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More Info on Impetigo

What Are the Symptoms?

Impetigo often begins as red, flat spots or pimple-like bumps surrounded by red skin. It may appear as a single sore; more commonly, it is multiple sores.
After a couple of days, the sores form blisters and fill with pus. They then burst and form a weepy, thick, yellow, gold, or brown crust. On occasion, the blisters may leave a crater in the skin. Impetigo is frequently found on the arms, legs, or face. The nose and mouth are frequent areas for infection.
(Click Impetigo Symptoms for more information.)

How Is Impetigo Diagnosed?

In most cases, a healthcare provider can diagnose impetigo by just looking at the affected skin. On occasion, he or she may send a sample of pus or fluid for testing.

Treatment Options

Impetigo is treated with antibiotics, either applied directly to the skin (topical) or taken by mouth (oral).
Mupirocin (Bactroban®) is a topical antibiotic used to treat mild cases.
For infections that are more widespread or deep, an antibiotic taken by mouth may be needed. Dicloxacillin, cephalexin, and clindamycin are examples of oral antibiotics used for treating impetigo (see Impetigo Treatment). Handwashing is important to prevent the spread of impetigo (see Impetigo Prevention).

Other Names for Impetigo

Impetigo may also be called pyoderma or impetigo contagiosa.
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Impetigo Information

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