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What do I need to know about caring for someone with impetigo?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
If you are caring for someone with impetigo, his or her doctor may tell you to take steps to help speed up the healing of the sores. Make sure that the person with impetigo takes all medications as prescribed by his or her doctor. You also may be told to gently clean the sores with gauze and antiseptic soap every day, and to cover the sores with gauze or bandages.

Another critical step when caring for someone with impetigo is making sure the infection doesn't spread. If a child has impetigo, encourage him or her to avoid scratching the sores. Keep his or her fingernails trimmed and clean. Don't let other family members share bath towels with a person who has impetigo. Wash his or her clothes, bed linens, and towels separately in hot water.
Caring for someone with impetigo will be time-consuming, but it is well worth the effort. Plan for frequent collecting and laundering of used clothing and linens, and a lot of hand washing. You might consider clipping your child's nails so their scratching does less damage to the blister. The goal is to maintain cleanliness and to stop the spread of infection, so keep your hand sanitizer and disinfectant spray nearby and use them often, and liberally. If an oral or topical antibiotic is prescribed, make sure the person uses it as directed.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.