Symptoms and Signs of Impetigo

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 8/28/2021

Doctor's Notes on Impetigo

Impetigo is a contagious bacterial skin infection that usually affects children. It often begins when a child scratches at insect bites. There are two types: bullous and nonbullous. Signs and symptoms include a blister-like rash that turns into a honey-colored crust. The rash is sometimes mildly painful and itchy. The bullous type is less common and produces larger blisters.

Causes of impetigo are usually skin breaks from scratching, which allows mainly staphylococci to enter the skin (bullous type) while the same situation occurs for the nonbullous type but the skin can be infected with streptococci or staphylococci.

What Are the Treatments of Impetigo?

The treatment of impetigo is with antibiotics like mupirocin or retapamulin. Topical antibiotics can be rubbed directly into the skin sores. However, if there are numerous sores, your doctor may give the antibiotics using oral antibiotics.


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.