Signs and Symptoms
1. Small area of red pus-filled blisters, typically on the face, arms or legs (but they can show up anywhere).
2. When blisters pop – brown colored sticky curst.
What to do now
1. Apply an antibiotic ointment to help clear up a minor case.
2. Softly wash away the crusty discharge with warm water and soap.
3. To avoid infecting other people, warn them not to touch your child’s towel, and unwashed clothing. Wash them in hot water. Change linens daily; wash them in hot water and detergent, and add bleach.
4. To limit the spread of infection, encourage your child not to touch or scratch the blisters.
5. To discourage the bacteria from growing, expose the affected area to air rather than bandaging it.
6. Give your child lukewarm baths with an antibacterial soap.
7. Dress your child in long-sleeved shirts and long pants to go school until the crusts are gone and the skin clears, which generally takes seven to ten days. This will lower the chance of spreading the infection to others.
When to call a doctor
Call for an immediate appointment:
1. If your child’s urine is red or dark brown; this signals a related, rare kidney ailment that might be dangerous.
2. If the impetigo covers a large area or keeps spreading after three days. Use antibiotic cream or oral antibiotics to fight the infection if prescribed by a doctor.
3. If your child develops a fever of more than 100 degrees or has a blister larger than one inch wide; this could indicate a more serious skin infection.
How to prevent it
1. Make sure children wash their hands regularly with soap and keep their nails trimmed. Remind them not to scratch insect bites, scabs, or other skin irritations.
2. Wash all cuts, scrapes, and wounds with antibacterial soap and water to avoid infection. Keep them clean and dry while they heal.
3. Never have children share towels, or bedding.
4. Guard against diaper rash to protect your baby from the infection.