What is Impetigo?

Impetigo is a common childhood skin infection that is usually caused by bacteria called Group A Streptococcus (strep) or Staphylococcus aureus (staph). Infection occurs when the bacteria get into scrapes and insect bites (Canadian Paediatric Society, 2018)

Impetigo is caused by a bacterial infection and is highly contagious.

What does it look like?

Small, clustered, pus-filled sores with little drainage. Often on face, diaper area, arms and lower part of the leg.

How does it spread?

Direct contact with the fluid from sores. Often spread from one area of the body to another by hand.

Indirect contact through objects that have come in contact with the skin of someone with impetigo.

When is it contagious?

While there is pus in the sore.

What should be done at home?

  • See a family doctor
  • Use antibiotic treatment as directed
  • Wash contaminated articles with hot water
  • Encourage your child to keep their hands away from the affected area.

What should be done at school?

  • Child must not attend school until 24 hours after treatment with antibiotics begins.
  • Stress personal hygiene.

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Last updated: 2024-04-24