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Impetigo (cont.)

Impetigo Symptoms and Signs

Impetigo appears as a rash that may occur anywhere on the body and but commonly affects the face and other exposed areas.

  • The rash may be blister-like, reddish, and have a honey-colored crust, or will have a combination of all three.
  • The margins of the rash are usually fairly sharp.
  • The rash is sometimes mildly painful and is itchy.

When to Seek Medical Care

Someone should call a doctor as soon as he or she notices a reddish, weeping, or blistery rash. Treating the rash with antibiotics will help the infection go away faster and also will prevent spread to others. The itching that often comes with the impetigo rash sometimes provides an added incentive to get the rash treated quickly. In some uncomplicated cases, over-the-counter topical antibiotics are effective in eradicating the infection.

Emergency treatment is rarely needed.

Impetigo Diagnosis

Doctors can usually distinguish an impetigo rash by looking at it. No lab tests are required. Occasionally rashes and blisters caused by toxins, such as poison ivy, or others might be confused with impetigo. A doctor will take a complete history to determine the appropriate diagnosis and treatment.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/16/2015

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Impetigo »

Impetigo is a highly contagious gram-positive bacterial infection of the superficial layers of the epidermis.

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