IMPETIGO (INFECTED SORES)
than 1 inch in diameter.
Often covered by a soft, yellow-brown scab or crust.
Scabs may intermittently drain pus.
Begin as small red bumps which rapidly change to cloudy blisters,
then pimples, and finally open sores which weep.
Increases in size (any sore or wound that grows and doesn't
Impetigo often spreads and increases in number from scratching.
bacterial infections of small breaks in the skin.
See More Appropriate
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WHEN TO CALL YOUR DOCTOR FOR
IMPETIGO (INFECTED SORES)
Call Your Doctor Now (night or day) If
looks or acts very sick.
Red or cola-colored urine.
Red streak runs from the impetigo.
Red tender area surrounds the impetigo.
Call Your Doctor Within 24 Hours (between 9am and 4pm)
your child needs to be seen.
Fever or sore throat are present.
Large sore (larger than 1 inch across or 2.5 cm).
Call Your Doctor During Weekday Office Hours If
other questions or concerns.
Sores and crusts are also inside the nose.
Impetigo in 2 or more children (e.g., sibs, childcare groups).
3 or more impetigo sores (reason: need an oral antibiotic
because many of these children also have strep throat infection).
Parent Care at Home If
1 or 2
impetigo sores that started with cut, scratch or insect bite and you don't think
your child needs to be seen (reason: probably will respond to antibiotic
HOME CARE ADVICE FOR MILD
- 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
- Use Bacitracin or Polysporin ointment 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.
Contagiousness: For mild impetigo (1 or 2 sores), can
attend school or day care if it is covered. For severe impetigo, child
needs to take an oral antibiotic for more than 24 hours before returning.
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.
- Not completely healed in 1 week.
- Your child becomes worse or develops any of the "Call Your
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.
Pediatric HouseCalls Online. Copyright © 2000-2004
Barton Schmitt, M.D. FAAP
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