your child from touching or picking at the sores. Keep his fingernails cut short, and wash his/her hands often with one of the antibacterial soaps.


    Impetigo is quite contagious, be certain that other people in the family don’t use

    your child’s washcloth, or towel. Your child should be kept out of school until he/she has taken oral antibiotics for 24 hours or until you have used the antibiotic ointment for 48 hours.


    Immediately if…

    ; The urine becomes red or cola colored.

    ; The face becomes bright red and tender to the touch.

    ; Any big blisters (more than 1 inch across) develop.

Within 24 hours if…

    ; Other people in the family develop impetigo.

    ; The impetigo increases in size and number of sores after 48 hours of treatment.

    ; A fever or a sore throat occurs.

    ; You have any questions or concerns.

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