What Is Impetigo?
How to Spot the Signs of Impetigo and When to Seek a Diagnosis
Early Treatment for Impetigo Will Likely Involve Antibiotics
To help the infection heal, your doctor will likely prescribe an antibiotic treatment. This can include topical antibiotics for mild infections, or an oral antibiotic for a more widespread infection.
Antibiotics used to treat impetigo include topical Bactroban (mupirocin) and oral Augmentin (amoxicillin and clavulanate). (8) Shubin explains that Keflex (cephalexin) is currently in vogue and may be a good choice for children with impetigo because the liquid has an appealing taste.
You’re no longer contagious after one to two days of starting antibiotics. And in most cases, you don’t need to follow up with your doctor. (6)
Sores and blisters start to heal in a few days. Complete healing takes about one week, sometimes without permanent scarring. (1)
The prognosis with or without treatment is positive, but contact your doctor again if you feel that your antibiotic isn't working. Signs of an ineffective antibiotic include: (9)
Blisters and sores grow in sizeIf you start antibiotic treatment and notice your blisters increasing in size after a couple of days, speak with your doctor. There’s a chance that your antibiotic isn’t working to stop the infection.
Development of new sores or blistersYou should not develop any new sores or blisters once you start antibiotic treatment. Call your doctor if new skin lesions form.
Healing takes longer than one weekSpeak with your doctor if your sores or blisters have not healed after one week. Impetigo isn’t a dangerous condition, with most people healing two to four weeks without treatment. Treatment, however, speeds the healing process. If your sores don’t heal, you may need a different antibiotic.
Your condition worsensAlso, speak with your doctor if you or your child’s condition worsens after starting antibiotics. This can include developing pain around sores or blisters, or if you have increased redness or swelling around sores.
Video: Preventing Impetigo
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