- Health Topics
- Diseases A-Z List
What is it?
- Impetigo is a common childhood skin infection that is usually caused by bacteria called group A streptococcal (strep) or Staphylococcus aureus (staph).
- Infection happens when the bacteria enters the skin through an open area (like a bug bite).
Sign and Symptoms?
- Impetigo usually appears around the mouth, nose or on skin that’s not covered by clothes.
- The rash can start as a cluster of red bumps or blisters. Eventually the blisters may ooze a honey-coloured crust. Many germs live under this crust.
- Sometimes the infection can become serious. If this happens, your child may have fever, pain, swelling, and may feel weak.
How is it spread?
- Direct contact: Impetigo can spread when someone touches the rash directly.
- Indirect contact: The germs can get on bed sheets, towels or clothing that have been in contact with someone’s skin. Then a person can pick up the germs from touching those objects.
- This disease can be spread as long as the sores continue to drain or until 24 hours after antibiotic treatment has started.
How to decrease the spread?
- Handwashing is number one way to decrease the spread.
- Cover the areas that have the blisters/rash.
- Speak to your Health Care Provider for treatment.
Recommended Absence: An infected child may return to school or daycare 24 hours after antibiotic treatment has been started.
Impetigo is not reportable to Medical Officer of Health.
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