How Your Child’s Doctor Can Treat Impetigo

Does your child have one or more blister-like sores that have some yellow color to them and that seem to be crusting over? Chances are your child is suffering from impetigo. This is a skin infection caused by certain strains of staphylococcus and streptococcus bacteria. It is quite common in children and may appear on the face, legs, buttocks, or even the arms. Impetigo is relatively easy to treat, but it does need to be treated by a doctor to ensure it does not spread. Here's a look at what a child doctor will likely to do treat a case of impetigo.

Warm Compresses

Your child's doctor may apply a warm compress to the lesions while your child is in their office, and they'll likely recommend you repeat this at home. You can simply use a warm, damp washcloth. Just make sure it's a white one so that you can bleach it and kill all bacteria afterwards. The point of the warm compress is to soften the scabs so that the antibiotic cream, which you'll soon apply, is able to penetrate into the sore. You do not want to scrub the scabs away, though. You only want to hold a compress on the scabs for as long as it takes to moisten them.

Antibiotic Creams

Your child's doctor will likely apply the first dose of antibiotic cream while your child is in their office. They'll show you how much to apply and how to apply it. You'll want to use an applicator tool like a cotton swab so you do not risk contaminating your own hands with the bacteria from the sore. The antibiotic cream prescribed to your child is typically stronger than that sold over the counter, so it will work faster to help your child's body fight against the infectious bacteria. Once home, you will need to re-apply the cream two or three times per day, at first, and then eventually just once a day. Usually, you'll need to use it for about 7 to 10 days, but follow the doctor's instructions in this regard.

Oral Antibiotics

Oral antibiotics are only necessary if your child has many impetigo patches, or if the doctor feels the impetigo is too serious for topical antibiotics to clear up within a few days. Usually, children are prescribed a liquid form of oral antibiotics. They'll need to take a spoonful once or twice a day, generally with food. Common oral antibiotics used to treat impetigo include doxycycline and minocycline.

If you think your child has impetigo, call their doctor. This infection is easy to treat, but prompt and professional care is necessary.