Impetigo Prevention and Treatment

Good hygiene practices can help prevent impetigo from spreading. Those who are infected should use soap and water to clean their skin and take showers regularly. Non-infected members of the household should pay particular attention to areas of the skin that have cuts, scrapes, bug bites, areas of eczema, and rashes. They should be kept clean and covered to prevent infection. Also, anyone with impetigo should cover the impetigo sores with gauze and tape. All members of the household should wash their hands thoroughly with soap on a regular basis. It is also a good idea for everyone to keep their fingernails cut short to make hand washing more effective. Contact with the infected person and his or her belongings should be avoided, and the infected person should use separate towels for bathing and hand washing. If necessary, paper towels can be used in place of cloth towels for hand drying. The infected person's bed linens, towels, and clothing should be separated from those of other family members, as well.

Impetigo Treatment

For generations, impetigo was treated with an application of gentian violet, an antifungal agent. Today, topical or oral antibiotics are usually prescribed. Treatment may involve washing with soap and water and letting the impetigo dry in the air. Many general practitioners choose to treat impetigo with bactericidal ointments, such as fusidic acid or mupirocin, but in more severe cases oral antibiotics, such as flucloxacillin, erythromycin, or dicloxacillin are necessary. Amoxicillin combined with clavulanate potassium may also be used as an antibiotic treatment.

Although impetigo is less common among adults, combat athletes are more susceptible to impetigo skin infections. As a combat athlete, you need to shower regularly. However, using synthetic chemicals to cleanse your skin before training is not the best option. The bacteria on your skin are your natural protection when you are training. Using products that contain triclosan, alcohol, or other chemicals before you train makes you more susceptible to impetigo by killing the protection that nature has provided for you.