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An extreme contagious skin infection, generally in children, that most frequently occurs around the mouth and nose, but can affect the skin anywhere on the body. 

Cause and symptoms

Impetigo is created by bacteria (often staphylococci) entering areas of broken skin.  The skin reddens and little, fluid filled blistered appear.  The blisters often burst, leaving moist, weeping areas that dry to leave golden or honey coloured crusts.  In extreme cases, there can be swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck or face and fever. 


Treatment is with topical (locally administered) antibiotic drugs unless the condition is widespread, in which oral antibiotics are often given.  As the condition is extremely contagious, to stop the spread of the infection, pillowcases, towels, and flannels must not be shared.  Children should not mix with others or go to school until they have been treated and the condition is completely cleared up.  

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