• A skin infection caused by bacteria – group A Streptococcus (strep) or Staphylococcus aureus (staph.)
  • Impetigo occurs when the bacteria get into the skin after scrapes or insect bites.
  • Most common in young children and during the summer months.
  • Does not result from lack of cleanliness.
  • Treated with antibiotics in pill or ointment form.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Skin rash appears as a cluster of blisters or red bumps.
  • Blisters may ooze (discharge) and form a yellow crust.
  • Usually appears around nose, mouth and parts of the skin not covered by clothes.


  • Very contagious; can spread quickly among children in daycare or school.
  • Spread by direct contact with the discharge from blisters.

Treatment and Prevention

  • Watch your child for signs of impetigo.
  • If you think your child has impetigo, see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
  • Good handwashing is the single best way to prevent the spread of the bacteria. Wash hands frequently, especially after touching an infected person.
  • Family members should not share face cloths or towels.
  • It is important for your child to take all the medication provided by your doctor, even if the signs of the infection disappear.    

Children with impetigo should not return to daycare or school until they have been treated with antibiotics for at least 24 hours.