Algoma Public Health
What is it?
- A skin infection caused by streptococcus (strep) and staphylococcus (staph) bacteria.
- These bacteria are often found in the nose of healthy persons.
- Common in children.
What are the symptoms?
- Cluster of blisters or red bumps.
- Blisters ooze or may be covered with a honey-coloured crust.
- Usually occurs around nose, mouth and other parts of the skin not covered by clothes.
How quickly do symptoms develop?
- Within 1 – 3 days after coming in contact with strep.
- Within 4 – 10 days after coming in contact with staph.
How is it spread?
- By infecting yourself. e.g. Child wipes his runny nose with his hands, spreading bacteria to cracks around nose and mouth.
- Person to person through contact with sores
- Indirect contact with contaminated be linens, towels or clothing
How long is it contagious?
- As long as blisters or sores are draining or up to 24 hours after the start of antibiotic treatment.
- Draining usually stops after 24 – 48 hours of treatment.
- Children with impetigo should not attend school/daycare until at least 1 day of treatment has been completed and drainage has stopped.
How is it treated?
- With an antibiotic ointment or cream.
- Sometimes an oral antibiotic is also prescribed.
What can you do?
- Wash hands after touching infected skin or contaminated articles (Kleenex, facecloth).
- Do not share face cloths or towels.
- Don’t stop treatment early. Complete as prescribed.
Date of Creation: June 1, 2015
Last Modified: June 1, 2015