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Impetigo Treatments


The goals of treatment are to relieve the symptoms and cure the infection.

Treatment may include:


For a mild infection:

  • Prescription topical antibiotic (eg mupirocin , retapamulin )
  • Over-the-counter topical antibiotic (significantly less effective), such as neomycin, bacitracin , or polymyxin

Your doctor may prescribe oral antibiotics, such as:

In some cases, staphylococcal infections (eg, MRSA ) may be resistant to these antibiotics. Others options may be needed.

Skin Care

Do not touch or scratch the lesions. The skin should be washed several times a day. Use soap and water or an antibiotic soap. The crusts may be removed by soaking the infected area in warm water for about 15 minutes. Lesions should be covered loosely with gauze, a bandage, or clothing.

Avoiding Spread of the Infection

To help avoid spreading the infection:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly, especially after touching an infected area of your body.
  • Avoid contact with newborn babies.
  • Stay home until 24 hours after the start of treatment.
  • Do not handle food at home until a minimum of 24 hours after the start of treatment.
  • If you work in the food service industry, ask your doctor when it is safe for you to return to work.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2023 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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