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Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

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Impetigo is a bacterial skin infection that causes sores and blisters to develop, often on the face and neck.

It occurs when bacteria enter the skin through cuts and grazes, but with treatment it will clear up in around a week. While it affects all ages, it’s one of the most common skin conditions in young children.

Impetigo is highly contagious and symptoms may not present themselves for several days after a person is infected. If someone in your house gets it, you should ask a doctor about how to prevent the impetigo from spreading.

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Impetigo sores can appear on the face or neck.

Impetigo Symptoms

The sores caused by impetigo are often very uncomfortable. They can appear anywhere on your body, but are most common around the face.

They will eventually burst on their own and crust over, after which they’ll heal. Your face may be a little red for a few days, but impetigo rarely leaves scarring.

You should resist the urge to scratch the sores, as doing so will slow your healing time and make it easier for you to pass the infection onto others.

In some cases, impetigo can also cause a mild fever or swollen glands.

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Treatment for Impetigo

Impetigo will actually get better on its own, but because it’s so contagious and is often found in a highly visible area, it’s best to see a doctor. The right treatment can help you recover in half the time it would normally take.

The most common treatment is an antibacterial cream, which you will likely have to apply several times a day. Our doctors can show you how to use the cream. For more serious cases of impetigo, you can be given antibacterial tablets.

Both these types of treatment might cause side effects, so speak to our doctors and find the treatment that’s right for you.

You can also get advice on how to take precautions and prevent the spread of the infection. For example, you shouldn’t share towels or prepare food for others while you have impetigo.

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Ask a doctor about creams to treat impetigo

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