How to Treat Impetigo in Babies and Toddlers

Impetigo is a superficial infection of the skin caused by the Staphylococcal germ. Impetigo (school sores) appears mostly when children are  in contact with one another.

The face and hands are the common sites for infection. But a person can reinfect other parts of his own body, as well as spreading it to other persons. This may occur directly, or via inanimate objects, such as toys, books, etc.

Impetigo starts off as small watery blistery sores that weep. They crust over and become brownish in color. It consists of pimples which become pustules and then open sores. It is contagious and can be spread from one part of the body to another.

Fortunately, even in these days when many resistant strains of germs are arising, these sores are still relatively sensitive to local antibiotic treatment.

The skin must be kept clean, and the sores covered with an antiseptic and a dressing until healed. Remove the scabs gently. Then apply an antibiotic cream or ointment. Then cover.

Hygiene, such as hand washing when the sores are about (for example, at the local school) will help remove the risk of others bringing the germs into the home where baby is.

It will also help keep those others free from infection. It is amazing how quickly a staph infection can race through a school.

People also ask

1. We have a young child who has impetigo. Our doctor has prescribed an antibiotic ointment which seems to be helping. Could you please tell us what causes impetigo?

Impetigo is a superficial skin infection caused by staphylococcus or streptococci germs. It is highly infectious and may cause epidemics in nurseries or schools. The infection most commonly involves the face, scalp, neck, hands and feet. The primary lesion is a blister, which may be quite large and which fills with pus, ruptures and forms an ulcer which dries and crusts over.

All affected children should be kept away from school and use separate washing and eating utensils. The crusted lesions should be washed with a mild antiseptic lotion and appropriate antibiotic cream or ointment should be applied three times a day.

Oral antibiotics should be prescribed only if the impetigo causes systemic effects or local antibiotic therapy does not cure the condition.

2. What is impetigo, Doctor? My five-year-old child has been playing with a child who is said to have impetigo. Will my child catch it and what should I do if he does?

Impetigo is a highly contagious superficial skin infection and small epidemics do occur in schools or nurseries. There is quite a possibility that your child can develop this condition. If he does, keep him at home immediately you notice the sores and make certain that he uses separate washing and eating utensils. Also, see your doctor straightaway and he will prescribe local antibiotic therapy which will rapidly improve the condition.

3. My children often have impetigo – horrid sores on the skin of the mouth area and hands. What is the best treatment for impetigo?

Bathe daily. Remove scabs. Apply a good antibiotic ointment. This is usually enough for a rapid cure. Individual sores are best covered. It’s awfully infectious, and if multiple, the child should be kept home to avoid giving it to the whole school.

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