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Many parents feel like their young children are always getting sick. It’s not uncommon for kids to get multiple illnesses within a short period of time, especially during the winter. The kids may recover from one condition and pick up another soon after. Kids are more prone to illness than adults and experience some health conditions more commonly than adults. One of those conditions that commonly affect children is impetigo.

What is Impetigo?

Impetigo is a skin infection caused by bacteria. It most commonly affects young children. Impetigo is also sometimes referred to as infantigo.

What are the Symptoms of Impetigo?

Impetigo is a skin condition that can affect any part of the body but it is found most often around the nose, mouth, arms, or legs. It starts as red and itchy sores that can break open and leak fluid or pus. When it is healing it becomes crusty, yellow, and scabs over.

Is Impetigo Contagious?

Impetigo is very contagious and is spread by contact with the sores or the fluid from the sores. If you believe your child may have impetigo they should be kept home from school and activities until it has healed.

What is the Treatment for Impetigo?

A healthcare provider can diagnose impetigo by looking at it. The treatment for impetigo is topical or oral antibiotics. Depending on the severity of the impetigo and the response to treatment, the healthcare provider will recommend when the child can return to school.

How Do I Prevent Impetigo?

Impetigo is most common in kids aged two to five. It is very contagious so if someone you know has impetigo, take precautions to prevent yourself or others from getting it. You can get impetigo more than once. Do not touch the sores or the fluid draining from the sores. If you must apply a topical antibiotic to the sores, make sure to thoroughly wash your hands afterward. Do not go out to public places if you have an active impetigo infection unless going for medical care and keep the sores covered if possible. Wash hands often and do laundry often.