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Impetigo - School sores

Treating impetigo

Impetigo is mostly treated with antibiotics. If only a small area is infected, you may be prescribed a cream or antiseptic ointment. Your doctor will probably prescribe an antibiotic cream called fusidic acid, but there are other antibiotics that can be used for impetigo treatment. This will clear up most impetigo infections in seven days.

You'll need to wash the affected area with warm soapy water or with a half a cup of white vinegar in a litre of warm water before the impetigo treatment. If it's painless try to remove crusty areas before applying the cream or ointment.

Your doctor may prescribe a course of antibiotic tablets such as flucloxacillin or erythromycin if the impetigo infection doesn't clear or is already or becoming widespread.

If the school sores keeps coming back the bacteria responsible may be living in your nose. Your doctor may prescribe a nasal ointment to try to clear the bacteria from your nostrils.

It's important that you finish your course of antibiotics. Always ask your doctor for advice and read the patient information leaflet that comes with your medicine.

You must contact your doctor if the school sores doesn't clear up after you have completed treating impetigo or if the condition worsens.

Antibiotics which can help include penicillin derivatives (Augmentin) and cephalosporins such as cephalexin (Keflex). If 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 for impetigo is guided by laboratory results (culture and sensitivity tests).

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