Impetigo - Treatment

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What is the treatment for impetigo?

Impetigo is not serious and is very treatable. Mild impetigo can be handled by gentle cleansing, removing crusts, and applying the prescription-strength antibiotic ointment mupirocin (Bactroban). Nonprescription topical antibiotic ointments (such as Neosporin) generally are not effective. More severe or widespread impetigo, especially of bullous impetigo, may require oral antibiotic medication. In recent years, more staph germs have developed resistance to standard antibiotics. Bacterial culture tests can help guide the use of proper oral therapy if needed. Antibiotics which can be helpful include penicillin derivatives (such as amoxicillin and clavulanic acid [Augmentin]) and cephalosporins such as cephalexin (Keflex). If clinical suspicion supported by culture results show other bacteria, such as drug-resistant staph (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA), other antibiotics such as clindamycin or trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim or Septra) may be necessary. Treatment is guided by laboratory results (culture and sensitivity tests).

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See what others are saying

Comment from: Maggie, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 17

I have psoriasis and get a quarterly shot of Stelara, which makes my immune system very weak. Last week I started feeling a tingling sensation in a psoriasis patch at the side of my nose, tried everything for a week, and this past Friday I went to my dermatologist and she said it"s impetigo. I"ve never had this before and she thinks I got it from swimming at a local pool! Ugh, it"s on my upper lip and under one eye. My doctor gave me Keflex antibiotics and Valtrex and Bactroban ointment, mine doesn"t itch at all, and it's been so painful! And my whole upper lip is stiff, it"s a mess. I think it"s slightly getting better, I"m on day 4 of the medicines. She also gave me lidocaine viscous gel for the pain. It"s so depressing! I hope it goes away soon.

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Comment from: Breeezy08, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: April 21

Unfortunately I"ve suffered from impetigo for years! Frequently on my nose, even sometimes below it; it"s so embarrassing. I"ve found that using a hot washcloth and soap works well, then I put peppermint extract on it to dry it out, and repeat this a few times daily till it looks better. If it gets too dry I lessen the amount and apply lotion. Works wonders!

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