Impetigo sores are caused by either the streptococcus or the staphylococcus germ. The sores begin as raised red fluid-filled bumps. The bumps then open and the sores become moist. Next these sores dry up and form yellow-brown crusts. Impetigo is very contagious. The sores spread from place to place on the body and from child to child when they are scratched and touched.

How will my child be treated?

Some children with impetigo need an oral antibiotic. Be sure to follow the directions on the container concerning how much medication to give and how often to give it. Remember to give all the medicine, even if your child feels better quickly. Most children will also need an antibiotic ointment.
Wash your child's skin with soap and water. Remove the hard crusts by soaking them in water and gently scrubbing them with a wash cloth.
Be sure to wash your own hands before and after you touch the impetigo sores.
Remind your child not to touch the impetigo. This will prevent the sores from spreading.
To prevent a second infection, cut your child's fingernails. Also, wash your child's hands often with soap and water.

What elso do I need to know and do about impetigo?

Do not squeeze the sores.
Make sure other people do not use your child's towel or wash cloth.
Your child may resume playing with friends and may go back to school after taking the medicine for 24 hours.

When should I call the doctor?

Call the doctor if you have questions or if the following occur:
Your child's urine becomes red or cola-colored.
Your child has a temperature over 101 degrees.
The skin around the sores swells or any large blisters (more than 1 inch) appear.
The sores spread after your child takes the medicine for 48 hours.

Source: Mosby's Pediatric Patient Teaching Guides, Mosby-Year Book, Inc.

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