Ask the Doctor

Question #11:

What should I know about impetigo if my neighbor’s child has it and frequently plays with my child?


Fred Fink, MD, of CHKD’s Pediatric Specialists says, “Impetigo is a fairly common skin infection that is easily recognized by its tell-tale flat, honey-colored scabs. It is highly contagious, and anyone who comes in contact with the lesions may get it. Impetigo may be caused by streptococcal (strep) or staphylococcal (staph) bacteria and should be treated by the pediatrician with antibiotics. With medication it should improve in a couple of days. If you don’t know whether the neighbor’s child is taking antibiotics or if proper hygiene is being observed, such as frequent hand washing and cleaning with antibiotic soaps, then it is probably best to keep the children separated until you observe that the lesions have disappeared. If your child has a sore that appears to be infected (redness, tenderness and increased warmth of the site), see your pediatrician right away.”

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  11. What should I know about impetigo if my neighbor’s child has it and frequently plays with my child?
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