Impetigo is a skin infection that often afflicts the faces of infants and children, causing red, itchy sores around the nose and mouth. If the sores rupture, they ooze fluid and form a yellow-brown crust that resembles dried honey. The condition is highly contagious, so children should be kept home for up to 48 hours after beginning antibiotic treatment.
The most common cause of impetigo is physical contact with a person who is infected. The bacteria that causes impetigo can be transmitted from one person to another via contact with the open sores or with any objects that may have come into contact with the sore, including towels, linens, toys or makeup applicators.
To help treat your child's impetigo, pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears advises keeping the skin clean, and using warm, soapy water to wash his or her face. You can also apply a one-to-one solution of hydrogen peroxide and warm water to the infection, which will help blood flow to the affected area.
"Probably the most important thing you can do for impetigo is use Polysporin ointment," Dr. Jim says. "[Put] a triple antibiotic ointment on there a few times a day. Keep it covered with a Band-Aid, because it's very contagious. Once [the sores are] healed, [the child] is all better and not contagious anymore."