Question

Cold and Flu

What can cause crusty scabs on my child's face after a cold?

A Answers (2)

  • ATanya Remer Altmann, MD, Pediatrics, answered
    It sounds like your child may have impetigo—an infection of the skin that is caused by one of two types of common bacteria (staph and strep) that dwell in many people’s noses and on their skin. Classically, these honey-crusted sores are found on the face, often appearing during or after a cold or sinus infection. The excess nasal drainage (not to mention little fingers poking around) increases the likelihood that these nose-dwelling bacteria will spread to surrounding skin. You’ll want to see your pediatrician to confirm the diagnosis and get proper treatment. Topical antibiotic ointment is often used to clear up impetigo, but if there are many lesions, it is spreading, or it keeps recurring despite the use of an ointment, oral antibiotics may be needed to get rid of the infection.
  • AD. Mark Valentine, MD, Pediatrics, answered on behalf of Intermountain Healthcare
    Impetigo.  Sometimes the skin gets very irritated due to mucous from a runny nose.  Bacteria can take advantage of this irritated skin and start growing.  It frequently causes a honey colored crusty rash.  Oral or topical antibiotics are used to treat this infection.
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