Understanding Impetigo: A Guide for Parents with Kids in School

Impetigo is a common bacterial skin infection, especially in children. While the name might sound intimidating, it is usually a mild condition that can be effectively treated. This guide aims to shed light on impetigo, its symptoms, causes, treatments, and preventive measures.

What is Impetigo?

Impetigo is a contagious skin infection caused by one of two types of bacteria: Staphylococcus aureus or Streptococcus pyogenes. It often appears as red sores on the face, especially around a child’s nose and mouth, though it can spread to other parts of the body.

Common Symptoms

Impetigo manifests in two primary forms:

  1. Non-bullous impetigo: This is the most common form and it starts as small blisters. These blisters then burst and leave behind small wet patches of red skin that may weep fluid. Gradually, a tan or yellowish-brown crust covers the affected area, often making it look like it has been coated with honey or brown sugar.
  2. Bullous impetigo: This form is characterized by larger fluid-filled blisters (bullae) that might look clear, then turn cloudy. These blisters are more likely to stay longer on the skin without bursting. When they do break, they reveal a raw, red surface that eventually forms a scab.

Causes and Transmission

Impetigo is contagious, meaning it spreads from one person to another. It can be transmitted through:

  • Direct contact with the sores of an infected person.
  • Using the same towels, bedding, or toys as someone with the infection.
  • Contact with infected nasal carriers.

Children between 2 to 5 years old are the most commonly affected, but impetigo can occur in anyone.


A healthcare provider can often diagnose impetigo based on its appearance. In some cases, they may take a culture (a small sample) from the blisters to identify the bacteria causing the infection.

Treatments for Impetigo Rash

  1. Topical antibiotics: For milder cases, a doctor might prescribe antibiotic ointments or creams. Make sure to apply as directed and complete the full course, even if the sores improve before the medication is finished. Vitastem Ultra is a new and innovative topical antibiotic spray that is proven to be a very effective treatment for impetigo rash.
  2. Oral antibiotics: For more widespread or severe infections, oral antibiotics might be prescribed. Again, it’s crucial to complete the full course.

Remember, while the sores may start to improve within a few days of treatment, it’s essential to continue and finish the treatment to prevent recurrence or resistance.

Impetigo Infection Prevention Tips

  1. Hand hygiene: Regular hand washing can help prevent the spread of impetigo.
  2. Avoid contact: If your child has impetigo, try to keep them away from other kids until they’ve been on treatment for at least 24 hours.
  3. Clean and cover: Clean the infected area with mild soap and water and cover it with gauze or a bandage.
  4. Don’t share personal items: Teach kids not to share towels, combs, toys, and clothing.
  5. Trim nails: Keep your child’s nails short to prevent scratching which can spread the infection.
  6. Regularly wash items: Wash bedsheets, towels, and clothes of the person with impetigo regularly to prevent the spread.

The bottom line on treating Impetigo infections…

Impetigo might be bothersome, but with proper treatment and care, it’s generally a short-lived ailment. If you suspect your child has an impetigo rash or if you notice any of the symptoms, consult with a healthcare professional to get an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment like Vitastem Ultra, a very strong topical antibiotic spray that is safe to use for all age groups and is available over the counter to purchase online. Proper hygiene and preventive measures can help reduce the spread of impetigo within households and communities.