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What is impetigo?
Impetigo is very contagious skin disease caused by bacteria. Impetigo usually occurs around the nose and mouth, and usually in children.
How does impetigo look like?
Impetigo forms yellowish to golden blisters on the reddened skin. These blisters become crusty as they start healing. It usually heals on its own within 2-3 weeks.
Should I see my health care provider?
Absolutely! You will probably need an antibiotic ointment and/or an antibiotic pill that requires a prescription. Sometimes your health care provider may also do a culture of one bump by swabbing a cotton-tipped probe over it, and sending it to a lab. Results are usually available within 2-3 days.
What is the treatment of impetigo?
You will probably need the prescription antibiotic ointment such as mupirocin (brand name Bactroban), and/or an oral antibiotic such as cephalexin (brand name Keflex), clindamycin (brand name Cleocin), trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (brand name Bactrim), doxycycline (brand name Vibramycin) etc.
How long will I be contagious?
In general as long as you have blisters and crusting you are contagious. Also, after 2 days of starting antibiotics you are probably not contagious anymore.
How can I prevent impetigo?
If there is an outbreak of impetigo in your family or your surroundings, please wash your hands, or use hand sanitizer frequently. Wipe doorknobs, computer equipment, desks, tables, chairs, remote controllers etc. If you have impetigo, cover the area with a gauze, and do not touch the diseased skin, or if you touched it, wash your hands immediately.