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Impetigo

When to Seek Medical Care

As soon as you notice a reddish, weeping, or blistery rash, call your doctor. Treating the rash with antibiotics will help the infection go away faster and also will prevent spread to others. The itching that often comes with the impetigo rash sometimes provides an added incentive to get the rash treated quickly.

Emergency treatment is rarely needed.

Self-Care at Home
  • Clean all sores and bites with antibacterial soap and water. Don't scratch or pick.
  • The infection is contagious. Other people may contract the infection if you come in contact with them. Use separate wash cloths and hand towels.
  • Often, the rash and infection will go away on its own, but antibiotics are usually needed to get rid of the infection.
  • You may apply antibacterial ointment, but wash your hands well after applying it.
  • If the sores are in areas you shave (men on their face; women on their legs), shave around the sores so you won't spread the infection further.
Prevention

You can prevent impetigo by avoiding contact with others who have impetigo. It also helps if you keep your skin clean, dry, and avoid scraping or injuring your skin.

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