U.S. doctors online nowAsk doctors free
A member asked:

What is impetigo?

10 doctor answers17 doctors weighed in
Dr. Arthur Torre
Pediatric Allergy and Asthma 52 years experience
Skin infection: Impetigo is a contagious skin infection caused by a bacteria, typically staph or strep. Impetigo generally appears as small fluid filled blisters that break and crust over with a yellowish colored scab. It is treated with antibiotics, either orally or topically depending on the extent of the rash.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Marcus Degraw
Pediatrics 23 years experience
A skin infection: Impetigo essentially means a common skin infection. It usually sets in from a common break in the skin, such as a scratch or an insect bite. Then the bacteria that is already on the skin take advantage and an inection sets in. Impetigo usually has a yellow crusty appearance (like dried honey).
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Pamela Lindor
Pediatrics 33 years experience
Skin infection: Impetigo is a bacterial skin infection, often occurring around the nose and mouth. It usually looks like a crusted scabby rash that doesn't heal, and usually spreads. Often, there is redness or scabbing in the nostrils. Often caused by staph or strep bacteria, it requires antibiotic treatment. See your pediatrician if you suspect impetigo. It is contagious.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Ruben Nazario
Specializes in Pediatrics
A skin infection: Impetigo is a common bacterial skin infection of infants and babies. It causes blisters or sores on the face, mostly around the mouth and the nose. These sores break and ooze, forming a yellowish crust over the infected area. Although it usually goes away on its own, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to avoid complications.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Lisa Roberts
Pediatrics 24 years experience
Skin infection: Impetigo is a superficial skin infection. It is common around the nose and on the face of children who have had colds. It may also develop in children with eczema. Though contagious, it is rarely life-threatening. Sometimes, using an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment (such as neosporin or polysporin) topically may help. Other times, a prescription topical or oral antibiotic must be prescribed.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Lawrence Rosen
Pediatrics 29 years experience
Skin infection: Impetigo is a superficial skin infection with typically either staph or strep bacteria. It is most common near the nose or mouth, infecting areas with skin irritation. It can be treated usually by topical antibiotic creams, and it can be contagious.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Stephen Hefler
Specializes in Pediatrics
Bacterial skin infec: Normally, the skin is a barrier to infection and on top of the skin are many bacteria, including staph and strep germs. When the skin gets "broken", these germs get underneath and cause impetigo. Strep impetigo is usually an area covered by a honey-colored crust whereas staph impetigo is usually a blister filled with pus.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Sharon Gilliland
Pediatrics 37 years experience
Skin infection: Impetigo is a skin infection caused by streptococcus. It is contagious and can spread on the same person to other parts of the body, especially parts that touch the infected spot. It is typically round and crusty with a honey-colored crust and can look like a cigarette burn. It is treated with antibiotics, either topically or by mouth if there are multiple spots.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics 34 years experience
A skin infection: Impetigo is a skin infection caused by bacteria. There is usually yellowish crusty material on the rash. Impetigo can spread from person to person, and should be evaluated and treated by a doctor.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Jason Perkel
Pediatrics 26 years experience
A skin infection: Impetigo is a usually benign, localized skin infection that is treated with either an antibiotic ointment or an oral antibiotic. It has a "honey crusted" appearance.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.

Similar questions

A 22-year-old member asked:

What causes impetigo?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Richard Mizuguchi
A Verified Doctoranswered
27 years experience
A skin infection: Impetigo is a bacterial skin infection. It is usually caused by either streptococcal and/or staphylococcal bacteria. It can be treated with an oral antibiotic or a topical antibiotic like muciporcin.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 32-year-old member asked:

Can impetigo be cured?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Anthony LaBarbera
Dr. Anthony LaBarberaanswered
Pediatrics 29 years experience
Impetigo: Impetigo is normally, very easy to treat. A topical antibiotic ointment or oral antibiotics will treat the infection.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 43-year-old female asked:

How do you catch impetigo?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics 47 years experience
Germs get into skin: Impetigo appears after germs get access to the deeper layers of the skin surface. Often a kid with contaminated fingers will scratch a bite or itchy place & open the deeper skin layers where the germs can live off the moisture & serum oozing into the scratch. The germs often produce chemicals that get into the skin & spread redness & germ growth.Some germs are more likely than others to cause it.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 21-year-old member asked:

How is impetigo diagnosed?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Henry Bloom
Family Medicine 49 years experience
Appearance, culture: It often is obvious, but though many experts do not reccommend culture, often one is needed to see of the diagnosis is correct, and what bacteria, staph, strep or both is responsible, and what antibiotics will be effective.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 20-year-old member asked:

How serious is impetigo?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Philip Rosenblum
Family Medicine 29 years experience
Minor infection: But should be treated to keep it from spreading, and because it usually won't resolve without antibiotics.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.

Related questions

A 21-year-old member asked:
How does impetigo spread?
3 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
A 35-year-old member asked:
How can I treat my impetigo?
3 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
A 49-year-old member asked:
Can impetigo last for weeks?
1 doctor answer3 doctors weighed in
Last updated Nov 27, 2017

People also asked

Connect with a U.S. board-certified doctor by text or video anytime, anywhere.
24/7 visits - just $39!
50% off with $15/month membership

Disclaimer:

Content on HealthTap (including answers) should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and interactions on HealthTap do not create a doctor-patient relationship. Never disregard or delay professional medical advice in person because of anything on HealthTap. Call your doctor or 911 if you think you may have a medical emergency.