School Sores / Impetigo

By March 26, 2018May 23rd, 2023school sores

Here is a video on Impetigo or School Sores:

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Impetigo is a skin infection caused by staphylococcus or streptococcus bacteria. It is also known as school sores because it commonly affects school-aged children. Impetigo is more common during the warmer months.

Staphylococcus or streptococcus bacteria can live harmlessly on and inside various areas of the body, such as the skin surface and nose. However, cuts and abrasions or eczema may allow the bacteria to cause infection in deeper skin tissues. Healthy, intact skin can sometimes develop impetigo too. The condition is characterised by collections of small, crusting blisters that usually form on the face or limbs.

Impetigo looks unsightly, but it isn’t dangerous and doesn’t cause any lasting damage to the skin. However, it is highly contagious. A child with impetigo should be kept home from school or day care until appropriate treatment has begun.

Common symptoms  include:

  • the skin itches and reddens
  • a collection of blisters forms, commonly around the nose and mouth
  • the blisters pop and weep a yellow, sticky fluid
  • the area develops a raised and wet-looking crust
  • the scab dries and falls off
  • the skin completely heals after a few days.

Impetigo can be treated with prescription antibiotic ointments or creams, which need to be reapplied until the sores have completely healed. Antibiotic syrups or tablets may also be prescribed. It is important to complete any course of antibiotics you are prescribed. If left untreated, impetigo can lead to skin abscesses.

Suggestions for home care include:

  • Wash the sores (lesions) with an antibacterial or antiseptic soap every eight to 12 hours, soaking off visible crust.
  • After each wash, pat the lesions dry. Use a clean towel each time.
  • Apply a waterproof occlusive dressing (completely cover and seal the area where possible) to stop further spread of the infection. Use a crepe bandage to hold the dressing in place or help prevent younger children from scratching the sores.
  • See your doctor if the sores spread and get worse despite treatment, or if the child becomes unwell with fever.


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