What is Impetigo?
Impetigo also known as school sores is a bacterial infection of the skin.
Caused by the Staphylococcus or Streptococcus organism, or both. These organisms are harmless and can be found in the nose and on the skin surface. Commonly affects children between the age of 2 and 6, hence the name ‘school sores’.
1-3 days after the person is infected and the child will remain infectious until the lesions are no longer weeping fluid.
Prescription antibiotic cream or ointment.
Antibiotic syrup or tablet forms may also be prescribed.
If left untreated may cause skin abscesses.
The infected child should NOT attend care or school until they have received 24-hours of antibiotic coverage.
Cover the sores with a waterproof dressing and bandage with a crepe.
What to look out for?
The child’s skin will be itchy and red. Blisters will develop around the mouth and nose. A weepy yellow, sticky discharge will be present when the blisters pop. The affected area will appear wet-looking and develop a crust. The scabs will eventually dry and fall off. It takes a few days for the skin to heal.
With severe impetigo the child will feel generally unwell, may have a fever and swollen glands.
How do you catch impetigo?
Spread via direct contact with the lesions. Contact with the mucous from the throat or nose.
Scratching the infected area and then touching another area of the body is another mode of transfer.
Keep the infected person away from young babies, the immaturity of their immunity may not be able to handle the bacterial infection.
Practice good personal hygiene, encourage your child to do the same.
Cover sores where possible.
Keep child away from care / school until 24-hrs post starting antibiotic treatment.
See your doctor if the sores are not healing despite treatment or you are concerned for any reason.