Impetigo (skin infection): Impetigo is a superficial infection of the skin. It is most common during the summer months and is characterized by yellow, weeping sores which are usually located on the face, arms and legs. Impetigo is usually due to either a Strep or Staph infection. If the lesions are very small and appear minor, the treatment of impetigo consists of first washing the sores daily with soap and water, thus removing the crusty lesions. Next, apply Neosporin ointment or another topical antibacterial ointment to the sores. If the areas are particularly bad, you should call the office during regular office hours for an appointment. Sometimes a prescription ointment or even oral antibiotics are necessary to completely resolve the infection. Other measures can be taken to make your child more comfortable. These include Benadryl (see Dosing Guide) for itching and keeping the fingernails trimmed. Sores with surrounding angry looking red areas or red streaks, especially those associated with fever, are concerning. If this should occur, call the doctor right away. Please see the section on staph aureus infections in this handbook for information on staph impetigo.
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