Daily Health Tips: Impetigo

Q: Please Dr. Ketch, what antibiotic can I take to treat impetigo?

A: Impetigo is an infection of the skin caused by bacteria. I reproduce below a post I had made on this which addressed impetigo in a child but treatment is essentially same. So here goes…

Q: Good evening. Please Doctor, what is the cause and treatment for impetigo in infant (less than 3wks)?

A: Hallos! Now, I assume a doctor made the diagnosis of impetigo and hopefully has prescribed an ointment?

Now for those who don’t know, impetigo is a skin infection that appears as a red rash. It can break open and form yellowish brown crusts after it oozes fluid. It’s caused by Staphylococcus aureus or Streptococcus pyogenes and these organisms get into the body when there is a bruise, irritation or injury on the skin already. This is usually found around the diaper area in babies. Other places where they appear include hands, mouth and forearms.

It is important for the baby’s mum to know that impetigo is contagious and can spread through contact with infected skin or infected items of clothing. Scratching the infected area and touching other parts of the body can also lead to spread of the infection.

Treatment of impetigo is usually with an antibiotic ointment (like Bactroban) if it affects a small area of skin. If larger areas are involved, the doctor may prescribe an antibiotic.

To prevent the infection spreading during the healing process, be sure to cover the area with gauze and keep baby’s fingers short to prevent scratching and further spread of the infection.

Please make sure that you visit your baby’s paediatrician so he can confirm this diagnosis of impetigo, if he didn’t make it himself ab initio.

Have a great Weekend, y’all grin emoticon

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